I had started this post ages ago and forgotten it, so here it is now!
I wonder, sometimes, why I didn’t major in art. Then I remember, there are several reasons. Firstly, I’m no prodigy, at least not yet. You have to master the various techniques before you can start to be original. I haven’t mastered any yet, because there are so many different things I’m interested in, and I keep bouncing between this one and that. If I could keep my focus on any one thing at a time, maybe I could perfect a technique. Secondly, I really want to work with animals. Third, you have to be exceptional to find a career in art, and I’m not.
Fiber arts are a hobby for me. I thought about the possibility of a career once, but it was pointed out to me that taking a hobby you love and turning it into a job more often than not means that you will eventually hate it, because it becomes something you have to do, and your own creativity is suppressed because you are doing what you are told to do, rather than what you want to do. It’s a good point. I used to love writing. I dreamed of writing a best-selling novel. I was good at it. But I don’t like being told what to write, how to write it, when to have it done. Unless I’m extremely interested in the subject matter, I don’t like research. Thusly, I am not the next Nora Roberts. I lost interest in writing as a career. And other than this blog and the occasional Facebook rant, I haven’t written in ages.
I don’t want that to happen with fiber arts. It’s one thing to make something that you like for yourself and that you think of as saleable and put it up on a website like Etsy if and when you feel like it…or not. It’s another to know you have to get up every morning at a specific time to get to the job where you are not the boss, do as you’re told all day, take breaks according to someone else’s decision, clock out at five and drag yourself home. For something that involves creativity and design, that sounds like the seventh circle of hell to me.
Now, animals are different. Yes, I have to do research papers in order to get the education. No, I still don’t like them. Yes, I will have to be at work at a certain time, I will not be the boss, I will be doing as I’m told, etc. No, I don’t mind. Why? Because I have no desire to be the veterinarian. It’s difficult enough to get my brain to accept two years of nothing but math and science. The idea of another six years of more complicated math and science makes my brain shrivel. I don’t want to be the boss. I know the downside of my job, but the upside is getting to see the animals, help them, and send them home. Like being a grandparent: see the grandkids, spoil them rotten, and send them home to their parents on a sugar high you don’t have to cope with.
I can’t speak for how others might see it, but I don’t see veterinary technology as a creative career, so it doesn’t bother me to not be the boss like it would in anything involving the arts. Really, fiber arts are all about relaxation for me, and they wouldn’t be if they were a job. And not just the fiber arts, but the beadwork and chain maille as well. I like making pretty things, and there’s a part of me that wishes I could go back to being a full-time, stay at home mom so I would (chuckle chuckle, guffaw guffaw) have more time to spend making them.
And then reality stepped in and slapped me in the back of the head. In this economy (ye gods, when did I grow up enough to use that phrase???), the fact of the matter is that it’s financially extremely difficult to stay home. People need things, and things break and need repair, and “things” cost money, which does not fall out of trees. Thus, one must have a way to get money that does not involve jail time, which means a J O B. If one is fortunate, one might get said job in a field that one likes, if one were to put forth a bit of effort, or so one hopes. I went back to school in hopes of avoiding jobs like McDonald’s.
So I’ll keep on plugging, learning my trade and my craft, and keep everything in its proper place and perspective. After all, that’s what life’s about, isn’t it? I can’t believe I just said that. Yikes, I really did become a grown up at some point…