This week have not seen many posts from me, mostly because I must say my days have been more of the same activities as the past. My graphic design employment seems to be going well. I fit in fairly well in many ways, because of my experience in printing. It is odd being “the new guy” in my profession again. My peers are in their early to late 20’s, and are quite good at what they do. I must accurately report that in some ways they are a tad better than I am in terms of latest technologies. Not by too much mind you, but enough that I realize I need to brush up a bit to continue to stay in the loop. This shouldn’t take too long, however. I have learned and forgotten so many things in graphic design in the last 20 years that it is usually quite easy to pick up on skills that are more or less submerged than needing to be learned from scratch.
I have done my best to get along, which doesn’t seem hard to do so far. The people at my job are hard working, intelligent and conscientious. They work well with what they have, and seem to be drawing ever increasing amount of work in their thriving business. I am sure I will be given more responsibility as time goes on, as long as I do well. Also, I am making contacts with people all over the place, which may help for freelance projects. One of the good things about my job is it is quick stop graphic design. If they need something more complex, then they cannot accomplish it in the manner they need to without disrupting workflow. I hope to soon position myself as a freelance illustrator working for them evenings and weekends.
I do have to be careful in a few key areas, however. The profession of printing can become an occupation that swallows a person in deadlines and expectations. Longer and longer hours can be expected. Although I have labored long and hard in the past, and my ability to do this does not worry me. What I am worried about is being consumed, and again losing hopes, dreams, and aspirations. I have to guard them carefully. This is a tightrope to walk. As I have noted before, I have a loyalty complex. I like to help others. I have to make sure that I maintain long term goals for myself and my family. Such hopes and dreams, in my experience, cannot be obtained from employers. They have to be met through self-determination through being an individual or franchise business owner.
While one of these dreams is making illustrations outside of my job, the other (and sadly more importantly) is making money to keep my family going. Even with my soon to be full-time employment, I must make roughly 150% more money than I am right now. My wife is still unemployed, and without her working I must find a way to fill in her wages and still make more afterwards. This will be extremely difficult to say the least. Now that I have my life insurance license, I am counting on my diligence and learning the skills I need to start to deliver such money within the next 3 or so months. I have now seen how much wealth this profession can accumulate with a good work ethic, training, and (at least in the business I work in) honesty and integrity.
I am placed in a very difficult position unless my wife finds a job soon. I must act with great speed and urgency for us to survive. And so my personal art, which I so love, has to be put on the shelf until needs are met. I can take solace that I will be working in graphic design during the day, keeping my skills sharp. Unless I can get permission from clients however, there will be very little personal work that I can show on my website. Also, I will be working my graphic design job by day, and doing my financial services vocation by night.
Many people will tell a person that it’s not all about money. What I will tell you from my standpoint of 43 years on this planet is that it IS about money. Money can buy security, relief from stress from bills, medical attention, the ability to partake in vacations with friends and family. It can give you a home.
When one isn’t worrying about money, one can feel free. And freedom will lend creativity. I know. For the past several months, I had enough money in savings that I could create my art. Now however, that freedom is closing down. Unless I once again make enough money to survive and thrive. I tried to deny this for many years, as a fine artist, and even as a graphic designer. But it landed me in an intense financial struggle from which I have yet to emerge.
I will continue to post as developments happen, both good and bad. However, if I am not heard from for a time, assume that I am working my little bum off to keep the fires of my families freedom going. It is my hope however that I can relate stories of hope rather than those of despair. In the meantime, I hope you all wish me luck!