31 May 2013

creativity + the day job

It's not something I talk about a lot here, my day job. Because it doesn't really have anything to do with my art life. It's creative in it's own way but a total 180 from fabric and paint and thread.

But I've been reading a lot online lately about some artists feeling as if they need to defend themselves because they hold full time day jobs in addition to their art careers. As one of them, I'm troubled by this. I wonder at the idea that one artist can feel that another creative isn't fully committed because she doesn't spend her day in her studio. (And for the record, I've never been "accused" of not being a serious artist because I hold a non-art day job. This post is a response to some chatter I've been seeing online.)

It's nonsense.

Choosing to live a creative life is just that - a choice. How we carry creativity through our days varies from person to person, the key being that we carry it. We hold it around us and let it creep into the forefront at every chance it gets. Day job, family, full time artist - it all waits for those quiet moments when we can connect fully.

Being a creative means seeing the details that make your mind churn with energy.

Like bowling balls in my favorite color:

Or the look of a full moon in the pale morning sky when I leave extra early for work:

Being creative means honoring that last half an hour of my day by shutting off the tv, the computer, the iphone and pulling out my worn out journal to write about whatever I feel like.

Being creative means that I am constantly searching for the new thing that will set my spirit spinning, wanting to make something new and exciting.

Being creative means being present in my life, not letting it just happen to me. But rather standing beside it in collaboration and going along for the ride as best I can.

It has nothing to do with how I earn my money.

No matter what your circumstance may be at this given moment, be creative. In your way. And know that that is all that matters.


HollyM said...

You've expressed it so well! I totally agree, especially about being present in your life.

Lisa Chin said...

You are so right Lynn! Creativity should be in all aspects of our life whether we consider ourselves an artist or not.

Regina B Dunn said...

I was a science teacher for 23 years and only did my art when I had the energy left for it on some weekends. But I was creative ALL the time. How I planned my lessons was creative, how I treated my students was creative, how I watched crystals dissolve, lined up the colors of chemicals, arranged my bulletin boards, played with dust bunnies, on and on and on. It all fed into the ideas for my art and my art fed into ideas for my day job. You are so right. It's all one.

KAM said...

Great post Lynn...saved to my notes in my daily journal...rewriting in the journal made me really think deeply about your words; I appreciate them and resonate with the message. Thanks for this. Kristin

Susan said...

Good for you...and thank you for putting this out there, there are many many ways creative people are inspired throughout their days no matter what their 'day-jobs' are. You expressed, I'm sure what we all feel.

Gail said...

Very well said Lynn!

Unknown said...

I think that those people need to get a life. Who are they to decide who is creative and/or an artist? Banish them.

Susan M. Brown {sbartist} said...

BRAVO!!! Thanks for saying what needs to be heard. I too spend my days working too hard at the day job to rush home and catch a few winks of sleep in order to have a hour or two in the middle of the night to be creative. Being creative for me is as necessary as breathing, and if I don't take time to let it out... It's INSOMNIA! Great commentary to set the record straight. Thanks :)

tiedyejudy said...

Many years ago, when I was still a kid, my folks helped me to see that earning a living had to be first on my list of priorities. But they did a great deal to nurture my creative interests as well. I spent over 35 years in the business world, but never gave up pursuing my creative interests. I have had my own fiber arts business for almost 15 years now, and will keep going as long as I can, because it feeds my soul. I think my creativity helped me to do a good job in the business world, and I learned a lot there to help me in my own business... win-win!

artful embellishments said...

You are such a great role model. I think it is important to find time for all of your passions. For some it might be one or two, others many more. I often find that when people go looking for some fault in others, they are missing the boat. That time should be spent on their own passion.