Since I am still in the early stages of my career, I don’t typically turn down many jobs that come my way. This was a bit of a harsh lesson for me this week as I had 3 events booked back to back and logo commissions as well as portrait commissions around it. I think with any new business the early years are really the time to hustle it out and do as much as you can to move forward. I know that one day I’ll be able to pick and choose the jobs that resonate with me the most, but for now I honestly just feel really grateful that I’m able to do this full-time and the places it has taken me so far.
It’s funny how we’re never satisfied as human beings, I remember in the beginning I would say things like “oh as soon as I get a commercial job I’ll be happy” or “when I can buy groceries with my illustration money I’ll feel successful”, but now that I’m here there’s so much more I want to do and so many goals I have yet to achieve.
I posted on Instagram this week about how your job doesn’t define who you are, and I think it’s true because who we are is constantly changing and evolving. Jobs are meant to bring us the income we need to have an easier life, and I know that when I was first starting I felt like if I wasn’t doing illustration full-time it meant that I wasn’t good enough yet and that I couldn’t validate my work until I was full-time. Isn’t that such an illusion? My point is, if you’re not where you feel like you want to be and you’re working a job that you don’t feel passionate about, you don’t need to feel like you have to find something you’re crazy passionate about and make a living from it. Most people are happy to work a day job and that means they can leave work behind them at 5pm or so, and go home to their families and enjoy life after work. I don’t think there’s anything wrong about that at all, and I think if I had this perspective of those jobs earlier, I might have made my career a little bit easier on myself.
In the end, work is work, and whether it’s something you love to do or not, what you’ll remember when you’re in old age is the times you had with your family, your friends and loved ones, laughing about nothing, playing around with your pets and being goofs with your best friends.
I’ve mentioned it before, but artists tend to go through a lot of soul-searching work, since the root of creativity is deep within us and the more we can figure out who we are on this planet, the better we can access it. I love sharing my thoughts with my audience and I’m proud about where I’ve come so far as an artist but I think those of you out there who are still figuring it out or feel a little bit stuck should feel equally as proud of how far you’ve come. There’s no right or wrong way to have a career, you can jump around as much as you want from one thing to another or stay in the same job forever, but the focus should be more on being happy with your life overall and feeling like you have a good balance between your work and your life.
Yes, I am doing something I love as a full-time job, but it’s important to mention that I don’t love every aspect of it, and that’s perfectly okay. In fact, there are many days I don’t love, there are days where I work until my eyes sting, or days where I have trouble enjoying time with people I love because something about work is on my mind, it’s easy to let it consume your life when it’s all up to you. I think it’s important to share these aspects of my work a little bit to shine a light on them and highlight the fact that no career is perfect. It’s all a big winding road and we are only able to see about 3 feet in front of us, but that keeps it exciting and keeps us on our toes.
If you are feeling a bit stuck in your career, maybe it’s time for you to start to find joy within yourself on a day to day basis. How can you improve your days just a little bit? No matter what you do, there will always be good and bad days, and that’s just the way of life, but how you choose to see them and to react to them is entirely up to you.
Be well :)