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Push Before I quit my day job, I would talk about my plans with certain people. And I'd say things like "sure, I realize that everyday won't be perfect...that I'll still have bad days occasionally." But in my heart I didn't believe it. I know that now. What I really thought was "Hey, I'll be living my dream, so what could possibly go wrong?"

That was foolish.

Of course there are still bad days. Days where I don't feel like doing anything creative. Illustrating seems difficult and I can't seem to get anything good on paper. When answering emails asking for quotes and estimates feels like pulling hens teeth. Days when it feels pointless and directionless.

Thankfully those days are pretty few and far between. But they do happen. I want everyone who is considering going out on their own to know that. It probably won't settle in really...but please keep that in mind. I wish I had.

I had one of those days about a week ago. And it's haunting me still. I wasn't sure if I wanted to talk about it here, because I am a little ashamed of my reaction...but I thought that if I'm going through this, then somebody else is probably going through something similar. And maybe I can help them.

You see, a little while ago I learned that there was a new gallery opening in my city. And I wanted to be a part of it. I knew they wanted to show a lot of illustration...more accurately, I knew they were going to show a lot of illustrators I respect and admire. So I emailed the owner and talked with him about joining. And it came down to us both kind of realizing that I wasn't ready. My stuff wasn't in the right vein right now. And that was a huge blow for me. I felt like I wasn't good enough.

I shut down my computer, took the phone off the hook, laid down on my bed and cried. I wasn't there yet. He knew it. I knew it. And it hurt.

I eventually called my brother and explained the situation. I told him that I felt sheepish for my reaction, but I didn't think to do anything else. We talked about it for a while and then I realized what really happened: I had another goal pop up. And I didn't like it. Learning and growing is sometimes painful. At least for me, it is. I want to be where I am. But I can't seem to do that. My road constantly evolving and changing.

After I had that shift in perspective and realized that this rejection wasn't necessarily a bad thing, that it was simply another goal to shoot for, I felt better. Because I can deal with goals. I know that I'll eventually get there. I'll work my ass off for it if I have to. And I will...

So, ever since that ordeal, I've put a reminder in a place where I can see it everyday. Right there on my to do list. I wrote the word "push". Push my limits. Push my comfort zone. Push to do better. When I do a sketch, I ask myself what I can do to push it a little. Different perspective? Different ink? Something I can add or maybe take away?

Push.