I’m a duck… you know, those things (not the bird) that you can drive on land and in the water.
I spend a majority of my day at a job AND a good chunk being an artist/illustrator.
But all of the time, I feel like a unicorn because while most of my artist friends are counting the days until they can quit, I feel too guilty to say too loudly, “I really like my job.”
Of course, it keeps the lights on… and that’s a good thing. But there are a lot of other, not-so-tangible benefits of my job — things that I can’t get from my art practice, that actually feed my art practice.
So what does my job provide (other than income)?
1. Interaction with actual humans in real life
The day-to-day existence of an artist can be really isolating. When I go to work, I get to interact and collaborate with real people and dialogue with someone other than myself. I get the benefit from the richness of different perspectives. Generally, those other people are nicer and kinder than I am, to me. Har!
Overheard in the “conference room in my brain” can sometimes be a lot of “What were you thinking?!”
2. A place to go
… that doesn’t have a giant pile of laundry on the floor and a (pretty) good HVAC system, a much speedier internet connection and a cleaning staff… and did I mention my co-workers?
Sometimes you don’t feel like going to work but you still have to.
Sometimes you don’t want to go to a meeting but you still have to.
Sometimes you don’t want to work with… whoever… but you still have to.
This is a mindset that can make all the difference in any pursuit, whether it’s “creative” or not.
There’s this notion that you can only be creative when you’re in a creative mood.
I don’t buy it… for myself anyway because I totally used to buy it… as an awesome excuse for avoiding what was right in front of me.
Leigh Medeiros said, “I learned that sometimes when you really, really don’t feel like making anything, you make your best work.” This really struck a chord with me.
… some people bristle at the thought but I thrive on it.
I went away for a week’s vacation, I didn’t touch a paintbrush for the first three days. I started to question my commitment to my art!!! How is it that I can whip out something in an hour after work before the sun goes down but when I have wide open day…. bluuuurgh.
Perhaps it’s my parochial school upbringing.
The routine feeds my creativity.
I also love uniforms!
I told you, I’m a unicorn… in a uniform!