It’s exciting building something new, from scratch. When I started doing Kim & Jason full time almost a year and a half ago, I guess I didn’t really know what to expect. I didn’t know it would be this fun. I didn’t know it would be this tough, either.
From the beginning, one of the goals has always been to get syndicated or picked up for a big licensing deal. Then I could concentrate on the artwork and let someone else focus on the business and the finances and the marketing. Well, those doors have yet to open up, so I’ve pretty much been left with two options: give up, or do all those things on my own. Actually, there really wasn’t much of an option at all.
Luckily, I’ve had a lot of help along the way. I’ve done a lot of reading – I joke that I’ve learned more in my three years out of school than I did while I was in college. I’ve got a nice collection of “Idiot’s Guides” and “Dummies” books in my repertoire. I’ve met a lot of fine people with way more experience than me who have been gracious enough to not laugh in my face when I tell them what I’m doing.
Things have steadily grown, and doors keep opening for us, but I always think I’m not doing enough, or that I’m missing something. Is the strip good enough? What can we add to the site to make it better? How can we effectively get the word out about this thing and still make our car payment? How many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop?
As many times as my mind wrestles with the current situation and the best way to proceed, I usually come back to the fact that it’s patience that I’m missing most.
The waiting has been the hardest part. And giving up some of the things that I could have were I to settle for the 9 to 5 corporate job. You know: house, kids, leather La-Z-Boy, frequent trips to Disneyland…But every time I think of changing directions, I think of how unhappy and unfulfilled I’d be doing that, and it makes the waiting bearable again.
One of the things that drive me are all the people who believe in me and support me. I feel as though I’ve got something to prove. I believe that everyone should go after their dream, no matter what their fears or society tells them. I think the only way to be most happy with life is to be doing what you love to do. Even though many others have succeeded before me in this aim, I feel like I’m a living experiment. If I can do this, anyone can. I’m just a kid from Peru, Illinois who cried on his first day of Kindergarten because he was afraid of new situations and didn’t make it through swimming lessons until he towered over the instructors because he was afraid of drowning.
Sure, it takes some talent. But people usually are somewhat talented in the thing they love to do, even if that particular talent isn’t as flashy as slam dunking a basketball. It really takes a lot of persistence, a boatload of patience, and a heavy dosage of pa** ion and faith, which anyone can acquire. And when I think of what lies ahead if doors keep opening and I stay on course, everything seems worthwhile and easier to swallow. Which brings me back to the waiting. The excruciating, impossible, virtuous waiting.
Do they have an Idiot’s Guide to that?