When I made the choice to become an artist for hire, I had no idea that it would mean that I no longer had my usual time off from my full time job.
I went from a woman who had free time to burn and nothing in her Netflix queue due to binges to a woman who has to remind herself to eat, feed the animals, and do laundry. I have entered a parallel universe where I sit down with my steaming mug of morning tea (I highly recommend Trader Joe’s black tea with mango) and toast to a fresh blank art board in Illustrator and not but 16 milliseconds later, the tea is cold and I’m cursing said program for taking longer than 30 seconds to render a vector graphic. Hours have passed. I haven’t showered. I haven’t even really changed out of my pajamas. Yet somehow it’s dinner time and friends who haven’t seen me in weeks are questioning my existence on this planet.
My head is constantly filled with brush ideas, wondering if I can do that thing in Indesign, wondering how far those wonderful YouTube tutorials will carry me, wondering if my iPhone camera is good enough to present the world around me, scanning graphics, typography, and most of all having a deep set hunger to keep on creating.
I started my BA at Benedictine College in 2005. I had no idea that 11 years later life would circle back around and I would become reacquainted with this kind of passion.
I have migraines from staring at computers, iPhones, and iPads all day. I go read a book to give my eyes and brain a break. I usually make it about 20 pages before I’m back on some kind of device conducting the self promotion that is quintessential to any self-made artist in 2016. (I read a book that said if you don’t have social media as an artist in 2016, you might as well quit. It is 100% correct.)
I think the most important thing for an artist is to realize that the world is malleable. I think what makes life so frustrating for us is the black and white world we are constantly subjected to. Why must I do it the way? What if we did it this way? Why do we always default to “the way we’ve always done it”?
People have rolled their eyes at me and told me it’s silly to become a professional photographer and graphic designer. “There’s no money in that.” “How will you ever find a job?” “What a useless degree!”
I just smile at these people and hold close my knowledge that this world is what you make of it. That some people are happy sitting at a desk 9-5 and just collecting a check. While others, like myself and possibly even you the reader, look at things as they could be. Not as they are.