Monday, May 9, 2011

Keeping or Quitting your Day Job: 2Roses

This feature is about achieving a fundamental sense of fulfillment and purpose, of finding your place in a community of your peers. It's about sharing the truth of what it is to be an artist in the 21st century, in all of its forms. We all walk different paths in the expression of our art, yet we came together through Etsy.




As an artist, I’ve never understood the whole premise of “quit your day job”. The implication is that whatever you are doing, if it’s not art, it must be something you don’t like. The other underlying concept is that your success as an artist, and life’s destiny, will never be fulfilled as long as you do anything other than “your art”. Intellectually we can accept the idea that human beings are multidimensional creatures with multifaceted personalities. But emotionally we want to define the individual by what they do for money. Thus, by the popular yardstick, a truck driver could never be a good musician, and a doctor could never be a good jeweler. Of course there are plenty of artists in all disciplines that are living testimony to the fact that this idea is not true.

I define myself as an artist. I create. I solve problems. I make my living from my creative instincts and efforts in whatever direction I choose to apply them. This is who I am regardless of how others wish to define me. Just to be clear, I engage in multiple occupations and I enjoy them all – immensely. They pay well, are very fulfilling of spirit, and afford me great creative freedom. For me it is all interconnected – one life – one work. Thank you, I live a rich life.

I see things you can’t. I imagine and make it reality. I am a map to places you don’t know exist. I am an agent of change. This is my art. It is not the materials or media I happen to use at any given moment. Nor is it the particular discipline or field in which I choose to express myself. Why would I give all this up to live someone else’s definition of my life, my art?

There are many people who don’t particularly like their “day job”, and see the artistic life as an escape. Some who make the leap of faith that they can make a living through their art are confronted at some point with the realization that “art” has become a job like any other. Creative freedom gives way to the necessity of making a living. Artistic vision becomes blurred by the need to produce a never-ending stream of things that people will buy. This is a rude awakening for those who are chasing a dream of the artistic life that never existed. I am completely at ease with the idea that art is a business and embrace it. At any given time on any given day I slide freely from “business” to “art” and back to business. It is all interconnected – one life – one work. So, I’ll keep my day job, whatever you choose to call it.

Thanks for sharing your story, Corliss (of 2Roses). Make sure to check out their Etsy shop, 2Roses.

10 comments:

Lunasa Designs Jewelry said...

Love, love, LOVE it and couldn't agree more!!! Thank you Corliss!

Amy Nicole said...

I love your take on this! You have put into words feelings I have always felt but never quite knew how to explain.

Keirsten said...

Thank you for this! I have encountered this bias frequently as well. While I find the lack of time for my jewelry frustrating, I also very often feel grateful that I can set it aside when the muse is silent, without worrying about the rent. I like that I can do it when I feel like it. And I suspect if I tried to do it as my sole living, I'd be working a LOT more hours than I am now (and eating a lot of mac and cheese).

riv said...

I'm also very skeptical of the artist/day job dichotomy. I'm proud of being a programmer AND an artist! There's a huge overlap (for me) between the engineering that goes into putting jewelry together and the engineering that goes into my code--and I love both of them :)

AdobeSol said...

So well put! It gives me food for thought in positive light. Thank you very much for sharring your perspective, Corliss!

ArtigianoJewelBox said...

Congrats on a great story - thanks for sharing this important perspective on life and art.

jane said...

Thank you Corliss, so well stated! I agree with your statement 100%.

Evelyn Markasky said...

Nice perspective!

Jenny said...

One of the most life-changing things I ever read, was in a gardening magazine (many years ago) when someone wrote: "I prefer to think of myself as a gardener who funds his passion with a job as a bank vice president." So many of us gauge our worth with our employment - solely. Reading that freed me to seek the daytime employment I enjoyed, and have enough energy after work to pursue what I love. I have stopped worrying about whether I am a success, or whether I have come far enough in life. So many employment-related issues are controlled by forces outside my control, so it makes no sense to worry about whether my job makes me "enough." I have enjoyed life so much more since I read that article, knowing it's about what kind of human being I am that matters, not where I work or what kind of work I do. In other words, no one's going to read your resume out loud at your funeral.

2Roses said...

Thank you all for your feedback. There are so many different paths that we all take to make art and find fulfillment. There is no right or wrong, only what is true for yourself. We are looking forward to reading what our other Etsymetal friends share about the paths they are on, and the perspectives it will open up for us.

We want to thank Tosca Hildago & Teran of Etsymetal for creating this project and giving us the opportunity to articulate something that doesn't get put into words very often, if ever.

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