As you young whippersnappers approach the excitement and fear of graduation day and begin your hunt for the ultimate job in the creative world, there is one thought that surely must be racing through your head. When it comes to looking for a job in the creative field, how important is money?
We all know the term, "starving artist". We also know the millions spent on a Superbowl ad. So where's the happy medium? Where's the line between never settling when it comes to your art, and making enough to pay the bills?
As Cabell Harris describes it (based on the wise advice from his father) that line moves as you get older and take on not just the responsibility of yourself, but your family as well. When you graduate, you have you and only you to answer to. You have your rent and car payment, and yours is the only mouth to feed. You can go with your gut and your own desires as an artist when choosing the right job for yourself. But add a family to that, a home, and the wellbeing of others, and artistic freedom suddenly becomes only one of many factors to consider. And if you should take on the challenge of owning your own shop, well then you need to consider the wellbeing of your employees. No work means no paychecks, for you AND them.
The sad truth is, everyone has bills to pay. When it comes to your dream, reality, unfortunately, is never far away. The question is where is YOUR line? Can you stomach doing work that, on occasion, does not bring you pure unadulterated artistic joy, knowing that you can put food on the table or take care of your employees? Can you stand to give up that fat paycheck and noteriaty, in order to work somewhere that allows you to maintain the high standard of creative you know you were meant to do?
For now, young graduates, just work, period. Try and do everything. Get every bit of experience under your belt that you can. You aren't done learning yet, so take advantage of every opportunity that comes your way. Just remember it won't always be about you, alone. If you can define that line and find that happy medium of getting paid to do what you love, you have found bliss!