'old school' acrylic painting of Walter Payton

Time for a reboot

'old school' acrylic painting of Walter Payton

© 1979 Steve Menard

I was feeling nostalgic recently and I pulled out an old school project from my Commercial Art Program days. It was a sports illustration that I had completed during an ‘all-nighter’ sometime back in 1979 when I was in college. From what I can recall, I pulled this one off fairly quickly as I was ‘in the zone’ during a five-hour span, until I began to run out of gas at about 4 AM.

Looking at it now (after wiping off the dust and scanning it), I can see how ‘gritty’ the look of it is, and how the acrylic paint I used was put to good effect.

Then another thought hit me. I really am fond of this piece! It was done almost 35 years ago and it remains one of my favourite projects ever. So rather than drown in my beer, so to speak, I’ve decided to get back to my first love, which is illustration. Although I still enjoy the creative challenges of being a graphic designer in today’s multi-media, multi-channel world, the call to illustrate continues to pull at my heartstrings. Why not look at this moment as a time for a reboot?

Considering that we all live in the real world, my new-found enthusiasm for illustration will have to be managed in a way that I can successfully continue my freelance graphic design career in order to pay the bills, at least in the short term.

What turns has your life taken compared to what you had envisioned? Have you been brought to unexpected places that have enriched your life? Have there been decisions made (or not made) that have dragged you down? Just remember, it’s never too late to take control of your life and follow your passion.

My story is still unfolding. I’m pulling for all of you out there in the hopes that your lives will be as fulfilling as possible. Happy Holidays to all!