Quitting your job to be an artist: you did what now?
So .... last week I quit my job!!
Wow, that sounded a lot more dramatic than it really was ... I actually just told my boss that I won't be renewing my contract at the end of the school year. It wasn't like I went all Tarantino on their asses, shooting' up the place and slow-mo walking away whilst a full scale explosion frames both of my middle fingers raised in defiance ... hmmm, although ... (lol, I jest of course!)
I basically have to work until June and then I have the summer holiday (one of the perks of working in a school ... and one of the things I will totally and wholeheartedly miss) to finish my MA in Illustration and after that ... I'm officially unemployed ... So I've got like another 7 months of pay before I become destitute ... (Uh ... for the sake of the drama of the blog post lets act like it was done as a spontaneous, carefree gesture of rebellion, just because I didn't want to work for DA MAN no mooorreee ... OK? Cool, cool so we got this right?)
I don't have another job lined up and I'm not looking ...for those of you who don't know, I'm plunging headlong into the icy, yet somehow strangely inviting, waters of self-employment ... I'm gonna be an ARTIST **eyes shining with naive hope**
Being on the verge (yeah man, 7 months is still a kind of verge) of eating beans from a can in a student-esque style, maybe being a ho-bo and having to take responsibility for my own supply of money, I've been thinking about what has made me take this risky move and jump in fully clothed ...
I have basically given up a very well paid job, working a few hours a week, with great benefits, great holiday and lovely colleagues (OMG ... WTF have I done? Noooo, I must be strong ... in the immortal words of Gandalf "we have to decide what to do with the time given to us" ... yeah sorry, NERD ALERT!) to take a bet on myself and use all my precious time to make and sell my art ... and maybe do a bit of yoga too!
I have not come to this decision lightly ... it took at least 5 minutes of serious contemplation at the end of last year when I looked into the eyes of a troubled and aggressive teenager who had just told me (rough translation) to 'shut the F**k up' and I thought ... I'm too old for this, dude.
I don't want to do anything for money that I don't WANT to bloody well do anymore! **stamps foot in childish manner** I'm sick of being an 'employee'. I want to have a job that I LOVE with a deep and resounding passion. I want to inspire others and to be inspired ... I was made for more than simply doing what other people tell me to do ... and here is the thing SO WERE YOU!
By the way .. this post is for those of you who have a dream you are chasing and have yet to make a move on that monkey ... for those who are contented and happy in their employment, then move along please ... you are already where I envisage myself to be in a few years and I don't want you hanging around, cluttering up my space of self-righteous ranting and making the rest of us feel bad ... off you go, Mr and Mrs Perfect!
We work so many hours of our lives ... WHY can't it be enjoyable? There is no rule that was carved into some holy rock that says (imagine this in a sort of Morgan Freeman style voice) "THOU SHALT SUFFER DAILY TO OBTAIN SMALL PIECES OF PAPER UPON WHICH A GREAT VALUE WILL BE PLACED TO TRADE FOR CRAP YOU DON'T NEED IN ORDER TO BE FLEETINGLY HAPPY, THOU SHALT REPEAT THIS ACT OF STUPIDITY FOR 40 YEARS OR UNTIL YOU DIE OF EXHAUSTION ... GO FORTH MY CHILDREN AND DO MY BIDDING"
No, I'm pretty sure God/Universe/Buddha/Krishna (insert deity of choice here) didn't want us to live in misery, wasting large chunks of our wondrous, beautiful and amazing lives wishing we were somewhere else and being used as bloody slaves to make money for some other willy-brain ... (willy-brain: the technical term for a person or persons who are in control of your life i.e, blatantly NOT you)
We are constantly pressured to accept that life should be hard ... 'life isn't fair' ... 'well, that's life' (usually when something super sh1t has just happened ... yeah, thanks for that nugget of wisdom) ... 'life's a bitch' ... etc. This is simply NOT TRUE! Life is incredible! Just go outside and look at the trees if you need proof! Such beautiful beings literally grow out of the ground on this amazing planet and we are selling our time here to the highest bidder ... NO MORE!!
I want to create art that inspires or simply just makes others lives seem a little brighter ... I want to touch people (steady now) with my work ... I want to be free to plan my day the way I want it ... I want to go on holiday when I'm tired and go for lunch when I flippin' well feel like it!
And so help me ... I WILL achieve this! If I have to eat beans out of a can from now until 2020 I will do it ... If I have to crawl through leech infested, stinking swamp water (I'm really not sure why I would have to do that to be an artist ... maybe there is a new entrance exam I'm unaware of) I will do it ... If it means not travelling (single tear) for a while, I will do it ... If it means working 18 hour days I WILL DO IT because it will be for me and my husband and BOTH of our lives will be happier if I'm happier ... lets be honest now ... ;-)
I'll keep you posted about how things progress over these next few months ... and if you see some dreadheaded weirdo handing you your burger and fries ... it's definitely NOT me ... I don't wear fake noses or rubber masks to work ... I mean ... I'm an ARTIST darling, didn't you read the blog post? ... well then, no questions please ... move along ... NEXT!!