While, my life has been pretty easy and I feel very happy, professionally, the past few years have been pretty hard for me in. ~7 years ago I began my training in both computer science and art. And while programming came easier to me, I spent more time doing art, because I truly enjoyed it. The jobs for programming came rolling in, while the art didn’t, so I rolled with the programming. I felt inferior to most of those around me since I was still splitting my time between the 2 very different skillsets. The programmers were smarter than me, and the artists were better than me. For years I felt bad, and loathing myself about my skills, but things are changing. I’m feeling very happy with my current level of achievement, I’m elevating my skills drastically, and I’m getting some recognition from people about it. Where people used to look at my drawings and say, “oh, it’s nice” or something generic like that, knowing they are trying not to be mean, I now have people come up to me and compliment a specific drawing. It’s taken 6 years of struggling for me to get to that point. Although I did have people supporting me, I felt my art and programming was shit. But, I pushed forward. Mainly it was just me putting my nose to the grid, telling myself, “one day I will be better.” I don’t want to say that day is today, but recently I feel very good about things. I’ve been creating cool automated systems at work, and learning how to manage my time and others. In art, I’ve been drawing a lot, and I started working on a “guided” daily drawing, rather than uncomitted sketching.
Sketch_Dailies on twitter, is a great group. Every day at 11am, a topic is posted, “blackbeard, or joan of arc, or centar” And people draw them. Some ideas are funny, some are cliche, some are good and some are bad. But, it’s really helped me focus. I have a hard time calling a drawing finished, because I almost always think they suck. Yesterday, I was really happy with my drawing, and when I submitted, it got retweeted by the group, and I got 50 favorites from people all over the internet! I think that was the first time I got more than 3 favorites for something I had drawn. I was blown away, people who’s drawings I look up to, favorited MY drawing. It was a really good feeling. All that hard work, 6 years of suffering, eliminated by one drawing.
I want to keep drawing and enjoying my art, while at the same time using programming as a functional way to save me time. It’s a nice feeling, that I’m not used to, feeling content with some of my skillsets. And while I don’t want to loose focus, I think it’s important to celebrate the victories!
Lastly, I want to say, it’s taken me a really long time to get to where I’m at, but all the sacrifices were worth it. I hope if you’re reading this, you feel the same way.
— Shawn Kirsch (@ShawnKirsch)February 8, 2014