I felt compelled to share this today!
Here is a pic of my very very first published work, from when I was about 9 years old. It was fan art in Betty & Veronica (Archie) #89
I labored and toiled over every aspect of that piece. It had to be perfect. Betty's hair had to be down and flowing, and not up in that ugly ponytail. I broke out my treasured "hidden color" Crayola markers for Veronica's pants, that I only used for special occasion drawings. I went through so many versions of their clothes before settling on those outfits. And funny enough, my 9 year old self much have been channeling my inner preference for Betty, as you'll see she's standing dominantly over Veronica, hogging the spotlight ;p
I was so proud of this piece when I sent it away to Archie.
A couple of years later I got a letter from Archie (which was promptly framed) in an official looking envelope (also framed :p) letting me know it was chosen to be printed in Betty & Veronica #89. When it was printed, my mother bought a ton of copies at the supermarket and showed it to everyone she could. The checkout lady, some guy in the parking lot, everyone who came over to our house, and it was an amazing feeling to see my work printed in the same issue with professional artist's that I admired.
It was an important part of my life because at that moment I knew I wanted to become a comic book artist. I was sure of it. Before this I didn't have the confidence necessary to keep trying to drawing and keep practicing. I honestly didn't feel my art was worth the effort. I would look at all the amazing published work out there, then look at mine, and feel discouraged. It's hard to separate that I was only a kid, and that if I kept practicing I could become somebody. Seeing my work in print helped me feel my worth. Seeing my parents pride in me helped me feel my confidence.
So if you see an opportunity to give positive support to an aspiring creator today, I hope you do it. Maybe your comment will be their important moment where they realize their worth and keep trying. This is why I included all experience levels, especially children, in Womanthology. The project was made for them and all the other aspiring creative people out there. Want to know a way to send good vibes right now? There's a young artist in Womanthology Space #1 named Anna Bowie who just got her first pinup published by IDW. Go check it out and let her father know here on twitter what you thought.
And thanks to Archie for printing my work all those years ago! :)