Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The Inspiration of Having a Job

Let's get practical today.  I know there are those hopeless romantics out there who are offended by the notion of making art to make money and believe that art should be pure and created by the artist to express himself to the world in order to change it.  They imagine an artist who is tucked away in some dingy apartment in the part of town where all the "creatives" hang out, suffering for his art, living painting to painting, not sure when he'll have money to buy his next meal.  So he writes his brother who has a real job asking for some money, cuts off his ear over some dame and then because he is despondent and misunderstood by a world to hard to recognize his great talent and unique soul, he kills himself, making his art insanely valuable when sold at auction 100 years later.

Okay, that was a little about Van Gogh, who I love and who was really a very troubled man.  I can relate to emotional turmoil.  I've had my share.  But couldn't he have been just as productive if he had not had to deal with that turmoil?  Some one like Michelangelo had his emotional junk too, but he was always gainfully employed and I bet that gave him more inspiration than his inner angst.

I mean, as a creative person, it always helps to get us moving in the productive direction when we have a direction to go in.  Song writers and singers don't just sing to themselves in the shower, they want people to hear them and it sure is nice to have some cash at the end of a gig to pay for gas, a meal and have a little left over for a bank account.  And with times being what they are, we are all feeling a little lean and motivated lately.

When my kids went to school, I had a dilemma   It was time to get a job!  And a full time job is not always readily available at this time in history.  So part time is helping out, but I also realized that a couple of part time jobs can be cobbled together to get closer to a full time job.  Not only that, this extra alone time is a great opportunity.  Needing to pay the bills just adds the fuel.

Pursuing a dream for the dream's sake could have been my motivation, but realistically, I know that I have put off the dream because I always had something else, like a payed by the hour job or children who need my attention.  I can truthfully say I have more responsibilities now and have to schedule my time more carefully than I did pre-kids, so I can't say I am doing this now because of the free time.  There is always stuff to fill the minutes with.  And I am finding I use my evenings more consistently than any other time.  Day time is for my jobs.  So, I want to add another job to my daily to do list.

That makes me feel overwhelmed!  But I keep going back to one thing... I want to have a career as an illustrator.  I want to make cool stuff AND get paid for it.  If I just wanted to make cool stuff, that could wait until I'm retired.  But right now I've got to plan for the expenses of life.  I'm doing illustration because I love it, but I'm going to be honest and say I'm making progress toward that dream because I want to make some money.

Oh no, that totally takes the innocent glow off of the dream.  Makes it sound seamy and greedy.  Yuck.
I love a song by a local singer named, Danny Flanigan, (check out his website by clicking on his name.) where he says, "Money gets me down.  Down because I need it.  What a stupid thing to need!"  I so agree with that and I'm not going to let the lack of money get me down, but I'm going to keep working with the hope of filling that need.

I would love to know how you feel about all of this having a job and needing money thing.  I bet it gets you out of bed in the morning!  Please leave a comment!  Thanks for stopping by!