“Don’t quit your day job.” Usually meant as a rude remark. Designed to tear down your confidence. Perhaps you’ll never be able to make a living from your art, or you’ll never “make it” living a life of creativity? Maybe it means you have no talent? Strap yourself in because I am so ready to debunk this dribble.
First off, if you have decided to dedicate a part of your life to pursuing your creative passions, then give yourself a good, firm pat on the back. You’ve decided to be more than just a consumer. You are a maker. That takes courage. That is #goals.
Now, let’s regard the idea of a day job in a new light. Having a day job is liberating, empowering, and smart. You are being your own patron. You are taking care of yourself, like an independent adult, because rent, groceries, bills… art supplies – they’re all things.
Unfortunately, and often unknowingly, at birth we were all enrolled into a clever little institution I like to call Moolah. I would dare say that it’s impossible to exist in this society without money, let alone to have the freedom to create something without it. Worrying about money will be the death of your creativity, your inspiration and your ideas. Do all you can to not have this hanging over your artistic little head.
Let’s talk about how somewhere along the line, someone made it an assumed ambition for any creative to want to make money from their art. Does this not defeat the whole purpose of creating art in the first place? In my humble opinion, I believe we should be making art for our own gratifying, glorious, crucial pleasure and self satisfaction. Creation is your break from the grind. It is not a central cog in the capitalism machine. If you enjoy your creativity, then you’ve “made it.” Simple as that. Let’s measure success by the rare jewels of happiness we find along the way, rather than by something as common as money.
Maybe you’re worried you have no talent. Well, you do, okay? Talent is no exceptional, elitist thing and you, my friend, have it. Everyone one does (possessing the courage and discipline to partake in a life of creativity, however, is rare). Art is subjective and no one, no one has the right to tell you that your work is illegitimate or irrelevant. Sure, maybe that’s their opinion. And that is fine if your work is irrelevant to them. But if your work came from a place of joy or honesty then it is not irrelevant to you, so it will not be irrelevant to someone else.
Once you put your work out there, it is no longer your responsibility. You did your time by creating it. It belongs to other people now. Their experiences, their upbringings, their background make it their own. Do you see what I’m getting at? Let it leave the nest.
So if someone slyly slips you a “don’t quit your day job,” give them a smile, maybe buy them a coffee, because it would appear that this person has your best interests at heart. If, however, events unfold to reveal that this is indeed not the case, maybe slip them a “make your own fucking art” back.