We all know the game - the illustration competitions - entering what we think is our best work - waiting to hear if we got in. It sucks to enter a bunch of your best work into competitions and not get in... then see all the 'humbled and honored' posts from fellow illustrators who got in. Knowing how random the judging is - it all feels like a huge gamble and often a big waste.
So - I am really glad that one of the many pieces I entered got in to American Illustration this year.
I knew when I took this photo of these men going into the ocean in Puerto Rico that I was witnessing something really special. And when I painted from my photo later - I could feel it had a quality that I don't often get in my work. Then when I came home from my trip and put all my work out on the table for my artist/photographer husband Peter to look at he pointed to this painting and said if this was the only thing you painted the whole trip it would have been worth it. And believe me our family does NOT give compliments or praise lightly. We are really tough critics. (Just ask our extremely talented kids- ha!) So this was a BIG compliment. ( He thought all the rest of the painting I did that week was nothing special :) What this painting made me realize is I want/need to create more ART. Not for any client but just as art. So - thanks American Illustration!