Friday, May 08, 2009
A Revolutionary Road
I quit my one week old job yesterday. If I am utterly miserable than best to change the current situation. This has occured once before and I remember someone telling me not to be a quitter and to stick it out. I was stunned. So stunned I didn't quit for a year and a half. Is this how the majority of the world think, I wondered to myself? Is that why so many people stay in jobs they don't like? I realized on the ship in Liberia that I had never worked for someone full-time for 7 months before. I didn't like the oppression or the dominion wielded over me. I have always worked hard in casual, part-time, or full-time seasonal jobs. I remained my own boss and lived a simple and frugal life. I admit this can become wearing in different ways. I watched the movie Revolutionary Road and it left a bad taste in my mouth, as it was it was meant to. Like the heroine, I have pursued the dream of being an artist believing I would make it one day. What is your definition of success? This question posed in art school was meant to break down the superficial ideas and free us to make our own art. The right answer was wrapped up in increasing your own abilities and creating in realms that had not been discovered, whether by you or others. It was to broach your own safety zone and step out into a chasm ignoring societies pleas to play it safe. "When the boy was a man he would be known as someone who took large and reckless actions, and he would often think that he had first been like this at Rebus Creek Road where he had first gone beyond what he was brave enough to do and changed himself because of it." (Peter Carey, His Illegal Self). But I have never quite been able to convince myself of this notion of success despite developing my sense of what is accomplished and challenging art. I have humanly wanted to be recognized by my peers, by the commercial world of art and by the theoretical world of art. Fat chance, is todays feeling despite Nigel learning that artist's minds are either floating in a cloud of brilliance or wallowing in a sea of despicable loathing of ones own work. My mind keeps slipping back to a friend of mine, another artist, who was struggling and from an outsiders view (the title I bestowed on myself at the time) I had the answers. I could see that she should market herself differently, should get a part time job to support her art while she was still fledgling, and start giving herself a time and money limit. Of course I placed myself in an entirely different category. I was beginning to sell, I lived simply, I had definite goals and time frames. Such are egos and my disbelief when she told me I didn't support her art. Now I wonder how different I am from her back then. Do people look at me and in their mind know what I should be doing differently, think I should give up, move on, grow up, and finally enter the real world? I admit I am surrounded more by people now whose subtlies I read and I know this is what they are thinking. They don't need to say it or show it. It is more what they don't say. So I am left wondering what next to do and in my mind these are the only realistic alternatives. 1. Jump into my art with all the gusto I have, living, breathing, eating, and sleeping art for a time more before reassessing. 2. Look into something completely different, completely reliable. 3. Pursue something else artistic that would renew my passion, but place me at the bottom rung in another field. 4. Continue with my art alongside a part time job.