It’s been a while since I’ve posted an update on where I am, creatively. Unfortunately, it’s because I’m not nearly as productive as I hoped I would be at this stage in my life. It leaves me with mixed feelings.
Don’t get me wrong, a lot of good things have happened. I finished all of my courses at the college. I’ve got an Applied Bachelor’s Degree in Visual Communications now, for one thing. The place where I was doing my final work term last summer, and working at part time while I finished my last semester, hired me on full time. (If you don’t know, I work as the advertising/marketing assistant at a home building company in Medicine Hat). It’s a good job that utilizes my education, but now I seem to be stuck in circle which is leaving all of my creative pastimes at a standstill.
Graphic design was never my strong suit, but I chose to go into a post-secondary program that would cover graphic design and fine art. I knew how hard it could be, especially in my town, to find employment in the fine arts field. Because of that, I knew graphic design had a way better job outlook, so I could find a job where I could make enough money to support myself and not be a “starving artist.”
However, my job right now can be stressful a lot of the time. I use up a lot of my creative energy trying to become better at graphic design rather than my fine arts. It’s a necessity for job security, as I need to speed up my work and improve. So because of this, I come home exhausted, not really wanting to pick up a pencil, or a paintbrush, and my inspiration for writing any kind of story has gone up in smoke. Originally, I thought I could work in the graphic design field while I worked on my fine art in my spare time, until I was stable enough to make it a full time career, if I could ever be that lucky. Now though, I feel like I’m stuck in a vicious circle. Because I’m creatively exhausted when I get home from work most days, I’m not working on drawing or painting, building a portfolio, doing commissions. I’m not writing. I’m not even reading as much as I used to. And because my fine art seems to have gone down the tube for the moment, keeping my job seems all the more important.
One might simply say it’s easier to quit my job and focus on what I want to do. However, I feel that this isn’t simple for me. It’s not just about me and my self interests anymore. I’m twenty-one with a college degree and my own office at a company that made the Fast Growth 50 list more than once. That’s pretty cool and something I never thought I could achieve. My boyfriend, who I have been with for two and a half years now, definitely wants a life with me. I have him to think about, because I wouldn’t want us to struggle if I give up a great career for a dream that might not even work out. Mentally, I’m not ready to make that kind of a leap, partially because of the fact that my inspiration and creative drive seems to have gone down the tube. The company has invested a lot of time in me, trying to make my position work out. My family is so proud of me.
I don’t know if this is making much sense at all, and if it isn’t, excuse my rambling. I feel like I’m at a crossroads. I can choose the path with the career, the financial stability, all the other domestic stable things except for a career doing what life seems to have given me talent in. Or, I could go for the road where I throw myself into creative work, not even knowing if my inspiration will come back, but where I could also be potentially really successful.
One super awesome thing was placing in Gerard Way’s “Cats are Smart” contest on Twitter. For those who don’t know, his art was what first inspired me to actually pick up a pencil and start seriously drawing when I was fourteen. He’s always been an artistic idol of mine. I love his art, comics, and music. What I got from this contest was a piece of his art from his archives, which I have put in a lovely frame and is now by my desk. The fact that my hero saw my art, thought it was awesome enough to place in the top five, and gave me a piece of art in return is one of the best things that has ever happened to me. When I look at that picture now, it feels good, but I almost feel regret because I’m not producing much art, at all.
From when I was in grade school, I wanted to be a novel writer and draw pictures. I was really good at the novel writing, and when I was in high school, the words would just explode out of me. People read my stories. People liked them. And then, I got in a bad head space. I went to school and saw so many different things that it felt like my story ideas weren’t original anymore. I’ve tried repeatedly staring at a blank word document, willing the words to come out. Before I turned 19, I had written two stories that were at least 400 pages, and some lovely people still message me asking for copies of them. I’ve been off and on trying to polish the one story, Wanderers of Ruin, to be published, but I find I can’t work at it too long or I feel depressed. I feel like the only thing left for me is re-writing what I feel is my best story, and that I shouldn’t even do that if I can’t find any new stories within me anymore. I want a solution, but the situation on that end of my creative life feels kind-of like a dead end right now.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not super unhappy with life. I’ve got a good job, a great and loving boyfriend, friends who care, an awesome family, and stability. I can live my life like this for years and not totally hate it. It’s being “an adult” after all. However, I don’t want to look back on these years in my life and wonder what creative things I could have done.
I don’t know if this made sense or not, or if anybody read this, but if you have, thank you.