Study for tattoo
Study for tattoo

Ok, so when thinking about what to write on this page I was stumped for words.  A calamity that (for those unfortunate enough to know me personally; is a rarity)  had me struggle how to best encapsulate my overall feelings on the subject.  How do I elaborate the immensity of impact that this simple and often misunderstood twelve letter word has had upon my entire life?  The joy, frustration and elation (to say the least) that this career path has woven into my person is difficult for me to fully register, let alone convey into a meaningful definition.

Do I talk about it as a vehicle for my subconscious to communicate outwardly?  Is it the pleasure it brings me to cull a vaguity of thought and nuance into tangible form? Is it the willful determination that it seems to wrestle out of me when I have lost all motivation?

What the hell can I say that tells you what illustration means to me?

Lets start off by this quote that has been bouncing around in my head since I starting thinking about writing on this topic.

Orientation SVA. Main hall:

“98% of you will not find work as illustrators.”

This phrase was nonchalantly delivered to all the illustration majors in attendance that day.  My very first day at SVA. Yeah. I vowed never to repeat those words to my parents as they had already huge reservations towards my notion to go to ‘an art school' instead of chasing a medical or engineering degree as they had hoped.

It’s funny I never let that notion ‘sink in’, never fully grasped the weight of it…still feels like a hollow statement to me.  I blithely ignored those words.  If I had let them fully anchor itself into me…well I’d probably be wrestling with spline graphs or gazing into an EKG display right now instead of hammering out this prose on the virtues of “grafting” (what my Mom calls what I do - I think its her approximation of graphic design, drawing and whatever else she sees me doing).

So…yeah.  It’s not been a particularly lucrative field and work has never been steady (i.e. triumphant hills and desolate valleys) . Needless to say, I have been very fortunate to be able to find work and I have been more than fortunate when it comes to the kind of people whom I have had the pleasure to work with.

This is not to be a comment or guidepost for those who wish to pursue this line of work.  Advice? No advice here…I have been lucky, not as lucky as some but definitely luckier than most who court this field.

What I can say for a fact is that if those words did register as “peligro” or “danger, danger Will Robinson”…then stethoscopes or calipers would be in my “tackle box” instead of kolinsky sables and sakura pens.

My naivety has kept me in this business.  It is an ignorance that I have come to fully rely and depend upon.

So, what am I saying here? Well to me Illustration is : The willful ignorance of disillusion through applied perseverance and a little artist grit.

-Gilosan (6.14.2014)