My name is Christopher Doehling (pronounced “dough-ling”). I’m an illustrator, but I’ve arrived at this point in my career by a circuitous route.
My story (abridged)
Growing up in the suburbs of Orlando, Florida, I was the kid who was always drawing in the margins of his math homework, and pretty much any other surface that would take a mark. I used drawing to explore subjects that interested me. But, at some point I realized that my enjoyment of drawing eclipsed my interest in the subjects being drawn. It became my favorite thing to do, as well as what I was best at. I was raised as a Christian, and I happily heeded the Biblical command that we make the best use of our gifts. I decided I would draw for a living, and I began to look to other artists for inspiration. I found that my favorites were those whose art told stories, and that they were generally called illustrators. It seemed like a good direction to take.
But when I entered college it was popular wisdom that higher education was for obtaining full-time employment with benefits. I learned that such jobs were few and far between for illustrators, and I wanted to be responsible. So I looked for similar vocations that would result in full time employment. I embarked upon and realized two consecutive career paths, each beginning with their respective bachelor’s and master’s degree: one as a graphic designer, the other as a 3D animation production artist. But each path I took felt like a detour.
Both careers were engrossing and enjoyable in their own right, filled with valuable experiences. And both could involve drawing as a preliminary step in their processes. But I never seemed to have my fill of drawing and creating before being rushed into a gauntlet of high-tech production concerns that were not always my cup of tea. Moreover, God’s old command, heeded easily when I was young, weighed ever more with the passing of time. I would always resolve to get back into illustration… someday.
Well, no more of that. Today is someday, right? So now at last, I return to my first love, to swing a pencil once again. Once more into the breach, dear friends, once more.