A week ago I was back in Groningen for a farewell party of one of my former classmates. It was great to see so many faces again and good time to catch up with everyone, since most did go their own way after art college. Me being away for a year, not talking to everyone left me a bit blind in where I stood...and it also made me crave to know about what is 'good' and 'success' and what not. The thing is, you decide that yourself.
Turns out I'm doing pretty well. And I should be happy with that, I guess. I tend to set high goals for myself, even when it was said that the first years are going to be hard. And there are so many young talented illustrators with jobs out there. I thought: I can do that too, no, I thought I should. Like it would be normal for anyone. But even in these times, it's even more harder to get illustration jobs and I'm not doing as well as I want(ed) (which is: earn enough with it to start full time, but honestly what do you expect after a year?).
Everyone should decide for themselves what they want and how they want to do that. I'm an impatient person, some days I can't handle the fact that it takes time and that in that time I have to spend my time working at my side job. However: the turtle won, remember? And not to forget: it's all about the journey, not the goal. And the journey is where I'm on. I'm fighting for what I want and it's even paying off, I'm living the life even when that's not exactly at the point I think I would.
It all just takes time. So take it slow and in your own manner, but don't stand still for too long. Don't just look at others and their skills and accomplishments and compare yourself, look at what you do yourself and ask yourself if this is what you wanted and if it is the best you can do. And then just be happy with however your situation is...if you're still alive.
However, there's a good side to comparing too, but it's not really comparing. That is: if you see amazing work and feel motivated in an instant. It's inspiration...but don't get confused and feel like you're worth any less. If you see something amazing and you feel like you want to make something (yourself, something yóu made, don't copy ;) ), then don't stop yourself and do just that!
And do what you want in the meantime too. To be honest, for some people I think it might be better for them to focus and for some people it might be better to accept that waiting 'in the meantime' is a good thing, so I can't tell anyone what to do. My opinion is that this world is so big and full of many other interesting things to do in our life, that it's ok to nót be busy with art and illustration once in a while...enjoy life!
For me this led to having new pets: our ferrets, they're so funny and cute, look at these babies: