This week's theme over at Illustration Friday is "Focus." Yet another one of those serendipitous confluences as the theme itself seems to come into focus in my life.
It's that time of the year when my profession requires me to engage in the ritual of the annual review. Polish up the CV, review what I accomplished in 2009, match that against what I said I would do, extrapolate from all that my plan for 2010. I always put this bit of administrivia off until the last moment. I loathe it, and I am convinced it will yield nothing but internal angst over my lack of direction, my lack of clear focus. And yet, every year as I fill out the paperwork, I find I was more productive than I thought, and that there is a more or less clear direction in my labors.
And that's the point of it all, I guess: to demonstrate for others but also for myself that I am delivering on my commitments to profession. To bring into sharp relief the fruits of those labors. Still, it is exhausting work. Even if the message is ultimately confirming, I find myself drained by the effort. All evidence to the contrary, I feel like I've lost my way.
So. A dark illustration in shades of gray. A lonely alley with noir shadows. A face lost in black ink and crosshatch. Call this an illustration of inner turmoil. See in it how too much introspection, even if required, ends up being an exercise in beating your head against a wall. And somehow, at the very edge of the frame, my life swimming in and out of focus.