Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Of Life.

The topic of what I want to be when I grow up makes me physically ill.

In college, despite being on the road towards my BA in studio art, I adamantly said "I do not want to be an artist." Meaning: "I do not want to rely on my art for my income."

I didn't want to sell out.

I didn't want to make things that other people wanted me to make. I wanted to make what I wanted to make, the end. If people liked that enough to buy - fantastic! If they didn't, well, I was pretty vocal about the fact that I made my art for me.

I thought I would go to film school (maybe I still will?). I could picture myself spending long days on set or in an editing studio working on someone else's project while mine came to be in the background. They would pay my bills, I would be free to make my art.

Then I joined the real world, however reluctantly (kicking, screaming, and fighting the whole way there). I realized how much money it takes to support just me and the ponies.

It's a lot more than I would have thought.

And that freaked me out. How could any job pay for that AND pay back the mass debts I'd be taking on? MFAs are mighty expensive. Film school can take up to 4 years instead of the standard 2. 4 years. 99% of the time you pay for your own thesis film. Approximate cost? Well, $20k is pretty average.

So you can see perhaps why I had to rethink and rework some stuff. Or maybe my dreams just weren't strong enough.

I had a plan, but when it fell apart I just stood there with a blank stare on my face. For months.

Grad school, grad school. What do I want to be? I want play for work or work that allows for plenty of play.

I bought a book yesterday that I am hoping will divulge rich secrets about the business side of art to me. How can I do this as my job and still be whole? Do I want this to be my job?

The book buying brought all of this on. Only recently have I started changing my mind...maybe I can be a working artist.

I'm not going to lie, I really want my job to be whatever I feel like that day. If I feel like sleeping in and eating ice cream for breakfast and then going out and taking pictures during the day that can be my job. If I feel like swimming and going on lazy trail rides with my horses and drinking red wine that can be my job. (Remember what I said about kicking and screaming...)

I don't want to wait until I'm 40 to be happy with where my life and career are. I want that NOW because life is short and I've had enough soul-sucking jobs, thank you.

What I'm trying to get to is this:

1. I'm working out if I can make metal and photography my job(s). By can I mean it pays my bills and I am happy -no - elated (is that asking too much? I don't think so...) doing it full time. I would also be very happy to continue on with barn work in addition to this because the barn and horses have such a calming effect.

2. OR should I go to grad school for my MFA.
2a. And if I do that, I have to pick what I want my MFA in. And why do I want my MFA? Do I need my MFA? Is it going to benefit me in some way other than opening up doors to possibly teaching?


Fashionably Adorned said...

WOW.... deep thinking going on here!! I can tell you that I'm 35 and everyday I wish I would have followed my dreams.. I wanted to be a vet growing up.. Life is to short for you to suddenly, have children, a mortgage, a husband!! and then realize that you never did what YOU wanted to do.. so figure out what that is and follow it start ahead!!! don't get me wrong I love my kids and husband, but I will always have those I wish.... thoughts so don't let your dreams pass you by will your daydreaming about them!! :) being a grown up sucks most of the time!! hope I'm not a debbie downer!! just trying to be honest~

jessi sawyer said...

The biggest problem I have right now is figuring out the WHAT. I don't know WHAT I want to do. I feel like I've made some progress...I've considered every career path in hard science/medicine and realized those were not for me.

And I THINK I've narrowed it down to something art-related. The rest is a mystery. And stressful. So I ignore it ;P