What Lies Between the Lines...
They don't tell you about the nights when you'll cry; when you'll curse and rave and throw wadded up tissues at the monitor. They don't tell you about the number of times you'll want to throw your pencil or brush or tablet pen in the garbage disposal and flip the switch.
They don't tell you about the time spent painting insane detail onto tiny things that no one will ever see, ever appreciate, ever understand except to say "nice" or "pretty" or "wow"--none of which ever come close to how you felt when you painted it. How you felt when you stepped back and stared and were awed for a moment that you had pulled something like *that* out of your brain and your hands and your skill. They dont tell you how it will feel, for that one moment, to glow like a god, having just created a world.
They don't tell you how it's going to feel when that isn't enough. They don't tell you that sometimes it will never be enough--there will always be someone whose second best, or tossed off sketch will always be better than your best.
They don't tell you about the long hours, the late hours, the hours that you lose when you're in the zone and the ticking of the clock is no more noticeable to you than breathing. They don't tell you about the nights when you'll lay there agonizing over a layout for hours; your eyes painting images on the ceiling; or the mornings when it will suddenly mesh together like magic and your brush will almost fly.
They don't tell you that you'll have to steal the time between other things, that putting the pen down will be as agonizing as chopping off a finger or a hand. They dont tell you that youll have to do this several times a day.
They never tell you that sometimes, often in fact, the inspiration won't be there. Or that you'll have to find it anyway.
They don't tell you that it's never fair. That sometimes it's popularity that counts, not skill; that sometimes it's skill that counts, not talent; that sometimes it's talent that counts, not effort; and that sometimes effort is the only thing you'll have.
They don't tell you that you'll never really be respected. That you'll feel like the unicorn in the menagerie: a beautiful curiosity that most people will still suspect is a fake.
They don't tell you that you'll be expected to give it away, over and over, that they want you to be freer with your skills than a back alley whore, that they'll never even think you're worth a dime until you charge them 10,000 dimes for a sketch.
They don't tell you that the only way you get respect is to respect yourself and your skills and your abilities...and that sometimes doing that will be harder than you can possibly imagine.
They don't tell you these things, because in the end, it'd be pointless.
If you love it, you'll do it anyway.