Every once in a while, something happens that you don’t expect will affect you.
Around January, SVA called and wanted to add me to a section of the alumni magazine in that they select an area of the country and focus on graduates from that location. I thought ‘That’s pretty cool.’ and answered a couple of questions had a quick phone discussion with the writer and moved on. I didn’t expect much more than a short paragraph and a postage stamp image of my work.
I remember vividly being at that school barely having a chip-shot-in-hell of a chance to succeed in illustration. I’d look at variations of this publication when attending, dreaming that one day I will be an illustrator and maybe find myself in one of these sorts of publications. You know those sort of grand dreams of what ‘success’ means to a 20 year old.
I had no vision how becoming an illustrator would happen. I certainly didn’t have the chops for it at the time. It took at least 10 years after graduating before I was actually moderately happy with the work I was creating. After a few years, things like being part of an alumni magazine just faded away as one of those things I was stupid enough to delude myself into thinking I could be part of - like doing work for 'name' publications like Rolling Stone which I still have never worked for.
A few days back, I started getting texts from friends with photos of the magazine. I didn’t expect to see that I was on the cover and a spread introducing the section. Whoa. I still haven’t seen the physical copy yet but I got the PDF.
In the last couple of months, between when I was asked and finding out about this, it made me think and realize how honored I feel to be recognized by my old school like this 25-ish years later. It brought up a lot of old thoughts about school and starting my career. I didn’t have a great time at SVA not because it was a bad school but life circumstances got in the way of fully realizing what I could get out of school. (Basically being poor and working up to 3 jobs while attending full time.) It also reminded me of the wonderful conversations I had with Marshall Arisman when he still taught undergrad and Lisa Desimini who was a huge influence early on when she taught there and so many others that kept me inspired to keep pursuing this.
In the grand scheme of things, it is an alumni magazine and not what is traditionally a ‘high-end nod’, at least I’m not sure it is - and maybe I used up too many words on this. The magazine will certainly be forgotten - and forgotten pretty quickly, I’d imagine. Maybe some new young staffer in the alumni office 10 years from now will rummage through these old copies found in the basement and make a decision to throw them out because of space constraints or some other sad story we’ve all heard.
Still. This has made me realize how much of a personal honor it is to me and remind me of all those little experiences back then that brought me here. My experiences are absolutely way beyond anything I could have dreamed of in 1989.
I would love to travel back in time to 1989, give a hug (he’s a hugger) to that young, financially destitute Scott who had to steal food from the supermarket he worked at in order to eat and let him know that things will turn out better than he could ever imagine and to stay focused and happy. And try acrylics sooner. And quit smoking and take up running sooner. And go to the Society more often. And….
You can read the story via a PDF here.