One Man’s Trash…

I’ve been dreading this.

Honestly, I don’t even know what to say about the whole portfolio review experience. The following anecdote probably sums it up pretty well.

When I got home from the conference on Sunday, my husband was helping me bring my things in from the car.

He: I wasn’t sure where you wanted your portfolio.
Me: In the trash.

Now that a few days have passed, I realize just how ridiculous that statement is. I mean, throwing out all that paper would be wasteful and environmentally irresponsible. I should probably just give it to one of my cat-owning friends to line their litter box with.

My portfolio review was with an AD from Abrams. Among his accomplishments are art directing the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series and giving two workshops at the conference. He also finds bacon delicious.

Sorry, I felt the need for a non-sequitur there.

He was friendly. Seemed to like me. I mean, why wouldn’t he? Everyone loves a neurotic Jew. Well, except for maybe Mia Farrow. But, I digress.

From the beginning, I got the distinct feeling that he didn’t much care for my work. Not that I can blame him. I wasn’t happy with most of the pieces I included. But unexpected surgery (and a decided lack of talent) kind of put the kibosh on my plans to clean up my older work and create new, better work. So, he was mostly looking at (to put it nicely) junk.

Izzy the Dog did not go over well. He was lukewarm toward Everett the Owl. The only pieces he really seemed to care for were what he called the ‘funny stuff’. Also, known as the not-quite-kid-appropriate stuff and the there’s-really-no-use-for-this-other-than-to-put-it-on-my-blog stuff.  He also told me there’s no money in this business.

Sigh. The old ‘don’t quit your day job’ routine. Well, the joke’s on you, Mr. Art Director, I don’t have a day job!

There were a few positive nuggets amidst the rubble. He was impressed by my ability to give myself assignments…and complete them. He also said I had interesting stories (talk about a non-sequitur). And he complimented me on being able to (water)color inside the lines. Okay, even the positive stuff is starting to sound bad now, so I’m just going to stop.

Oddly, when it was all over, I didn’t feel so bad. I went to my next workshop, schmoozed with another artist, sat through the final keynote. All was right with the world. I left the conference, started driving toward home, let it all sink in, and…bawled like a baby.

And that’s all I have to say about that.

 

More cool stuff:

5 thoughts on “One Man’s Trash…

  1. I’m curious – what other pieces did you show him? Birches? Pink flowers? Blue yarn? Evil carrots? Those are all pieces i love that have such character and originality and show off your talent and point of view.

    as for mr. jerky pants – i agree with the poster above – if he doesn’t see your potential, fuck him. Seriously. and keep in mind that madelein l’engle, writer of the very awesome and enduring and much beloved wrinkle in time books was rejected something like 17 times before a wrinkle in time sold.

    also, if it makes you feel any better, i have gotten some absolutely scathing rejection letters. The kind that make me wonder what kind of horrible childhood the writer must have had to take his anger out on a perfect stranger, and have been moved to tears myself. But I know that i have something to offer. I’ll find my way. And you will find yours. Please don’t give up.

    1. He sort of liked the evil carrots. And, actually, he said the blue yarn piece was his favorite. I didn’t include any still life (birches, flowers, etc.).

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