Day 17: Invent the Future

Challenge: My favorite quote of all time is Alan Kay: ‘In order to predict the future, you have to invent it.’ I am all about inventing the future. Decide what you want the future to be and make it happen. Because you can. Write about your future now. 

How can I writer about the future when I'm all caught up in the nostalgia of game companies? That's what happens when you procrastinate and write two posts in one day.

Again: Dream + Draw, Draw, Draw = Artist (Maybe). 

But I'll stop being snarky, continue the last post a bit, and be a little more specific.

The a-ha moment that started me in my current direction was another Dad trip. A few years ago, I was again floundering around and in-between jobs and trying to decide where I wanted to go. I happened to see online that Brom was going to be giving a talk at Raven Software up in Madison, Wi. Brom used to work with my dad at TSR, and he was (is) one of my favorite artists. Partly because I had a crush on him when I was a little kid (he's cute) but mostly because I loved his art. It was different, and darker, and it resonated. So I emailed my dad and he and I and Jeff Easley took a road trip to Raven for Brom's talk. 

Somewhere in the middle, I texted Dox (then boyfriend, now husband): Be prepared: Crisis impending. I felt like I was having some sort of mid-life crisis. Why had I left the game industry? Why hadn't I pursued this? I wanted to be an artist -- if I hadn't left the industry, maybe I could have. Why did I walk away from it?

I went home and cried, and freaked Dox out, and reevaluated, and sent a message of inquiry to someone I'd previously worked with at FASA who now worked at Raven -- and it came to naught. I got a freelance design job that I liked, and moved forward, and vowed to draw more and that was it. it wan't until I got settled happily at my current job and was able to focus on something other than finding a job that I really started to think about it.

So here I am, trying to learn. Like I've said before, I'm unclear on the future. I still dream about the game industry sometimes. I remember getting Photoshop lessons from Steve Scott, who now works on Halo, and it was incredible (thank you Steve!). Eventually I'd like to be getting that kind of guidance again in illustration -- but I think I'll be able to get that through taking classes and meeting people in the industry. 

Plus, there are incredibly talented people where I work now that I get a lot of guidance from, so I don't know that it's so different. Today at work, we had a 'Lunch, Learn and Inspire' with Sharon Reese Dalenberg, the President and CEO of CTL Global,  one of our client companies. She was one of the most incredible and inspiring people I've ever met. She shared her life story with us, specifically to impart the lessons she's learned in a long career that started in the 50's and included a lot of equal rights advocacy for both women and minorities. Her overall message: stay true to your values and yourself, find your balance, and don't pay too much attention to the numbers. It may not sound like much in my retelling, but trust me, it was amazing.

All I know right now is that i just want to learn. I'm still figuring out my future, and I'm okay with that.  I'm happy where I am now, I feel like I'm being true to myself -- and when I decide that I want something different, I'm confident that I will be able to invent it. So mote it be.