August 5, 2015

A Thought or Two: The Creative's Reward

Being a creative in a professional capacity can be very discouraging at the get-go. This isn't a surprise, of course. Society taught me from a young age (as I'm sure it teaches many) that the creative route is not likely to be a lucrative one. Professors at school would warn us; it takes at least 5 years after graduating before you start really making money with your work. But don't give up! People ask us; what now? And it's tough to give an answer because I don't know.

I think that's the hardest part, is the not knowing what path I'll take. It's also the most exciting part, though. I don't know where my personal art practice will take me, I don't know where my professional art practice will take me - if it even will take me somewhere. I love making art, I love teaching art, I love being around art. It's too bad that it's so difficult to sell art, in every capacity! Even art instruction and teaching art is often severely undervalued. Needless to say it can all be very frustrating.

But then you get a job, a fluke, an email sent about art instruction that results instead in a design job. You quote a little too low because you've never written an actual contract in the real world before, and you put tons of time into it anyway and you feel a bit badly that you under-quoted yourself. But then you finish the job and the client loves it so much and loved working with you so much that they offer you a bonus and a tshirt with the finished design on it - What's your size? Come by in September for a T-Shirt! I LOVE IT, in all caps. I'll be back.

That's a good feeling, that's when you realize how rewarding being a professional creative can really be.

What was one of your most rewarding moments, as a creative or otherwise? I would LOVE to hear your stories in the comments, please share!

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