Firstly, please pardon my blogging absence.
Secondly, Autumn. Everyone and their dog seems to love Autumn, but for me, Autumn generally signifies the end of things; the end of summer, relationships, and more recently, lives. If you've read my blog for a while you'll be no stranger to the fact that I struggle throughout the Autumn and Winter months, and on the 1st of October this year, Autumn did as it always does and took with it something from me that I love, and this time it was my Nannan.
We were laid on the beach in Cyprus on the penultimate day of our holiday when we received the phone call letting us know that my Nannan had passed away. None of us were prepared for or expected it, so it was difficult for us all to take in. We quickly packed up our belongings and headed home on an early flight later the same day.
Dying doesn't scare me, but death does. Dying's easy because there's no devastation to deal with, but getting on with life after you lose a big part of it is difficult. Earlier this year I lost my Uncle to cancer, and watching my Nannan and Granddad bury him was hard, but knowing I'll have to watch my Granddad bury his partner of 60+ years is going to break my bloody heart. It's a cliche, but it's amazing how losing someone really helps to put things into perspective, and forces you to appreciate what you have, while you have it. I didn't think when I said goodbye to my Nan before my holiday that it'd be the last time that I'd see her, and now I'm regretting not making more of that moment. I suppose it's true that we only regret what we don't do, not what we do. From now on, I'm really going to try and make the most of everyone and everything, because you never know how long you've got left to appreciate them.
Like me, Connie couldn't quite get the hang of Autumn...
While I was away, I received some good news as well as bad. I received an email inviting me to an interview for a Junior Designer position at a London based publishing house. I was approached by the publishing house's Creative Director at New Blood and was asked to apply back in July, and in all honesty, I'd given up on hearing back about the position, so it really did make my day to receive the email. My interview is on the 19th October so recently I've been vetting my portfolio, brushing over some interview questions and doing more research on the company. I'm trying really hard to not get my hopes, but it would be a dream come true. I suppose all I can do is be honest, genuine and well prepared, and just see where it goes from there.
As well as that, on Tuesday I met with an illustration agency. We chatted through my portfolio and it was really encouraging to hear agents with such knowledge of the publishing industry speaking so confidently about the potential of my work. Alternatively, it was also refreshing to receive some constructive criticism for the first time since finishing university. I've been trying hard to stay busy since I left university, but it's really hard to gauge any progress I might be making when I've no one to feed back to me, so I'm excited to begin working with an agency and frequently receiving feedback and actively improving my work from it. I sent over my signed contract and examples of my work on Wednesday morning, so now I'm just waiting for everything to be uploaded onto their website. I cannot wait to see my name and work represented by an agency that represents so many fantastic illustrators whose work I respect and admire!
My future at the moment is still a blur to me, but I'm just making the most of everything in the moment. I love working at Lush, I'm excited to try my hand at freelance illustration, and I'm also chuffed that I've been invited to interview at a huge publishing house. However things go over the next few months, I'll take it all in my stride. All you can do is make the most of what you have at any moment in time.