Emelie’s ideas on careers
At the sweet old(er) age of 37, I have learned a lot of things about finding a career that works for you. When i was a kid growing up, there were not many avenues for those of us that fall under the category of “creative” without having it be within the conventions of any job with a degree. I took classes in high school that were aimed towards college prep. Nobody ever gave me the option of anything else. If i wanted a creative job outside of a college degree, i should go to beauty school. If i am a guy, i go to a trade school or start working in labor.
The idea of focusing my classes towards attending art school was not ever even brought up, which in retrospect if find very interesting considering that i was born and raised in Santa Cruz Ca. who prides itself on being an “artist town”. Supporting lovers of art, buyers of art but clearly not training of artists or supporting of emerging artists. It is an expensive town, so it doesn’t really support artists making a home and even a living there. You have to just have rich art buyers of already established artists to call yourself an “artist community”. Considering how locals love their art, never once did anybody ever talk about the idea that there art schools all over the US that specialize in art, and that IS a valid alternative to universities.
I have never done well in conventional learning environments. I never wanted to go to 4 years of college (5 or 6 years probably these days). I never wanted to go to work in the financial district or for corporate America, nor did i want to be a hairdresser. I did not know what my options were but the ones being presented to me, did not sound appealing.
Both of my parents resisted the idea of me becoming an artist when i finally came to them at the age of 27, telling them i was going to go for it. They told me it was ok for art to be a “hobby” but i would still need to get a “real job” and i could do my hobby in my free time. This was a real blow for me. Especially because i actually had an uncle (my mom’s brother who has now passed) who was actually a very very successful professional artist with permanent installations all over the US. He and his wife (Dick and Jane, reflectorart.com look it up, they have a house that is on the aaa guide of roadside attractions!) (keep an eye for an upcoming post on my Aunt and passed Uncle, Dick Elliott & Jane Orleman.) was the one who gave me hope and kept my head up when i was getting negative support from my parents. He gave me incredibly good advise. Not easy advice but good advice. (and not all that I have taken and probably why i am not at all as far as i would have liked to be right now with establishing myself as a working, successful artist.)
Anyways as i sit here thinking about the youth of today, i think they have it a little better if they are the creative type then I did at the time I was their age. There are many more areas of creativity that one can make a living at these days with technology integrated into our lives. And if the interest lies in an even more specialized creative field, they have the ability and the know to go research their options. At that age for me, i just had to rely on the knowledge of those around me to know what was out there and how to break into that field.
Close minded people were the biggest hurdle for me to find my place in a creative world. It has taken me to not accept the thoughts that there is no point in trying, because hardly anybody actually succeeds in those fields, and instead telling myself i have nothing to lose trying. Anybody will NOT succeed at ANYTHING they want to do if they don’t ever try. If you give it your all and fail, at least you can say you did and it didn’t work, but if you don’t ever even give it a shot, then you will without a doubt never make it in that field. You are taking your odds down to 0% chance if you never try.
I believe that if you don’t really find something interesting and can become fascinated with, you will never succeed at maintaining passion with that job. If your interest is chasing the mighty green dollar no matter what the job, than that is your fascination and that will keep you interested enough to succeed. If you love animals, then that is where you should be looking to find something that will keep you interested in what you do for the long term. If you chose a career that only works for you because there is a growing industry in that field but it doesn’t really interest you, you may have a career in that field, but i have a feeling, you may end up one of those people who feel empty in their lives down the road.
Bottom line… Do what you love and you will always be successful. If you know where your passion lies, then there is a job for you in that field if you look hard enough. What i always suggest to do if you are having a hard time landing a steady employment in a company or field that you KNOW you love, volunteer or intern for a short time. It may seem like you are working for free initially, but the connections and being on the inside may just make that time the best investment you ever can make because you will finally have access to what you are passionate about, that you can build your future around.