I think we live in an amazing time where we can actually find ways of interacting with the creators and artists that inspire us to be our best selves. Last August I went to FanExpo Toronto and got to meet my childhood hero Peter Cullen the voice of Optimus Prime. It was a wonderful day and Peter was an awesome person. He signed my Animation Cel and Drawing and personalized them with nerdy Transformer’s quotes even though the woman organizing the event said “Hey, he’s not supposed to do that. That’s extra!” lol. It was really great being able to tell him how important Optimus Prime was to me and how grateful I am for his great portrayal.
They always say “Don’t Meet your heroes.” But I think that’s completely wrong. I think we should meet the people who inspire us. Assuming they do public appearances that they want to. I’m totally cool with professionals like Bill Watterson being private. That’s totally their right too and we must respect it. But if your favourite creator does do public appearances I am of the opinion that it’s worth the investment of time and money to go see them and thank them in person.
I watched David Finch one of my great comic art heroes drawing and a question was asked “Do you approve of the racial diversity in comics now?” and David Finch was like “I think everyone should see themselves in comics. Comics are for everyone.” And the audience burst into applause. It was great to be there to see the tide shifting in comics to include everyone.
I was recently asked how to be a professional artist and I gave the advice of doing unpaid internships. I know lots of people hate on the unpaid internship. However, if you can swing it one of the most important things to do as a young creator is see people being what you want to be so you can model it. We have to see people like us doing things we want to do.
So meet your heroes. And one day, you might be the hero to someone else!