It's that time of year artists everywhere are putting on their creative hat and enrolling in Lilla Rogers Global Talent Search. I enjoyed every minute of last years competition. It was the final assignment for months spent in Lillas class Make Art that Sells and a perfect way to wrap up all that I had learned during my time with her. Well, I didn't win. In fact I didn't come in the top 50 either. I like to think I was hovering around 51st... I wasn't planning on entering this year. I love the process and brief of the competition, but my plate is full of design work and life it is just plain old busy in the summer around here. Yet, here I am! Call it a severe case of FOMO. What persuaded me in the end was this little video by Lilla herself and much discussion within my design community. I may have rolled my eyes a few times during the video but, as always, Lilla brings a smile to my face. She is truthful and straightforward. She makes you believe. Follow the link here to watch on Vimeo I made a promise to put myself out there in 2014. I am sowing seeds and, as cliche as it sounds, Lilla is on to something with her "inch by inch success is a cinch" I am also a strong believer that no art is ever wasted. So why not? I am not sure how I am going to approach this years top secret brief. I spent yesterday on the couch eating cookies and thinking long and hard about it all.I didn't have an ounce of creativity within me, but my head was swirling with ideas. Unfortunately, the theme is one that has been done before and I am feeling a little hard pressed to come up with an original idea that is all me and my style. Something fresh.. A bit of research and some doodling, trying to put something together in my head and a starting point. I would like this piece to be traditional - very limited digital. I am pulling all my tricks out of the bag for this one. Sketching, painting, cutting paper...I have to trust that it will all come together, but right now I have a little bit of everything on the go. Some messy freehand dip pen work. My mind works best this way with no preconceived plan. Things are always pretty darn good at this point...then I add paint and it all goes a little sideways.. I think I will save my dip pen work for illustrator and some digital work. I don't mind the end result below - it's not what I have in mind, but it's all about the process of discovering what exactly it is that I have going on in my mind. I hope that makes sense. From here I usually take elements I like and start to expand on them further. I know what shapes and textures I like and I do love to cut and collage paper. So the lingering questions remains... Do you stick with your style in a safe and easy way - a joyful way - do what you do best .. OR do you throw it all out to the wind and create way out of your comfort zone with the possibility that it may suck. Haha..actually, that's not funny, it's plain old painful, disheartening and definitely discouraging. For example.. I haven't a clue where this is going on how it even got there. It was fast and it was furious and honestly, I am a bit stuck. There is something I like about it, unfortunately I haven't figured out what that something is! It is this kind of work that takes me out of my comfort zone. I will finish it, but I am just not sure it will be in time to be submitted. The clock is ticking.... Best of luck to everyone out there! This is my community. I follow and support these people and vice versa. I will be thrilled to see any one of you win!