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Janee, thanks for sharing this thought. It's something I've been struggling with lately, trying to decide which direction to go in. Not that I'm any clearer today than I was a week ago, but it was more food for thought!

Thanks for posting this, I can really identify with it. I had to make a decision to focus on one area and it was tough letting go of the things that were making money for me. But I'm more at peace now with myself.I love where you said, "every side path still moves me forward". YES! Just because I feel like I may be on a side path, I'm still moving in the right direction. That really inspired me today, Janee, thanks.

thanks so much for the inspiration and reminder not to be so scattered! I really needed that today!

I guess you could say I am more often scattered than focused. I admire your ability to choose one direction and channel your energies into it. At least your various directions have all fallen under the umbrella of illustration and design. I expend much energy on obsessive bursts of random fixations. But after a time, each of these find their way into my illustration work, one way or the other. But if I want to reach my career goals, I need to put more energy into concrete efforts towards that end. Thanks for the inspiration!

Thanks for sharing your thoughts on these matters, Janee. I'm glad to hear that you've found a direction that's a good fit for you. In answer to your question (which was rhetorical, of course), no, I'm not sure where I'm going. The scattered and unfocused part of the journey is valuable, though, but it's much nicer to get past that...for a while. :)

Another entry that rings true here!
Thanks for the reminder to stay focused :)

I've responded via email to everyone, but I wanted to say here that Paula is absolutely right. The unfocused part of the journey does have tremendous value too; that was the part of the journey where I really honed my skills. I just didn't really "go" anywhere. :-)

The journey is just as important as the destination because it teaches you things and things about yourself, as is keeping an open mind on the journey because sometimes the destination becomes tweeked a little.

It's true, the journey is important, and you need to keep your eyes and mind open on the way. For me though, I needed a concrete destination. Obviously, all goals are flexible, it's the nature of goals, but you've got to know what your goal is before you can tweak it.

I feel you with your posting! Finding direction and doing what one loves is one of the most gratifying things in life, and a wonderful side effect is that it shows in ones work. It keeps me going!

Wow! You said something that really clicked with me. I got my degree in design/commercial art (that's what they used to call it!) and also loved to illustrate. I picked a design career because I thought I could always incorporate illustration in my designs. Well, the path my career ended up taking didn't allow much of that! And at forty, I am trying to get refocused and really try to do what I love. Looking on the web and finding Illustration Friday and other illustrator's blogs like yours did more to inspire me than anything ever before! I really love your work – thanks for the inspiration!

Very inspiring Janee. I've definitely been there, and am still well on my way. I've been working full-time as a designer/Flash animator for many years, and did humorous illustration on the side just to scratch an itch that my job couldn't satisfly. It proved very exhausting at times, trying to satisfy that dream, as well as be a good father and husband. My full-time job will soon change to help me fulfill my dreams, and all I can say is "Never, ever, ever, ever, give up" - Sir Winston Churchill.

Focusing is so very valuable. Good luck to you Janee, you deserve it!

Hi Janee, this is my first time on your blog. I love your blog and your illos.

I agree what you have written. I got a taste with quite a vast range of career, made some terrible choices. I did get a little lost and confused at one point. Thank goodness for my husband's constant reminder that I am good with illustrations, I managed to turn my boat around to the direction where my strength and passion lies. Like you said it wasn't a straight path, but the journey of self-discovery is very rewarding.

The support and encouragement I get from friends from Illustration Friday is just amazing.

Thanks for the reminder - follow your heart.

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