Thursday, July 2, 2015

The Werewolf Primer

The Werewolf Primer - available at Amazon

It is with a complete lack of fanfare that I announce that my not quite Art / not quite Childrens Book,
"The Werewolf Primer" is up for sale on Amazon's self-publishing Kindle format.

"The Werewolf Primer" represents a lot of different things to me.

First, it meant that I could complete a large, self-directed artistic project.  I finished 27 images, all relating to a single topic and hung them together with a loose story line about a young werewolf boy living in Victorian era New Orleans.

I was very pleased that I completed it.  It was a huge accomplishment for me.  I set an artistic goal; a long term project, and I finished it.  Since I was and am in the process of creating a series of Major Arcana Tarot cards, it was reassuring to know that I can finish a large, self-appointed task.

At the time I started the project, I was on a bit of career roll.  I started pursuing an art career, seriously, last May.  The very first two art exhibitions I applied to, accepted me.  In one, the September Competition at a proper museum, I even received an Honorable Mention.

I began to feel like I could not fail; like I was on an unstoppable winning streak.

In the heat of my overwhelming optimism, I finished "The Werewolf Primer" and set it off into the world of crowd funding via Kickstarter.  The thirty days started well with my book being selected as a Staff Pick, but then it stalled out.

Thirty days later, I failed to reach my funding goal.

The next two art exhibitions I applied to said no and no. 

I felt decimated and devastated.  Perhaps my previous success was a mere fluke.  Perhaps me and my artwork should just crawl back into the dark hole from whence we came.

Of course, eventually my delicate ego began to recover.

It was foolishly optimistic of me to think that I could scale the heights in a few brief months and achieve what other talented artists only managed after years of toil and struggle and advanced education.

I think in the long term that "The Werewolf Primer" will serve as a valuable and essential lesson to me.  

Art is a marathon, not a sprint.

Any career experiences ups and downs; triumphs and setbacks.

Sure, my delicate ego and feelings were badly bruised,

Sure, I might have spent a few days or weeks cowering and sobbing in the back of my closet, but at some point the stench of my self pity became too much and I had to crawl back into the light.

Last November I created a artwork featuring the funeral scene for young Wuffe Boulet, my werewolf boy.  I felt very uncertain about his future.

Should I consign him to the grave?  Should I destroy all evidence of him and his young life as unacceptable symbols of my failure?

I wasn't ready to do something so permanent to so many weeks of work and hope even if my pride in my accomplishment had been tarnished by his failure.  

Ten months later, I have enough distance that I am letting him out, brushing off the funeral dust and letting him back out into the sun.

Young Wuffe deserves at least that from me.

Go howl at the moon, young man, you deserve a little fresh air!

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