Today I hate my job.
I know, I’m not supposed to say that because I am a person trying to make a living working as an artist. I’m supposed to be passionate about my art-making every minute of every day because I owe it to you. I owe it to my parents who took me to private art lessons in grade school and probably worried endlessly about me after I graduated from college with an art degree. I owe it to those self-taught artists who didn’t go to college to get an art degree. I owe it to my college professors who gave me that amazing art award way back in 1994. I owe it to all of the people who, after finding out what I do for a living, tell me about how they used to love art in high school and how they weren’t able to pursue it and how very lucky I am. I owe it to myself because average talent and a strong passion to make art is about all I possessed coming into this world.
You are allowed to occasionally hate your job working for the state government or serving people in a restaurant or plugging statistics into a computer program so why can’t I occasionally hate my job making art? The truth is that I have had a creative block for several months now. Throw in a lack of motivation and temporary loss of my confidence and you have someone who dreads going into the studio on a daily basis. Several times I have seriously considered just giving up and getting a “regular job” so that I can feel like a valued member of society.
Although you tell me I am lucky to be able to pursue my passion, I suspect there are a few of you who are quoting The Big Lebowski and saying, “Get a job Sir!” Some people actually say, “Well, it must be nice…” in that not so nice tone. The truth is, most of the time, it is nice. Sure I don’t have a steady paycheck but I get to make stuff! Not receiving a steady paycheck doesn’t feel so bad when you love what you do, but what happens when the passion takes a leave of absence? I’m left with creative block that keeps me up nights and insurance agents who tell me that the software that calculates life insurance values doesn’t work with income numbers as low as mine, and that it’s just not worth it to insure my life. Or the other day when my husband and I went to get pre-approved for a home loan and the loan officer suggested that we leave my name off the loan because it just isn’t necessary.
Well, it is worth it and it is necessary to me. While I may not be curing cancer or solving world hunger issues or even making loads of money, I am going to keep heading into the studio and working until my passion returns from it’s extended vacation. I know that if I go out and get a “regular job” I will be completely unhappy in a few months because I haven’t done anything creative. I will keep plugging away for all of you and for myself. I will find my voice and continue to bring beauty into the world. And if it never comes back, well then I’ll figure out something else.