Friday, September 26, 2003

Knowing What You Want To Be When You Grow Up

I was reminded today, in conversation with a neighbour, just how early in my life I decided to “make pictures” for a living. I was 11 when I won a contest sponsored by Jack and Jill magazine and got to travel down to Indianapolis, Indiana from Montreal to visit the Saturday Evening Post Publishing Company with the 4 other illustrators and 5 young writers who had also won. The part of that whirlwind 4 days that I remember most was walking into a room where 2 grown men were planning out the order in which the drawings should appear for a colouring book. It was like being struck by lightning between the eyes. The light bulb went off... “Grown-ups can DRAW for their JOBS!!”

In some ways, it was very hard to know so early on what I wanted to do. I wasn’t sure how or where or when I would accomplish that. I certainly never dreamed that the magic and sparkle of needlework would captivate me when it did. I wasn’t sure that my dream could come true living in a smaller city like Moncton compared to Montreal or Toronto....

My neighbour said, with a somewhat wistful smile, “You are so lucky to be able to do something you love!!”

I smiled back as I headed in from hanging the laundry and back to the computer to slog away at this huge graphics project that has consumed so many hours of this week. “This has more to do with hard work that Luck!” I muttered to myself as I began to mouse and click... but then I stopped and a slow smile spread across my face. She had been right about how fortunate I was to be doing something that I loved, even if it was grueling.

I think that sometimes it is a lot like being a parent.... It requires more work that others may ever understand when they look in from the outside.. but one sudden hug or “I LOVE YOU” makes all the work worthwhile.

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