Update on my life...
There are now fourty-seven days until I show at Illuxcon 2017. In the past month I have worked three weeks of overtime. Each week adding an extra hour or two to the day, just to push through the rush season of my day job. I work within POP or Point of Purchase. As of right now, everyone within the retail industry is attempting to fill their aisles with product for the upcoming holidays. But with such a small team it leaves me with two choices. Make money to pay bills or work on artwork to advance career.
Can't work on my career if I don't have a place to stay. Can't have a place to stay if I don't pay for rent. Leaving my job is a very frightening idea and I will be pretty honest. I crave it everyday. Listening to One Fantastic Week (specifically episode 142) with Gerald Brom, he mentioned working within the commercial art field for four years in his early twenties. Photo editing and designing labels for product. He stated after three years the work became boring. But it was the very next two sentences that hit home for me:
"When you feel like you're growing as an artist its exciting! But when you stagnant, you begin to resent the work and lose that creative spirit."
I can't tell you how much I relate to those words right now. I have been working within the POP industry in different areas. I started off painting prototype toys for designers at Hasbro. I moved to teaching during an off period between contracts. Then afterward returned to POP on a small team that fulfilled mock-up orders for POP display meetings. (I printed and folded boxes for retail companies/toys). Then after that contract ended, I was hired at a company that worked with toy production displays and other retail product. Which is were I am now. Laying out artwork to be placed on corrugate displays to allure shoppers into buying product. Then I drive home and fit in some drawings or a few layers of paint on a small canvas.
All I want to do is create magical things and sell them to people that love the same genre I do. Can you imagine how much the chart below would look if a whole day was dedicated to a business? And an hour or two of social media was schedule in for promotional purposes, emails, and looking up freelance opportunities. It would be a dream. Starving doing something that I love, already feels less stressful than sitting at a desk all day making some company millions of dollars a year.
Here's a small chart added to what my day looked like with 1 hour of overtime added to work. Not much time for business part and sleep.
Although, the final month of less activity is no excuse. It is definitely an anxiety bomb. Crunch time to prep print product/ banners/ promotional material generally lies within the last two months. But I had time before that, which could have been used much, much, more wisely. (But wasn't. And that is something I need to work on.) I do have stock remaining from my last show that I can lean on to help alleviate stress. Plus, there are framed pieces I have. And I still love to show them off, till they find their new home.
I refuse to give up, and I have been aiming to make every hour count before the show. I drive home. I paint. I plan. I have an old tv show running at the same time as background noise. I eat some sort of sustenance and I keep up with daily vitamins to stave off illness. It is working so far. Thank you Flintstones vitamins! The only thing suffering is my diet and the cleanliness of my apartment. Which can remain that way for a little bit. Bigger plans are in the works! I refuse to let my inner flame flicker out into a puff of smoke. And in the many great words of Brom:
"Always try to make space for your own projects." ~Brom
Tips to making time: