Do whatever’s necessary to do something fun today. Find a reason to laugh today. A reason to collaborate and to build with others today. Lastly, find whatever it is that motivates you to stay focused on your goals/dreams and just do that today!
I’m always curious about why people do the things they do. No matter if they are well seasoned or just getting started, I love when an artist sets out to express their thoughts on the world. These are people I find exciting and I’d like to introduce you to them and help spread the word about their awesomeness.
Meet Arp Laszlo,
I met Arp about five years ago at a Chamber Of Commerce networking function here in Dunedin, Florida. At the time he was a web developer and designer over at EchoLeaf. Already a father of four, a web builder and a lot on his plate, Arp still had the need to tap back into his creative mind of what his passions were calling him to do and make money doing it in the process. Art! Specifically as an illustrator.
Being an artist myself, I was looking for traits that would show signs of putting in the work and taking it seriously, because making a living as a creative is not an easy task. It takes a lot of work to get where you want to be. Still interested in his “why”, Arp agreed to answer a short list of questions. Here’s a preview of what we’re to expect to see from him in the future.
Q: Why are you making the shift from web guy to illustrator?
Art is what I should have been doing all along. I wanted to attend art school at 11; as a teen, I wanted to be a cartoonist. But having a phenomenal short-term memory meant I got very good grades so I was pushed into more ‘practical’ pursuits by well-meaning people who had never done a creative thing in their lives. Rather than just do something to make a living, I’d rather scratch my creative itch and make a living doing something that engages me wholeheartedly.
Q: What inspires you to illustrate?
Honestly, I don’t know. I’ve just drawn my whole life, except for a bunch of years in my 20s & early 30s where it was pushed aside for other pursuits. But once I got back into it I just drew more and more. What really helped was technology because I can explore techniques that are impossible in analog art. And being able to paint without any setup is a godsend.
But more than anything, it just makes sense to me. That’s not saying that I’m great at it – there are frustrating aspects too as my skills doesn’t meet my standards in many areas. But I’m clear on what I do well and what my limitations are. And the hunger to improve has never been present in anything I’ve done just for money. I just know this is what I’m supposed to do.
Q: How many projects do you have going on at once?
2 art projects currently – which would be 3 if you count my efforts to improve and learn skills. On the web side I usually juggle between 3-6 projects at a time.
Q: What would you like people to know about you as an illustrator?
That I’m available for work. And if you’re looking for someone influenced by comics and children’s books, that I may be the one you’re looking for. Check my work and see if it resonates with you.
Q: What are your overall goals?
To be a complete creator working on graphic novels and stories. And getting the chance to work for hire on interesting projects.
Other places to find Arp.
I rarely get the chance to spend a lot of time with my nephews, but a few weeks ago for a few hours, I got the chance to do just that. It was my oldest nephew’s first day of a few days suspension from school, after getting involved in some silliness kids get into at school sometimes. Instead of leaving him at home “on punishment” eating junk food and watching Netflix, his mom signed him up to be my photo assistant for the day.
He got the chance to meet people and see me interact with a client and be a part of a two-man production team resulting in getting work done. I can’t quantify if he had fun that day, but I will go out on a limb and say he learned how adults get work done in the real world. Also, I’d say he learned how managing client expectations is important. And lastly, if we take the time to provide clear guidance and show some patience, learning can happen anywhere and school is always in session.
What’s your superpower? I spent the better part of last year struggling to answer this question. I say I struggled with it because I had so many mixed emotions behind how I identified myself as a creative. I’ve been a designer since I could remember, though it’s been recently that I’ve been questioning, is that it?
Am I only this person who has become very skilled at organizing art and copy on a page to sell products that I really could less than a fuck about? I mean, is the reason, I’m good at being a designer it’s really my god given talent and that’s all there is and I should be happy with that and work harder at making it big as a designer?
I struggled with the question because I could not help but think, there is more to this. There’s got to be a bigger reason I’m blessed with a creative mind and being a designer may only be a tool I have at my disposal to call on. The idea of having a superpower and figuring out what mine is. That thought holds the key to a bigger world of possibilities. Possibilities I can go after and serve others by being nothing more than what I’ve been my whole life. Myself!
Understanding my ability to take complicated issues and get down to its true purpose. Then turn around and walk others through a process they can use to move forward with their own dreams. I’ll work with them until they understand and have full confidence that they are ready to turn their dreams into goals and work to achieve them. So my power is to live my life. Big or small. Rich or with little means.
Then take all of the experiences and skills collected along the way and use them to help others build their futures. Now!
What’s your superpower? What’s that one trait you have that pulls you to act, without being asked to? Prioritize your life around that, then use the skills you pick up along the way as tools in your belt on your way to achieving awesomeness.
Photo by: Leon Robinson
Are we all creative? Deep down inside everyone, is there a problem-solver waiting for permission to come out and contribute? Why are there still so few of us who step forward and accept the responsibility and the risk of being called “creative”? We all have the capability to be magical. To be visionary. And the only thing that separates us from the non-creatives is the tenacity to keep creating, no matter what.