Because one freelance job in a creative market that may or may not be lucrative isn't enough!

Heh, err, no.

Actually, like many others, I love cartoons. As long as I can remember, I loved putting life onto paper by way of a pencil, like those I idolized. I'm not sure how old I was, maybe 10 or 11, when my mother said to me, "Aren't you a little old to be watching cartoons?" I told her no, I wasn't. "I'm doing research," I said, and went back to watching Woody Woodpecker. Tex Avery taught me what I know of depicting motion and outtakes, the background painters for the early Tom & Jerry and Looney Toons gave me an appreciation for lush scenery to provide beauty, yet contrast to the characters, and Disney nurtured my love for nature's forms and fluid movement.

For a long time, the people providing the voices were of no consequence to me. Why? Because they were so real, so convincing, so true. And they still are. From the time I was a kid, watching these cartoons, I'd imitate the voices. I was egged on by my mom, who would come up with voices for our pets. (In fact, I think my mom could get into this, if she put her mind to it!) She also encouraged me to sing. She still pokes me about not singing professionally or with a community chorus, or something, and, because I'm the one who gives her the least worries and makes her laugh, she thinks I ought to be a stand-up comedian. Nooo thanks! You know, now that I think of it, neither of my parents ever discouraged me from being anything creative. I guess the business major/teacher and the microbiology siblings who came before me were enough.

When it came time for college, though, art school was the logical path. I majored in illustration. I came out with honed art skills, but lousy business skills. Through a series of disappointments and derailments, I made little headway, both professionally and personally. Most women who say their careers were delayed cite having children as the reason. For me, it was the opposite. I fought long-undiagnosed, often cripplingly painful, and sometimes life-threatening illness for years, until it left me unable to have children at all. Laughter, the ability to make other people and myself laugh, often at my own expense, saved my life. It gave me something to look forward to when I felt all alone, outside the MommySphere. I eventually left my then husband, with whom I'd dreamed of raising a family, so that he could become the family man he so much wanted to be, and to find out what it was I was really supposed to do

I have concluded that it is my sole purpose here in this existence, to make people forget their cares, even if only momentarily, by means of laughter, story-telling, and visual art.

Why not stick with visual art? Comics? Cartoons? Greeting cards? Caricatures?

Because I realized that I was denying half of who I really am.

A Ham. And I'm talkin' Easter Supper with all the trimmings

Put a microphone in my hand and I turn into The Pleasant Announcer Lady, The Sultry Villainess, or the Disgustingly Adorable Little Girl With The Sthpeech Impediment. Let me into a pet shop and you'll possibly see some lady storm off, because she thinks the parrot just insulted her taste in shoes (which it would have, if it could have, GOD, they were awful!). Lately, I'm having a hard time restraining the Sarah Palin Voice. Then again, so is much of the Republican Party.

So, there you have it. That's My Why.

Have you got one? Reply with a link!

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Comment by Dan Roberts on February 1, 2010 at 3:01pm

I clicked on your blog because I liked your cartoon profile pic. And you drew that? Awesome!

I am a cartoonist myself, not professionally, and my animation education is much the same. I knew one day I'd be involved in cartoons, I just didn't know how! Now I'm more focused on voice-acting than drawing (although I still do that too). The work is fun (c'mon--it's play time!), the pay isn't bad for the amount of time it takes, and hearing your voice come out of a character's mouth is, in a sense, it's own reward.

Thank you for sharing your story. My wife and I have not been blessed with children either, so I can somewhat relate to you in that way, too, although illness was not a factor for us.

Best to you in your voice-over endeavors. See you on VU!

Comment by Denise Nelson on October 27, 2009 at 11:33am
An inspiring and open story...thanks for sharing. My "Why" has so many links the best way to really find out what my "Why" is >>>> google--- Ladie Most =)

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