I am sitting on the back porch of my friends house in San Diego. I can smell the sweet smell of colitas in the air, and I hear the muffled boom from the Seaworld fireworks off in the distance. It's a gorgeous night, and I've got a lot to think about.
We just got back from the Comic-con preview night, and I am absolutely mentally drained. This show is madnessen. This is my seventh comic-con, My first being in 1997.... and I have never seen anything like this. It was packed on preview night like I'm used to seeing on the busiest Saturday nights of this show. I can't even imagine what the rest of the convention will be like. All I know is I'm tired, and my brain is overloaded.
For me personally, comic-con over the years has been a right of passage. It is such a challenging experience but comes with the most amazing highs. But more importantly, it has this ability to boil you, your relationships and your intentions down to their essence. Any insecurities you have suddenly become impossible to ignore. I've seen this conventon end friendships, partnerships and even relationships. I personally have experienced many extreme dicotomies of success and total nightmarish disappointment. I never regret it, but it's always challenging.
Comic-con is especially challenging to creators, because seeing it in person - you begin to realize that there is no magic. You can see with your own eyes that these people doing what you want to do, are just people, simply creating work that they love. You start to see that you could be doing it too and it seems so simple that you imagine it shouldn't take long at all. The veil begins to fall and you start to shed those fanboy cravings and dream of your own success story coming true.
But it doesn't happen right away. And it isn't that simple. You start to get caught up in this artistic purgatory between what you can do and what your ego thinks you are doing. Comic-con is really good at checking your reality.
Success is a process. It's not a finish-line. There's no One single big break that makes you successful. Its the result of all the little actions you take every single day for years and years.
What do you want? Why do you want it? and Why is it important to you? What are you willing to do each day to get you to where you want to end up? What are you willing to give up to make the time to get you where you want to go?
I've been through many variations of this. Some years, I lived in total desperation, hoping something would magically come together. Other years, incredible success just fell in my lap because I did the work and just happened to be at the right place at the right time. But this year feels more level. I have been working towards something. I still have a long way to go. But I am finally starting to have something to show for it. Samples to show to other artists. Responses from them that are very humbling and promising. Even from some that make me turn into a 12 year old fanboy again. Its not the finish line... its just a sign that I am on the right track, and that if I keep working I'll get to where I want to go.
Today was a mad dash. Amber and I went to the show with Brian and Beau. We got our badges pretty quick and got in the enormous line for the professionals to get into the exhibit hall early. It wasn't near as long as the regular attendees lines, but it was still bad. The wait for us was under an hour, then we poured onto the show floor and wandered about. I stopped by just a handful of creators booths, but the experiences were enough to knock me on my ass. I was so overwhelmed with awesome that I could only handle a few hours of preview night. I wish I could share some of it here, but I feel it best to keep it to myself for now.
Tomorrow I will mostly be hitting panels and taking notes.