A friend shared this link from The New York Times, I read the article, and was moved to write down my own case on the matter.
The matter of being a full-time artist versus being one with a dayjob has been a rather delicate issue. Especially if one is still in the beginning stages, and have not gained enough patrons, supporters, and buyers to be able to sustain a good number of hours for studio work. There will always be those who will force the "be practical", "be realistic", "be reasonable" argument which has somehow always rubbed me the wrong way. There will always be those who will insist to just focus on the money, regardless of the how and the implications of performing the work that made that money (oh, I just helped sell products that will dump more tons of plastic waste into the ocean... and also convinced people that buying processed is better than the trouble of buying natural).
I believe the trick here, for my case, which is what I have been trying to master, is finding the kind of dayjob that will complement the artist, until such time that indeed the art is able to fully support a decent living, or the dayjob is an enhancer rather than a disruption. Mine is very similar to the example of James Dickey -- "I was selling my soul to the devil all day...and trying to buy it back at night." -- except that I could never quite buy it back and the interest has been compounding 😱 Equally apt is Stephen Dunn's description of how his work affects his poetry "a zero-sum universe in which the moon gobbles up the sun’s radiance." I would like to have a dayjob to ease the pressure of income from my art-making but I want a dayjob that can play and pay fair -- unfortunately in a developing country one does have to sell a soul to even earn minimum wage. 😅
My dream job is to work in a library, a book shop, or a book publishing company. Many years ago I had that in my hand. It was two roads diverging and I was fresh out of college. The other path led to the dayjob I am doing now. But I listened to "be practical", "be realistic", "be reasonable". Also, being young, I was carried away by "be cool and glamorous" (which had fine print conditions no one ever pointed out).
So here I am. Years later I've found myself on a similar diverging path and took the one less traveled by, albeit with so much baggage now everything is wrought with delays, detours, and doubling back. But I like to believe that I am at least finally moving towards where I was supposed to go. I will win my soul back yet, whole and alive and true.