How Working Girl Became an Artist
It happened on an airplane. Airplanes are good for trying new things. You’re away from your regular life and regular ways of thinking.
Working Girl boarded the plane carrying a lovely brand new sketch pad and pencil. She had her doubts. WG has never been an artistic type. But while she was looking for a publisher for The Amazing Adventures of Working Girl, numerous rejecting agents and editors suggested the book needed illustrations.
“But I can’t draw,” she said.
The suggestions continued. Also the rejections.
Finally one day she said, “Well, okay, I’ll try.”
She fastened her seatbelt, lowered her tray table, opened the sketch pad, and drew this:
Argh. She turned the page fast. And drew this:
The person next to her glanced over. Working Girl was pretty sure she could feel waves of shock, revulsion, and condemnation coming from this person. But maybe it was only her imagination.
WG decided she didn’t know this person and didn’t care what he thought. She continued to draw a picture and turn the page, draw a picture and turn the page. Producing stuff like this:
It was discouraging. But because she was stuck on an airplane and had nothing to read, she kept at it. After two hours and 150 pages and many disturbing (to Working Girl) glances from her seatmate, she drew this:
“Hmmm. This is starting to look like something,” she thought.
Later, off the plane, Working Girl found out that once you have a head, the rest of the body is not that hard (it’s two long rectangles for the arms, two longer rectangles for the legs, and an indented rectangle for the trunk).
Do you want to know a secret?
It’s really not that hard to learn to draw.
(Please, artists, do not send enraged emails to Working Girl. She knows she is but a mere cartoonist, if that. She bows down to your superior artistic-ness.)
Anyway, to finish the story, Working Girl next discovered that it’s not enough to just say to a publisher, “Hey, look, I’m an artist.” Publishers want some proof of “professionalism.” And who can blame them.
That’s how WG’s greeting card biz* got born. She figured: Make cards, sell cards, voilà, instant “professionalism.” The moral of the story?
Try stuff. Because you never know.
*Now it’s more than just cards. It’s coffee mugs and t-shirts and stuff. Click here.