For the past 6 months or so, I've been regularly contributing to the US edition of WIRED Magazine, specifically illustrations for Mary H.K. Choi's TV / entertainment / pop culture column in the Play section.
It's been great. Having a regular magazine gig is an exciting, scary and rewarding thing. It's the kind of job I'd imagine having when I used to think, "man, maybe I could work as an illustrator" back when I was studying graphic design and feeling fairly unenthused about a future in a studio discussing typefaces with tastefully-shirted men. And, when I accidentally fell arse-backwards into actually being an illustrator, it's these editorial briefs with their sketches, drafts and deadlines that most make me feel like I maybe, possibly, just might have some kind of future being my own boss.
As with everything I do, I see only the mistakes. I beat myself up for procrastinating and live in constant fear of 'blowing it'. Every other artist out there is more talented, wittier and more proffessional than me. I'm often uncomfortable with the style I can easily fall into and I meticulously budget 6 months in advance for when the money, inevitably, dries up. But, for now at least, I'm happier than I've ever been. I feel more like a grown up than I did a couple of years ago when I was working part-time in the same stockroom I'd worked in since college and I feel less depressed, ashamed and washed-up than I did a year ago when I took a job as a web designer for a company that I did not fit.
The above drawing, part of a larger piece (featuring Bert from Sesame Street on drums) in the May edition of WIRED is maybe my favourite thing I've done for them. It made me laugh while working, which is rare, and I got to retrofit some little animations (something I'm still learning) in there too for the iPad version. Compared to how I often feel about my work, it makes me extremely proud to say that I'm 'mostly happy' with how this guy turned out.
Thanks to everyone who has helped and encouraged me over at Wired - Mary, Bradley, Alex, Tim, Christopher and Meighan have all been awesome. Go buy it, read it, and keep your eye out for my daft drawings. Well, unless I blow it.
Oh, and the best thing about having your work in a magazine? It impresses your mum.