As many of you know, I got married late last year, and with that came a change of name. While this has mostly been a matter of paperwork, it also gives me the opportunity to re-brand and redesign my site/cards/etc. (which I think is a healthy thing to do about once a year anyway). So though I go by K. A. K. Lecky now, the important things won't change. I will continue to illustrate and to write (I might feature more of the latter on my site this year). And with any luck, I will also continue to grow and change as an artist.
This won't be a dramatic change, mind you. I still illustrate for the same markets and will continue to do so, but I feel my personal aesthetic has shifted a good deal. After hearing a talk last fall by the brilliant Giuseppe Castellano, art director at Penguin, I feel somehow as if I have permission to make the sort of art I want, even if it's not the cute and colorful sort normally thought of as for children's books. His main point was to make good art. That's all. It can be dark, or strange, or serious; it doesn't matter, as long as it's good art. That has really stuck with me and in a sense has allowed me to follow my curiosity in ways which are both personally meaningful and challenging for me.
I think as artists, one of the greatest battles we fight is between producing what we feel naturally drawn to create and what we think other people want. When in reality, it's my belief that people don't know what they want. So it's really a losing battle from the start. So this year, I'm challenging myself to say "what is it that I truly want to create?" and "what has meaning for me?" instead of "what will sell?" or "what will be popular?". Because the latter is built on little more than guesswork. Only with the former can I hope to communicate something different, something meaningful.
I'll try to be better with blog posts in 2017; are there any topics you'd particularly like me to cover? Questions you'd like me to mull over? Let me know here or send me an email at email@example.com .