Sunday, June 25, 2006

Jobby Jobby Job

You know... I've been doing this art stuff for a long time. My entire life, really. And sometime in high school I decided I could make a living at it. I still think I can. I sincerely believe that if you put your energy into what you love most, what your real talent is, everything works out for the best. You are happier, more productive... and karmically pretty taken care of. Plenty of jobs out there if one is creative about it.

About 1/3 of the way through college, I stopped working as a (miserable) waitress, and lived off of student loans and grants... so I could pay more attention to school and art. At some point I did my best to take only art-related jobs, when I WAS working. I was poor, but oh so happy ... and I felt like a 'real' artist, actually getting paid for making things. I did all kinds of art jobs... I designed a website character for an internet startup... I designed and crocheted a ton of custom sweaters for a lady who just loved hand-crocheted stuff... I worked in a traveling kid's craft activity booth at festivals... and taught in an after school program. And I started selling things at small craft fairs, which is what I knew I wanted to do the most.

After graduating (my degree was in art, figure that out yet?), I was becoming pretty active in the recreation realm. I ran a summer youth arts program. I got hired to oversee an after school program in 3 schools, and there was talk of an artist-in-residence granted position for the future. The problem with working Rec programs... is they are temporary part time positions. At a time when I needed solid income to start my Mermaid biz... I made a choice. I accepted a mon-fri 9 to 5 officegirl job... nice starting rate, paid sick and holidays, and health insurance. It was great... low stress, I learned lots of useful officechick skills, weekends off and free storage for my booth stuff.

So what am I getting to, here? Well, I guess that was when it all started... the need for the balance between artgirl life and income needs. It's been over 5 yrs now, and I have to admit that it's more difficult than I anticipated to make the artgirl pay the bills. It's a delicate balance really... between all that the Mermaid biz entails, and finding a day job that doesn't suck up all my creative/emotional energy AND pays enough to cover my living needs.

Because the Mermaid comes first. I'd rather live in a cardboard box with my art supplies, than sell my soul at a job I hate. Those who know me, know that I really mean that... jeesh, I've come pretty close to box-living. Ha.

So... that's what I was going to cover here, how my current day job is perfect for this end. And what a struggle it's been the past yr or so to get the whole job thing properly aligned. But now I think that will take another post...

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