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Hold on to what is good even if it is a handful of earth.
Hold on to what you believe even if it is a tree which stands by itself.
Hold on to what you must do even if it is a long way from here.
Hold on to life even when it is easier letting go.
Hold on to my hand even when I have gone away from you.
- Pueblo Blessing

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Monday, Apr. 19, 2004 - 5:27 p.m.

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The Doubtfulness of Absolute Truth and Beating on Faithful Dogs

ooooo ooooo ooooo!!! So EXCITING!!

I have really been hoping to get some more work lately, preferably non-objectionable work, preferably well-paying. But I still follow whatever leads are thrown my way.

Recently someone got ahold of me via the internet... a story about a streetkid who is picked up by a king who adopts him. Somehow this is supposed to be an analogy for us miserable souls who are adopted by Jesus, or God or something... anyways, who end up living in the palace of our father.

Personally I think this is a stupid analogy. First, Theoretically, we are all God's children. From his loins and all, made in his image. So we are not strangers he decides to pick up off the street from the goodness of his soul (does God have a Soul? Can God die? Does He reincarnate??) and adopt "as his own". Jeesh. And what is that? Some get picked up by the Rich King to be brought home to live in luxury and love in his rich palace? Now the bloody King should perhaps step down in favor of a republic... if it isn't taken by force à la French Revolution, and his riches passed out to the poor streeet urchins, and maybe their parents too while we're at it, so they can keep the kids at home, vs being glad that one of their poor offcastings was picked up by the King and taken to live in Versailles while all his little camarades continue to walk along barefoot with scurvy with the rats in the gutter. Geesh.

Let me just say that this vision of God is a heirarchical exclusionary monarchy, with us all abasing ourselves hoping to suck up enough to be chosen to get the goodies denied to everyone else. yum yum. What a nice religion. Not.

But I didn't need to go into my disdain for the actual gist of the fairytale they are proposing, since when they just gave the "street kid picked up by a King who adopts him being like us being taken into God's kingdom" I came clean and said I am an agnostic if not an atheist, and that I am quite interested in religions, but wanted to know if the story were nondenominational.

Haha. Here is what they wrote back:

I would call it nondenominational in the Judeo-Christian system, but it will clearly state that Jesus is the only way to a redemptive relationship with God.We are very interested in choosing an illustrator that has embraced this love in their own lives as we feel it will help them more effectively communicate both the fallen state of man and the extreme degree of redemption we have received freely in God's grace. But, I am not closed to the idea of working with you. I would just want to know you are comfortable with our view that this is Absolute Truth that can be known and received.

The story is about an African street child who is, for no merit of his own, adopted by the king and brought from the despair of the streets into the palace to live as a child of the king.

Hmmm. Jesus is the only way to a redemptive relationship with God. An illustrator who has embraced this love in their own lives. Absolute Truth. Hehe. I told them I am not comfortable with their view that it is Absolute Truth... what about all the Buddhists etc in the world. They don't have a chance at God?? It is also very curious that the street kid is "for no merit of his own" adopted by the king. Um, in the Christian saving thingie, don't you have to have the merit of your own of accepting their Absolute Truth doctrine? Like God doesn't just spirit you out of your misery with no effort on your own, selon the Christians, non? Don't you have to repent and take Jesus as your saviour and all that ritual sort of stuff (either in a Church, with a preacher, or at least very clearly in your mind and heart and actions?).

Well, I guess I don't get that contract.

A friend also passed me some info about an ad they saw in the paper:

"ILLUSTRATOR WANTED: CHILDREN'S publishing company looking for energetic, talented and motivated illustrator for book on DC's Kennedy Center. Please e-mail lisa@vspbooks.com for more information."

Well, I looked up their website, and some of it is hokey, but it doesn't seem objectionable. So I wrote for more information, mentioning that I had looked through their website, and enjoyed drawing informative books. I said I had worked on other documented, historical work about buildings and places (sending them some links to reviews and my art style online). Well, they replied today with this:
Thank you for your interest. VSP Books is a children's book publisher that specializes in books about special and historic places. We are looking for an energetic, talented and motivated illustrator for a new children's book about music and symphony orchestras. You can learn more about our company at www.vspbooks.com. This project is on a work-for-hire, fee-only basis. Send color copies (NO ORIGINALS) of your artwork to Symphony Book Project, VSP Books. No phone calls, please. Materials will not be returned.
Um, does this tell us much more than the first ad? First, it is about a completely different book (I'm not so good at drawing symphony orchestras... horrible... all those people with instruments in rows in perspective. Glll) and secondly, I had written that I had looked at their website. I think from that I got what kind of book they specialize in. If I hadn't I wouldn't even have contacted them. Gll. I suppose I can try to email them again, but they don't seem to know how to read, and just send out stock replies. Why would I send them color copies if I don't even know if I am interested (ie bad deadlines, bad pay etc), or if they like my art style?? It is a waste of everyone's time.

Which leads us to this interesting oooo oooo oooo thing. A children's company I am very impressed by, here in town, has just phoned me up and offered me a contract. I bet you anything that it pays shit. But they do the most beautiful artistic books and it is something to really put into my portfolio. The writer is actually an editor who hires me at his own company (illustrating stories other writers write), so he has worked with me twice and knows my drawings. So this isn't cold calling. It is quite exciting.

So they sent me the manuscript to see what I think... it is great! It will be hard in a way, since the story is not very nice. It is a wee bit preachy, in that it is about a guy who gets "adopted" by a not very nice, not very pretty, dog, and who keeps trying to dump it. In the woods, in another town, and finally he takes it out into a lake and throws it off the boat, and whacks it with a paddle to get it away. The preachy part is that the guy then falls out of the boat, cannot swim, and ends up being saved by the dog. Not surprisingly it is then HIM who is inseparable from the dog, instead of the other way around. Hehe. I like children's books where the characters are not nice. A mean man and a dirty ugly dog. Cool. But I will have to see what they have in mind for the drowning scene. I wonder if they mind if children reading it have nightmares. I have read other books they have done, in which there was a mean dog who attached a little fairy, and the man dies saving the fairy. It is a beautiful book but the pictures are very scary. That bodes well.

Anyways, this will end up being another project like Bear, which will take lots of time, tons of energy, but that I will be proud of, and may get well-seen. And I probably won't really make any money. But Yay anyways! So very exciting!

Back to my Far North book... I am being a good girl and working on it instead of going to the café this afternoon. The weather is helping me in that, since it is gale force winds, with bouts of downpour mixing with the gusts of filth from the street whirling about. Glll.

Tonight, in another entry, I will scan in some of the Far North sketches I am working on.

Later!!

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previous meanderings - future past

Goodbye Michael. May your next life be kinder to you. - Thursday, Jun. 25, 2009
Taking Care of Your Cows - Thursday, Jun. 25, 2009
Saint Joseph robs the cradle and eats spaghetti - Sunday, Jun. 14, 2009
sticky notes and broken irises - Friday, Jun. 12, 2009
The FOODCOMMANDER - Monday, Jun. 08, 2009

 

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