For some people having many friends around can feel like a distraction or detriment to their success as a creator, but I've recently come to learn that I wouldn't be able to do this without all of my friends.
My first blog post here, and I've been dreading, avoiding, and prolonging it for a good two months after I created my website. I've been daydreaming of making blog posts that were written so well and were so thought provoking to the point that it horrified me of writing anything because it wouldn't be as good as it was in my head. I mean, I'm no writer, and I don't particularly want a career in writing, but this was important. So crucial because writing a blog can either make or break your entire website's traffic potential (from what I've read). Why did I take so long to just sit down and start?
So what is it that brought me to start typing this post you ask? Well... yesterday, one of my wonderful friends from college, Stephen, passed away suddenly in a car accident. This is the first time I've ever lost someone close from school and not some extended family member. Stephen was only a few years younger than me and I always viewed him as one of my little brothers, which is funny cause he was much taller than me. We weren't the closest friends ever, I've never even been to his house before, but he meant a lot to me since he made my days in college infinitely better. Around my last year of college, I was getting ready to withdraw from school and move out of my dad's apartment so I could start my own life and I slowly started to "ghost" away from many friends I knew from college, including Stephen. I loved and cared for him and so many of the others, but I was going through some emotions that I thought had to be done alone. What I regret most about all this is that of the two years since I withdrew from college, I still remain distant from everyone there and continue on with my ghostly behaviors. Some of them being the best friends I've ever had, and I just walked away from them all. After what happened with Stephen, this became the biggest wake up call I've ever gotten.
I've done nothing but stare at my computer screen for the last two years trying to get work and without anyone's help. It's definitely taken an effect on me now and I notice how little I can hold a conversation or feel genuine interest in other people. All my life, I've gotten nothing but support for my artwork from my friends. Not once did I ever have a friend that tried to hold me back or persuade me from working on what I loved, and it's only now as I take this chance starting a business that I realize how important their support is. I wouldn't be where I am right now if it wasn't for my friends because my artwork comes from a place of love and the only thing that can match my love for art is my close friends and family. If you're a close friend of mine from college or high school (you guys know who you are) and you've been wondering where I've been, well this is it. I'm sorry I haven't kept up with all of you very much, but your support and friendship is literally my biggest drive to make Dizzy Illustrations a success. I want to be financially stable and have the freedom to work the way I want to, which might seem impossible for a lot of people, but I'm ready to take that chance anyways. To anybody reading this who is interested in commissioning me, thank you for taking the time to read this post. I'm REALLY not good at sharing or opening up about life stuff going on with me (trust me ask any of my friends), but I think this is a good first step towards allowing me to be more vulnerable to people. I'd be thrilled to work with any one of you reading this, and set you on your way with the best work I can deliver.
This post is partially to release some grief over my friend Stephen, to apologize to my friends for how little I've done to keep up with them, and to make me accountable for my actions starting today. You guys can call me out too if you think I'm not doing my best with my friends, I probably should be catching with some of them already. I've never been the kind of person who would set goals for myself or my career in general, but that ends today with my new goal of making my new art business a success and to become a better me.
I'd like to ask you all reading this to share any moment in your life where you've felt a big wake up call like this and if it helped push you towards your goals. Whether it be something sad, something huge or something small that inspired you, feel free to share because I'd like to start a community of empathy and support for each other. The best thing my friend Stephen ever did for me, was show me how much a little kindness can go a long, long way.
Dedicated to Stephen Dillinger, I'll never forget you.