How old is too old?
This is a question I’ve been wrestling with for some time now, particularly as I battle my insecurities about my work and, even more particularly, that sinking feeling that I’m doing too little, too late. On a certain level, I know that if I don’t try to get a handle on my art now, I’ll just be that much older when everything does come together (yes, I’m an eternal optimist, just a dour and grumpy one). So I guess the REAL question is: Would I rather end up an old bag with a failed, late-in-life art practice behind me, or just… an old bag? I think we all know the answer to THAT question (hint: it’s the one with the words “failed art practice” in it. Got it? Ok, moving on…)
This is why the loss of talented artist and illustrator Kim Kincaid is especially poignant for me. Here is someone who not only returned to art only once her children had left the nest (i.e. she was older than I am now), but as a voracious reader of fantasy novels, imagining what her favourite characters looked like and bringing them to life was the spark of inspiration she needed to start drawing again in the first place. That’s right, folks: without the wonderful world of *fanart, we would never have had the beautiful art of Kim Kincaid!
In an interview with Agnes Meszaros from a few months ago, Kincaid readily admitted to having to stare down her age-related insecurities, particularly at the beginning of her career. If that doesn’t have you saluting her in admiration, just try imagining signing yourself up for an illustration class and walking in on the first day to find that, not only are you far older than your fellow students, but also the instructor! Luckily for Kincaid, her desire to learn outweighed any feelings of awkwardness – that’s how determined she was to improve her skills and practice her art. We should all be so fearless…
*It seems only fitting to follow up a semi-apologetic post about doing fanart with a post dedicated to the work of someone who happily embraced it!