Ignore the headline, I was just trying to be funny and get your attention.
Over the years I’ve made statements to the effect of, “I don’t want to get famous,” or, “the only reason to get famous is so that I can get more work without having to look so hard.”
I still stand by those statements. I don’t want to be a glory hog. The very thought of it makes me break out in a sweat. I guess it’s how I was raised.
Admittedly, when I was younger I had a real swelled head. When some of my friends were kind enough to point that swelling out (rather than simply abandoning me for the jerk I was becoming) I tried really hard to come down from that ego trip. I guess it worked, because I’ve been working in vague anonymity for most of my career.
But lately I’ve begun to recognize the importance of self-promotion, and have done things like streamline my webpage (www.jameslyle.net), get my face out in the public eye more, try to secure more convention appearances, comic shop signings, etc.
But in the past couple of months a strange phenomenon has been happening. Whereas in the past I would kiddingly do the thing where I’d interview myself and post it online, now OTHER people are asking me for interviews. I mean, with no prodding from me at all! Just out of the blue.
Some have been old friends. For example my old college class mate Ben Riddling from the BS Comics Podcast (https://www.facebook.com/BsComicsPodcast) did an interview with me a few weeks back, that was pretty fun. Then a day or so ago a coordinator at maCares who I just did a volunteer gig with for Patriot Rovers (http://patriotrovers.org/) wrote to ask me to do an interview.
Oh, and the folks at Self Publisher! Magazine (http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1013261909/keep-self-publisher-magazine-free#!) also just asked for an interview!
On October 24 I’m supposed to go on Knoxville station WBIR-TV’s “Live at Five at Four”, and the next morning I’m supposed to be a guest on Star 102.1 Radio’s “Marc and Kim Show! I didn’t arrange these things–Charlie Daniel (not the musician, the cartoonist who draws for the Knoxville News) and his wife Patsy did all the arranging. They just decided that I had “a radio voice” and so should promote the Southeast Chapter of the National Cartoonists Society gathering that same weekend.
So there are two things I’m trying to do with all this media attention: 1) Not let it go to my head. (That goal is key–no desire to see all my friends taking a walk because I’m acting obnoxious!) 2) Parlay this into more work / better paying work. (This second goal is nearly as important as the first, as this has been a hard year–well, decade–okay, career!)
Did I mention that I’m also going to be doing my first ever one-man show at an area arts center during the middle of all of this? I’ve got around 40 pieces of my art going up at the Swain County Arts Center, with a reception on October 6–where “my band” (actually it’s “our band” thank you, there are four of us), Gypsy Bandwagon, will be playing…
That is, after I give a brief talk about “my art”.
You have no idea how dumb I feel having typed that. “My art”, like I’m Rembrandt or something. But it’s part of the process of self-promotion. I just don’t feel all that comfortable being the center of attention. I mean, I crave attention as much as the next person, but I fear cheesing off everyone I know at the same time.
Does any of this make sense? If I didn’t want any attention I could just not write a blog, right? But I started this thing at the suggestion of several friends and it’s apparently taking off–just don’t want to chop any friendships to bits with the prop as the thing picks up speed.
(How’s that for a metaphor?)