I am in my fifth month of making a living in the Arts. Each month seems to bring more opportunities and creative challenges. The purpose of this blog is to keep myself motivated and on track and to provide knowledge for those looking to make a similar decision.
In my final days working in a retail job I felt stuck in, I started doubting that my decision to leave was wise. In fact, I knew it wasn’t wise but I was miserable enough to take a risk and quit. As I tried to fall asleep those last few nights I would imagine the different ways in which this decision could turn out:
1. MY DREAM SCENARIO: I would be able to be fully immersed in my passionate, personal work mostly involving illustrating children’s books, or filming and animating my own movies.
2. NOT WHAT I WAS EXPECTING BUT I’LL TAKE IT: I would be able to scrape by doing small creative jobs such as graphic design for local businesses and have no time for all the fun personal projects. At least I would be out of a retail job I hated and doing creative work.
3. BIGGEST MISTAKE OF MY LIFE: I would fail. Nobody would hire me or find value in what I could offer and I would lose my house, having to go crawling back to a steady paying yet unfulfilling job.
I am telling you this because by taking calculated risks that are true to who you want to be (not who you currently are), working every day to meet your goals, and being flexible with the opportunities that come up, you will eventually find success. I have not reached my destination exactly but the version of me that existed five months ago never expected such a fun, fulfilling journey.
WHAT HAPPENED IN MARCH…
March was a big month for me both personally and professionally. My son Jonah was born and it changed my life overnight. Knowing that I have someone to take care of is so motivating to keep working and improving in everything I do.
I continued animating a dream sequence for the horror film Dolly Deadly involving an audience of twisted dolls cheering the main character on, and also created a monster T-shirt, and illustrated print for The Spaceman Kickstarter backers.
I was given the opportunity to display my two films along with stop-motion puppets and miniatures for the MONCA (Museum of Northern California Art) Gallery in Chico, CA. The puppets and films played for the whole month and I gave an artist talk to an encouraging audience with excellent questions.
Exposure from The MONCA gallery helped me book additional talks for April speaking to 3 Butte College Film Classes, my picture was in the local paper, and I was offered the Art at the Matador Scholarship Room in May to display my work to 4,000 expected guests.
The smaller graphic design jobs have started to become steady, and more people are asking for quotes on video production and stop-motion animation projects. I am actually at a place where I have to turn work away.
So far I’d say things are somewhere in-between “My Dream Scenario” & “Not What I was Expecting.” I’ll take it.