When I was 25, I had a pretty cushy corporate job. I made a lot of money, I had great insurance, started a 401K, saw advanced screenings of films, had the opportunity to go to school on the company’s dime and worked in an innovative environment (digital film distribution).
The first big project I worked on was James Cameron’s “Avatar,” which paved the way for digital distribution and the fight against piracy.
It was a dream job in terms of what I was taught was a dream job, but I wasn’t happy.
Letting go and jumping into the unknown
I had been watching “Vicky Christina Barcelona” pretty regularly during this time, as I found the discussion and themes of the film very inspirational as it explored how easy it is to lose sight of happiness, both in terms of love and work. I was literarily heading in the direction of losing sight of what made me happy in exchange for money, so it didn’t take long for me to conclude what I needed to do.
It was the first time in my life I was 100% sure of my decision. Instant happiness.
Finding my path to happiness
I got a job at the local art shop, where I was surrounded by paints, oils, brushes, canvas, handmade paper and pretty much everything else … everything from Japanese calligraphy supplies to professional architecture supplies. I learned about traditional oil painting, experimented with the newest products available, spitballed ideas with co-workers and connected with student and professional artists on a daily basis.
It wouldn’t be considered a dream job by most people considering it only paid minimum wage and wasn’t full-time work, but I was happy.
Being an artist
The world begins discouraging people from a life in art at an early age. In elementary school, Art, Music and other Liberal Arts classes are usually the first to be excluded from the curriculum when money is tight. At home, kids are pushed toward brand name colleges in the pursuit of a career that will pay well. This is where most artists lose sight of their dreams and accept the belief that you have to get a “real job” in order to make a living, raise a family, buy a house or retire.
Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up – Picasso
It isn’t easy making a living from your creative work, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. I discovered this while working at the art shop, because I met a new artist, almost daily, who was doing it … making a living from his or her creative work.
Whenever I asked these artists how they got to the point where they were making a living as an artist, the answer was unanimous:
Do it every day.
For me, this meant painting. I took their advice and within a month, my friends and family started introducing me as a painter or artist. This was a big milestone for me, because I started gaining the confidence to introduce myself as a painter, which was always a stumbling block for me. Like most artists, I didn’t feel I was worthy of calling myself any kind of artist because I wasn’t.
Doing it every day changed that.
I started blogging back around 2005 — sharing what I had learned about screenwriting and cross-media storytelling from my experience working as a story analyst in Los Angeles. As I became more and more jaded with the film industry, my focus naturally shifted to what seemed to be the most empowering medium emerging … blogging.
I felt empowered.
I started contributing to a few blogs and eventually stepped in as the co-editor of Fuel Your Blogging. As I connected more and more with the community discussing blogging, I noticed there was an overwhelming amount of content being published from the echo chamber (content published from the same old angle). In effort to avoid this, while exploring what interested me, I decided there needed to be a blog specifically for artists interested in making a living from their creative work through the utilization of the most empowering medium available today — blogging.
Welcome to Creativeblogger.