So When Are You Going to Get A Real Job?

The creative process is a strange one. Sometimes you wait for inspiration, which is not always feasible or best to do. Sometimes you have a flood of ideas pouring into your mind, and you are in a race to write down all of the things, before they quickly disappear and are long forgotten. Sometimes you just start doodling, and then suddenly, as if magic, a golden idea presents itself. Such is the life of those who are deemed ill-fit for society, as mere hobbyists and not workers… the creative who is loathed, held in awe, or looked at with pity…yet so many covet the creations but disregard or disrespect the creator.

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So many times over, I have been asked… When was I going (to grow up and) to get a real job?  I have suffered housing instability, economic instability, rampant negativity from family and complete strangers, and attempted to face uncertainty and fear… all for the love of being a creative type. ( I do not like to use the term artist.)

In this time, I have managed to get my art and writing published (about), suffered numerous cruelty that has shredded my heart to its core, and made me question my ideas and feelings toward humanity.

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My feelings have changed greatly toward humans. I now find my greatest priority is to protect my heart and pick up the pieces as much as possible, to keep moving forward and not look at the past (which I cannot change or fix), and to prioritize my family first. Art and writing come second, but one day, I hope that with enough constant effort, I will no longer find myself caught in the web of other’s deceit, fear, anger, awe, curiosity, or desire to exploit me for something that is too often seen as a talent, instead of being learned skills… or more often a pitiful and pitiable endeavor which will never properly keep me fed, clothed, or housed.

If you are a creative type, please support other creative types like yourself. There is nothing wrong or senseless about people asking to be paid a fair price for their art, their craft, their livelihood that they have spent a good deal of time studying, practicing, and seeking to perfect.

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Creative skills are not talent. Many people find that after acknowledging an inclination toward the arts, that they take a class, read a book, or watch a video to learn more. Then, they gather the tools and seek to practice. As time progresses, a person transforms and takes the label as artist, creative, painter, writer, dancer, musician, etc.

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A passionate heart may kick start the motivation to pursue the path of artist/creative, but one still has to give their time and energy over, with a committed effort to grow and develop within their discipline/craft of choice.

 

There are no overnight successes…

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That being said, please stop asking artists to give the work of their hearts, minds, and hands over for free. Donate and purchase the work of creative types when and if you can. Fans may equal numbers, but supporters, donors, and customers help pay bills, feed bellies, and keep people housed, so that creatives can continue to learn, develop, and give the products they make over to the world over to enjoy, listen to, read, dance to, etc.

Creative types, do not be afraid to ask your just due, and ask for the money you deserve for your efforts.

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If we do not come together and support the arts/creativity/innovation, we will be lost as human beings. The very first thing all kids are capable of, is creating and using the imagination. Everything on this planet made by humans starts as an idea.

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We take for granted: interior design, fashion, dance, music, paintings, choreography, animation, film, hair stylists, writers, chefs, jewelers, potters, etc. Just to name a few.

Yes, there are housing spaces for creatives, but many cannot and simply still do not fit the requirements given, or are met with such disdain and discouragement for society that it is not real work, they are unable to make enough work, or simply give up (on life).

We are faced with a changing world, that is rapidly advancing and changing how and why we work. Especially, since AI, self-driving cars, automation, food production, etc. is needing less people every year.

Coupled with the amount of unskilled workers out here, who may or may not be interested or capable in quickly adjusting and learning new skills to compete within a competitive global marketplace… the creative path just might be an avenue for newly unemployed people.

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Without monetary support or basic needs being met, the ability to give more people freedom to dream, imagine, and develop new technology, produce new ideas, and participate in our global economy as purposeful members of a group, versus being an easily replaceable non-asset could be an amazing thing.

We are losing unnecessarily a lot of good human potential. We have ignored and forgotten human capital that is not solely tied to dollars and cents, and have rigidly defined what is work, what is necessary, and what is valuable…

What will you do to make a better world?

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Please feel free to share this post, or make a comment below!

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gritnvinegar

Grit N Vinegar is the home of emerging writer, Alex Smith. Focusing on short stories, flash fiction, and poetry, Alex has been published in Sick Lit Magazine and often seeks out new places to submit her writing. Find me @gritNvinegar on Twitter!

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