Doesn’t the world understand we don’t all get real jobs anymore. Some of us chase dreams and would rather be laughed at, misunderstood, and never taken seriously until we are where we see ourselves in our heads and the cold reality of it is hitting the world in the face.
Real job is doubt expressed. It’s me not believing you can sustain yourself with your pursuit. It’s “I don’t believe in you, guy.” It’s what you should expect when you’re in the process of making things visible to both yourself and the world. When you can see it they can see it. Some people are never satisfied and you shouldn’t be out to please or prove anything but you will need evidence and the ability to flex more so the ability to front.
I personally work in the illustration field and have been pushing and achieving. I’m not yet thriving but that’s the goal. And I can flex because the fruit of my labor is/are connections, cool jobs, cool pieces of work, and even the requests that didn’t happen. Above all of this is the development. Growth should be the greatest evidence and what you flex most. Higher paying jobs, better understanding of your job and capabilities, new assets and inventory items, and a developed portfolio.
Not everyone is in the creative field but tons of folk can related to being the underdog, not wanting the 9 to 5, pushing with pure will and evidence from forerunners that your pursuit has the possibility of you obtaining similar rewards. Keep going. Take the jeers as a baton that let’s you know you’re heading in the right direction. Sure taking up jobs is smart and helps fund your ambitions but do not get lost in the money. Get lost in your passion.
We often take up jobs to fuel the dream, see the money and tell ourselves that the money is the end goal anyways. That’s where generations above us, who we see talking about what they wanted to do and be, went wrong. Sometimes it’s providing for the partner in your life or the children that gets in the way. Other times its proving to others that you can function independently. Fuck them. Live with your parents, save money, go back to school, work the dream and twist the arm of the universe until it gives you the rewards of your efforts.
I’ve had jobs (my last three) where my coworkers saw what I did outside of work and asked why I was working there. My first job I had when I got home from college, the guy training me looked me in the eyes and said “I can see that you’re on to something insane. You shouldn’t be here.” I had never even shown him my work or told him what I did. It had me puzzled for a long time. I don’t even know if what I’m doing currently is part of my ultimate path but it keeps me sharp and in practice.
In my experience, working and making money to fund my goals only took time away from my craft. I have a clearer head and create more when dedicated to illustration and not being on call for open shifts or drained of willpower and energy from something else. I also like being my own boss and not being expendable. I enjoy learning about my profession and revolving around it and juggling administrative, promotional, and billable time during my everyday. I like making what I would make in two weeks elsewhere in a day. And I also find being personable and involved with people as an expert that services them in a field I’m familiarized with far more important to me than interrupting building momentum as a creative professional with applying for a real job.