In which I think about my day job and where I want to be, and come up with a ton of metaphors. (And wordy, grab your tea, this is a real-life mirror biggie.)
It feels like a wobbly balance beam a lot, the play between working a day job, and working a joy job.
Having a life outside of the office, spending hours away from home to pay the bills in a short cubicle.
Short cubicles are not my favorite thing.
Making in my studio is one of my favorite things.
I have a day job. It’s where I am right now (not physically, but life-cycle wise- you know what I mean.)
I have a night and weekend job too- creating in my studio. Leather bags, woven scarves, sparkling cocoons, this is the place that makes my heart sing.
There’s also this thing I like to call a social life. I’m an introvert by nature, but I do love my people. I like spending time with my family and friends near and far, and take what chances I have to do so.
The studio is where I recharge. Where I am mostly alone. (I find one is never truly alone with cats in the house.)
So how do I find time to recharge when I get home, have to make dinner, talk with and enjoy my husband and kitties? Sometimes it’s the choice between drinks with a friend and time in the studio. Others, my husband tells me sweetly to go work in there already. Sometimes I stay on the couch and we watch movies together instead of me listening to them from the studio.
I miss that room every moment I’m in the office.
I take photos on weekends and late at night with crappy lighting.
Cocoons are stitched on during lunch hours, scarves dyed and woven in slips of time here and there. A little tap-tap of my maul on leather after dinner, painting early on a Saturday.
I’m working to be more. More myself, more of a maker, more of an independent artist.
Applying to shows and galleries. Connecting with other artists online (hi guys!). Trading notes with local makers. Writing, drawing, working, photographing, posting shop updates.
Then I wake up, and drive to work.
My bills are paid, our home is secure, and I don’t have to worry about it so much. That part is nice.
The time away from what I love on the other hand… It’s getting harder. It motivates me to work on my art more. To hone my skills, to take that leap and send the scary-exciting emails. I’ve made some rock solid big and small steps this year to move closer to becoming an independent artist. It’s a long slog in low gear. I know I can do it, and I have help and support from my friends and my patrons. This slow roll is building momentum, and I am ready to move when the time is right.
And oh, when it is right!
Sometimes when things are extra draggy in the office, I’ll spend a weekend working like it is what I do every day. Wake up. Tea. Paint. Tool. Weave. Dye. Stitch. Felt. Whatever needs to be done, is done.
Those days are the best type. Fun, soul-filling, it’s a rehearsal for the coming show. The steps are still being practiced.
I’ll be ready when the day to change gears is here. I hope you’re along for the long haul with me.