It is the 29th of January.  2034 pm.  32 years ago this night, I had just about taken my first few breaths outside of the womb. 

32  years. 

Think about that.

I've been alive now for a quarter of a century and only now do I feel as if I know what I want in life.  Only now do I know how to get what I want in life.  I wasted 10 years through indecision, stupidity, stubbornness, close mindedness and fear.  And every day i try to make up for lost time.  Every single day I try to claw back the time I've wasted.

But this is not a day of recrimination.  Or at least, it is not a day for recrimination alone.  I would be doing myself  an injustice if I didn't draw attention of the monumental achievement that is the completion of draft one of my novel.  I would be doing myself an injustice if I did not recognise that how profoundly that has changed my life. 

I am a better man by virtue of committing myself to finishing something.  I am a better man by virtue of the friends I have.  I am a better man by realising that pain and struggle are transitory and are the price you pay for success.  They are universe testing you to see how badly you want what you say you want and what you are prepared to do to get it.

I am in pain now.  I will do almost anything with in reason to get Frostfeld Book 1.0 in your hands by summer.  Success is forthcoming.
To hell with it.
Lets try and get this novel written, illustrated and printed by Christmas.

If I fail, I fail. But at least I tried.



To work then
It occurs to me that the only way that I can have complete control over my finished novel is to publish it myself. After a long hard think about the difficulties involved with self publishing, I've decided that it's the only avenue available to me.

The notion that will be able to have my well designed, and hopefully, well illustrated/written and designed novel be immediately snapped up by a publisher is a long shot at best and a fantasy at worst.

No, self publishing it is. Understand that this is not a decision I take lightly, as one need only type "self publishing" into their search engine to read about the difficulties involved in such an enterprise. But it has as many benefits as it has hardships.

Christ in heaven i really do enjoy making life difficult for myself don't I?

On another note, I've decided to return to university. What that you heard to cry? Wasn't i sworn off the whole UK art education experience after the debacle that was Southampton Solent university?

Well, just hold your horses for a second and I'll explain.

I'm planning to study for an MA (Master of Arts) degree in illustration. My reasons are both two fold

First, I've had always planned to teach illustration at some point in the future. I've always wanted to pass on my skills and experience to the next generation of British illustrators. To be one of the good guys who shepherd young student illustrator in the direction they want to go and help educated then about the history of their profession. Also I want to remind or rather educate students that working for free or being preyed upon my unscrupulous clients who believe they can with a wink and a smile trick students into believing that in an age of tlumbr, print on demand, blogs and facebook, that producing work for free equals publicity is bullshit of the highest order.

Yeeees sir, people will look at them images you've generated off your own back and have not been paid for and think "Hmm. What a nice image. I wonder what else he/shes has done?"

And how is that going to help you pay your rent? How is that going to help you put food on your table? The people who perpetuate that lie can afford to pay you and wouldn't do their job for free for even one second. Indeed, they would bitch about how much they get paid and want more.

You, a poor student, should a freebie for a major publisher/client who can afford to pay you?! FUCK NO!!

Jesus H fucking Christ, it makes me murderously angry that people still believe and perpetuate that crock of shit. Fuckers.

I'm ranting, aren't I? Moving on.....

ANYWAY!!!

Secondly, having a job will help feed me and keep a roof over my head whiles i work on my novel/graphic novels and self publish them. I believe Jeff Smith, Craig Thompson, Alison Bechdel amongst many others took this route. Not that teaching route, but doing freelance illustration to pay for their graphic novel projects.

Unfortunately, at least in the United Kingdom, in order to teach at university level, you have to hold a MA in your chose profession. So, in the next two years i have to save £4,500 in order to pay for my tuition fees. And i need to actively start building a portfolio of work. Something that should have slowly building over the second i set foot in Norwich. Le sigh.

As i said, I really enjoy creating work for myself.

More later.

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jecoleuk

March 2015

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