I’m going to be honest with this. It might come back to bite me, but that’s okay. I’m going to try to describe the frustration of being a creative fellow (former multimedia designer) working at building a career in the trades.
It’s hard. It’s difficult. It’s not easy being an older apprentice (41 at the time of this writing … creeping up on 42), feeling kind of stupid half the time. Feeling that I’ve blown my life to hell. And it also feels weird that the majority of my coworkers are younger than myself. I’m older and have had a career in the past where I was relied upon for my expertise and opinions, so I’m finding it very difficult to handle being told what to do all day. I have different ideas of doing things, and biting my tongue most of the time is frustrating. I don’t want to overstep a situation where I don’t have expertise, so I keep fairly reserved. And I get it – I don’t have tons of experience. I’m basically stupid.
The most frustrating part of the trades for me is the lack of creativity. Indeed, you can be creative in the trades, but it’s not the same kind of creativity. I’m conditioned to being an idea person. I’m a creator. I don’t do as well in this more robotic environment. It is robotic. It’s robotic work. Work. I don’t mind working, but constant work of repetitive nature is painfully unfulfilling. I like to think. I like to brew ideas in my mind and bring them to life. Also, timed and scheduled coffee/lunch breaks is something I really don’t agree with. Haha, that sounds funny, but it’s true. Like, maybe sometimes I want to eat lunch at 12:45 and other days I want to eat at 12:15. Or 1:07. You know? I’m not a machine. And sometimes I just want to sit and draw for a bit. Sometimes I just want to make lines and curves with a pencil.
Why am I writing this? I thought you might be interested in how a former graphic designer (me) is handling a career change, all while clinging to a glimmer of hope through a T Shirt business. And I have to be honest – the hope is starting to crack a little. I’m scared that my skills are rusting over a bit. I’m afraid that I’m going to lose this very valuable part of my identity. I do feel good about my current designs and have proven over the past several years that they sell (and people like them), but it’s a real grind to get any increasing traction. I guess what drives me to push on is my desire to improve (illustration skills) and the belief that I can make a creative life for myself once again. Also, I don’t want to lose my artistic abilities that I’ve worked at for so many years. I’m drawn to art. I can’t help it.
Anyway, I thought I’d share some thoughts. This is just an example of the stuff that goes on in this creative mind on a daily basis. And now it’s time to put away the art supplies and go to bed, as Monday is one sleep away and it’s once again time to play with tools.