Being a film graduate, it is easy to see that I am a creative person, and as a creative person, I can also vouch for the fact that an artistic career in any medium is tricky to come by. While I was studying film in Oakville, my professors encouraged us to have a “homework free” job while we worked on our own projects after graduation. What they meant by that was “Pay your bills, but always have time to create” and this is some of the best advice I got while in college the first time.
I am a screenwriter. It is what I want to do with the rest of my life, but as a newbie to the industry, I’m not going to be writing $100 million films directed by J.J. Abrams. However, I can’t pay my bills with rejection letters either. It is the same with photographers or artists.
We creative types need to build reputations for ourselves first and even then there is never a guarantee and many of us need to work in the, for lack of a better term, “real world” in order to make ends meet. When you try and cram a creative person into a desk job or a retail environment, it can be really difficult to live with, depending on your personality type. So this is why it is important to think about your debts and your expenses and really evaluate what is worth it.
I have worked several jobs in and out of retail and have discovered that I cannot work in retail at all because it is so far from my personality type that I cannot handle the stress of it all. But that doesn’t mean all is lost. There are other jobs I am good at because of my personality type. And, after all, sometimes a job is just a job and you don’t need to love it to be able to get through the day. It is all about balance.
While working whatever job it is that you can land, it is also imperative to continue doing what you love. Keep those skills finely tuned so you don’t lose your talents. You don’t need to paint a Mona Lisa or write Moby Dick every day. A little bit at a time is enough so long as it is still your true passion. It is never about how being in a creative profession “isn’t a real job”, because it is if you put the work in. Artists are just as career driven as company executives. Don’t stop being creative and keep working at what you love. Rejection is only the first of many steps in a creative environment, and the key to getting past it is never giving up.
– RJ Richardson
1st year Business
Follow RJ @RJakeBlack
Welcome to RJ as a guest blogger on the ABC:Alumni Blog Connection. RJ is working in the Alumni Office this Summer, assisting with social media management and writing for various mediums.