The first round assignment was sent out to about 1,000 artists who had signed up. The topic of choice was to create a piece of wall art with a theme of "little terrariums." When I read all the details, I was so excited I couldn't stand it! What should I do? One large object in the center of the canvas? Multiple containers with multiple succulents? AHH! So many choices and thoughts flooded my brain that I started to struggle getting any of them out in my sketchbook.
Honestly, I let myself get intimidated by this whole contest and that emotion wormed its way around in my brain which prevented me from being productive. Then, I sat down at my computer and thought, "Why am I flipping out? This is far from the first time that I have created something on a deadline with a specific topic. Stop thinking about what other artists create and how well their work sells and just CREATE ALREADY!" One thing that I have learned throughout my years in design / art, people are drawn to the work that you are proud of. Art that you enjoyed creating. As Lilla says, people buy your joy! Of all the greeting cards I have designed, some of the best selling ones are ones that I loved working on. Why shouldn't I have this mentality with all my work?
With this revelation, it all just started flowing out. My goal with this contest was to be true to myself and my style. I like my style, why should I part from it? I wanted to create a portfolio piece that showcased my style and taste. So, this piece was for me . . . not necessarily Lilla. There have been some personal events in my life that have rendered me emotionally crippled and this assignment was incredibly therapeutic for me and I have turned a corner that I didn't think I could. When I completed this piece I felt so incredibly refreshed and motivated. I will never be able to thank Lilla in person for helping provide me with this platform to revitalize my mind, my heart and my life. However, I am approaching each new day as a chance to make something of myself and to become a better person.
When the first round winners were announced (50 designers of 1,000 moved on to the next round) I wasn't upset about not making it. I am still proud of my piece and am excited to finally show it to you!
Go check out the top 50 designers and see what beautiful pieces they created. Also check out all the other 950 designers. Best of luck to all the 50 working hard on their new assignment right now! Keep checking back at Lilla's Blog to see who makes it to the third round!