Today was a really good day at work, so it’s probably best that I write this now, before I’m soured on it again.
There is nothing wrong with working a job, any kind of job, and pursuing art in your spare time. Not selling art does not invalidate you as an artist. (It is equally true that seeling your art doesn’t make you any more valid as an artist). This one took me until very recently to really learn. There are a lot of things that I don’t like about my job. I work in food service, after all, what’s not to hate? But I want to focus on the good things about my situation, even if they aren’t so glamorous.
- I do really enjoy a lot of my coworkers. They don’t have a single thing to do with my attempts to grow as an artist, I just generally like hanging around them, and we have a lot more fun than a lot of people I know who have “real” jobs.
- Punching a clock is liberating. When I clock out I am done for the day, and because I’m one of the favorites, my weekends are free too. Time away from work is totally mine and I love it. My husband has told me how jealous he is, and I do not take my freedom for granted. As I leave the building, my work app gets silenced and if the building burnt down I wouldn’t know about it until the next day.
- One of the best parts of my particular job is the boredom. Being bored forces me to daydream and imagine the time away, otherwise, I would lose my mind. Not only do I dislike my job, I cannot derive any sense of fulfillment from it, so I am forced to look outside of work for any kind of meaning. That is partly why I try my hand at more and more ambitious sewing projects, I have to feel like I can overcome a challenge. School is an ever distant memory, and I miss learning new things.
Working while trying to do art isn’t fun, and it doesn’t look cool from the outside, but it’s worth it in the end. If you can come home from work, tired and greasy and still get up and put the work into something you believe, you’re going to be okay in the end. Earn a living however you have to, and as long as you have the time, a little money, and the freedom to turn off your phone, there’s no shame taking whatever you can get and making something new out of it.