My days will soon make a significant shift as I slip back into full-time employment starting Monday.
Going back into employment was the last thing on my list. In fact, it was never on the list since I quit being a director for an ad agency eleven years ago.
But Things changed and the pandemic happened and the defaults were no longer givens.
My life is also very different now -- eleven years is a lot of years added to my senior parents. The roles have switched. I have so much on my plate every single day, even including what to put on the plates on the dining table every mealtime. Financial responsibility has fallen upon me when my father could no longer sustain his work due to a number of medical conditions that started in 2020. I could keep pushing my freelance setup to earn more but the effort would still not be commensurate to the income.
My skills, experience, and confidence have also leveled up in the past decade -- the things that I used to balk at more than ten years ago were the very things I have done this past year to survive -- things I never thought I would ever be able to do nor do well if at all. I took on projects outside of my old comfort zone. And I realised that I knew stuff. And I realized I just didn't believe in myself enough.
Fortunately, I do have a few but very good friends, and one of them was instrumental in a serendipitous meeting for a project. Which presented me with a possibility and an idea. Which turned into a job offer. And now, at almost 50, I get a chance to reboot a profession that had previously gone down a painful path. The signs appear good. I am joining a transformation team, and I will be part of a circle of innovation. Maybe finally I can give voice to the ideas I have always held back because they were too risky or too out there (or because I didn't have the "traditional" support or back-up). Maybe I can actually finally find that sweet spot between my dayjob and my life path. Maybe they don't have to be two entirely separate things with conflicting values. Maybe.
Meanwhile, what I do have to take care of is to ensure that the art does not take a back seat again. So today I finally sat down to deal with art shop matters, the art sites, and the story that holds it all together.
The dayjob paycheck will be just enough to cover the care of my parents and the household (a note: I deliberately did not get a high-titled job because I want the work to be manageable. I've done the director thing for many years and I know it's more work even with a team under you). What will fund my creative journey will be the support of patrons, whether through a monthly pledge or an occasional tip or gift. I will be writing more about this in succeeding posts. For all supporters, I post a general accounting of where pledges and gifts are spent (for the past year they have all gone to pay household bills and meals). But with a regular dayjob paycheck coming soon I would really like to re-channel the patron funds to art-related things such as, to name a few:
registering my online shop as a business (it will cost about $450)
investing in professional printing services
investing in art materials (I would really like to make bigger pieces = more paint)
creating a better line of stationery products designed with my art
self-publishing a set of inspirational cards
self-publishing creative zines and illustrated books
Most importantly, I want the art to make more steps to becoming what it's meant to be: a fairy tale. A love story. A wish come true. In every way that I ever dreamed it.
So send me some good vibes and good energy if you will. I could use every bit I get. And I wish you a happy new year!
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