A beginning

Today marks the beginning of my new career. I think I’ve finally happened upon one to really sink my teeth into for the next few decades. I’m setting up shop–as an illustrator.

Atomic © Samantha Groenestyn

Above is an early effort at gouache, a posterised ‘hyper-J’ at a New Town cafe–Atomic–last year. The breakfast there was amazing. My eggs came with dukkah and olives. The walls had images painted directly onto them. The coffee was good.

Now, due to the lack of illustration courses of any variety–university, TAFE–in Australia, excepting one in Melbourne, which is very far from me, I am teaching myself. While I take a part-time graphic design class at a local commercial arts college, I wouldn’t say there’s much guidance or even emphasis on illustration. The real reward for doing such courses is that you become a certified Adobe CS user. No, it will just be me, my pens, pencils, paints and imagination–and many books.

In one of these books I stumbled across the following declaration from illustrator David Lucas, and pushed myself to adhere to it:

It is a huge mistake for me ever to let money worries rule my decision-making. They are a factor of course, but must not be allowed to dominate. In my experience it is vital to aim high, both artistically and in life. I generally find that if I raise my sights, events conspire in my favour–fate smiles on me. If I am too cautious things begin to unravel.

This is, broadly, my outlook on life–work the hardest you can, strive for the best thing you can think of, and things will come together, you’ll find a way.


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