Fear

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Re: Fear

Postby AndreiB on Tue Oct 05, 2010 1:29 pm

I had an extended period of unemployment late last year. I had recently earnt up enough money from a terrible Kmart job to not have to worry about setting myself up in a new state and promptly quit. All I had was my comic. Every day I'd absent mindedly search online for jobs related to my degree, but for the most part I was at my desk, drawing for myself, alone. I’m lucky to be relatively young enough to not have a family or mortgage to support or anything like that.

It’s weird – I remember this period (last year!) as very productive and nostalgic. My girlfriend remembers the time as utterly unbearable. I was sore about not having a job and I was working to change that, but I relished the chance to just work on what *I* wanted to do. Often I was only grumpy about my situation when I was getting the inevitable ‘What do you do?’ question at social or family events.

I think societal pressure (or just plain having a partner) is what forces the ball and chain of employment more than anything intrinsic within ourselves. I don’t see anything wrong with working fulltime in my ‘money-making’ role at 60 just as long as I’ve kept on the saddle and have an extensive body of artistic work behind me.

I think this topic is an important reminder about why we shouldn’t devalue our art and writing to valueless commodities. When we say that it’s the act of creation is important, not any monetary value assigned to that artistic creation, that’s when we doom another artist to having a pointless 9-5 job fuelled by fear, rather than give them the freedom to embrace that yearning to stay home and draw.
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Re: Fear

Postby bluetoaster on Mon Oct 11, 2010 11:26 am

AndreiB wrote:I had an extended period of unemployment late last year... Every day I'd absent mindedly search online for jobs related to my degree, but for the most part I was at my desk, drawing for myself, alone.

I’m lucky to be relatively young enough to not have a family or mortgage to support or anything like that.

It’s weird – I remember this period (last year!) as very productive and nostalgic. My girlfriend remembers the time as utterly unbearable. I was sore about not having a job and I was working to change that, but I relished the chance to just work on what *I* wanted to do. Often I was only grumpy about my situation when I was getting the inevitable ‘What do you do?’ question at social or family events.

I think societal pressure (or just plain having a partner) is what forces the ball and chain of employment more than anything intrinsic within ourselves. I don’t see anything wrong with working full-time in my ‘money-making’ role at 60 just as long as I’ve kept on the saddle and have an extensive body of artistic work behind me.

I think this topic is an important reminder about why we shouldn’t devalue our art and writing to valueless commodities. When we say that it’s the act of creation is important, not any monetary value assigned to that artistic creation, that’s when we doom another artist to having a pointless 9-5 job fuelled by fear, rather than give them the freedom to embrace that yearning to stay home and draw.


Interesting story, AndreiB. One that many of us can relate to I think.

I too lost my job in last year's GFC. Felt this immediate TENSION to have that regular 'job' salary coming in to pay the bills. I had a mortgage to pay too! It really stressed me. Part of me recognised that I should now be free to work on my comics, books & illustration, so I should be happier... right?... but I wasn't. I felt like some LARGE shadow was standing over my shoulder telling me that my survival was at stake unless I could 'plug' back into the system.

Due to the GFC, I (along with most others) 'took what I could get' after many, many job rejections, and finally had to make do with the most ball-busting job I've ever had. And these companies knew the 'fear' power they had over employees now. I was expected to do three jobs for one under-payed salary. Much under-payed now that the GFC was upon us. The final straw came when upon my 3-month probationary review (having thought that I'd sweated blood for them), they proceeded to bombard me with all the things I hadn't done, and how they expected much more from me, and how I needed to improve drastically and take on yet another responsibility (with no extra pay; with the excuse that it would benefit my skillset)?

I handed in my resignation the next morning.

Even though the world was still in a "frightening" GFC at the time, I'd just had enough and quit. With no plan-b!.. And I'd never felt so good.

I've moved on to another job since and the waters are much calmer now, but that crappy time really exposed the reality of 'fear' system to me. I couldn't care less if I lose my job now. Really, I'll survive. I've been through a worse time and it was far from a horror story. All it did was just exposed a big con to me.

When push comes to shove, you really shouldn't submit.

To quote my favorite movie (and Colin Wilson's worst) - Revolver:... "If you change the rules of what controls you, you change the rules of what you can control"

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Re: Fear

Postby AndreiB on Mon Oct 11, 2010 1:49 pm

As Franz Ferdinand sing
'It's so much better on holiday,
So much better on holiday!
That's why we only work when -
- we need the money!'


Dodgy employers milking the creative arts job fields are rife in Australia. Just be glad you weren't one of the animators that got screwed over by that dude who caused the Ettamoogah Incident last year. I'm working for a larger group now and my work life balance has never been better. Working for a smaller business seems to be a good way to attract crappy conditions, from my experience.

This is a really interesting link to some research I saw the other day. It looks like the arts council is realising that the opportunity to be a 'full time artist' is as rare as hen's teeth in Australia.

Here's a quote:
'There is a high level of uncertainty associated with the work of artists. So most artists do a range of paid work in both arts and non arts related jobs in order to make a living. This research found that less than half of artists income comes from their creative work, with the rest earned through arts related or non arts work.'
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Re: Fear

Postby Frank Candiloro on Mon Oct 11, 2010 3:02 pm

Personally, I fear that I'm not getting as much creative work done as I should, almost like time is running out, even though I'm 25, so I'm not exactly old or anything. I feel like 95% of my time is focused on my "art" and yet it never really feels enough, almost like there's some sort of innate urge within me to conquer the world and accept nothing else, if that makes any sense.

I guess I'm just impatient.
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Re: Fear

Postby bluetoaster on Mon Jan 31, 2011 7:59 am

Frank Candiloro wrote:... like there's some sort of innate urge within me to conquer the world and accept nothing else, if that makes any sense.

I guess I'm just impatient.

Don't worry, that's an essential thing to have as a creative person. Without it, you don't end up accomplishing very much in the long-term. Creative people are seldom happy with their past work, and are always 'looking forward' to the next thing. Getting better as they go.

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