As some of you may know, I’ve had dual careers for the past three years: artist and human resources consultant. I’d been happy doing both, working with my consulting clients a few days per week, and spending the rest of my time working on my art. My consulting work paid the bills (and I genuinely liked it); my art work nurtured everything else.
But something changed for me last year. I had my busiest consulting year, and was burned out by November. In the middle of all that work, I started to see a future where I could make a living from my art again, and I realized that my consulting work had shifted from one half of a career path to more of a day job.
So, I wound down work with my long-term consulting clients at the end of January, to get ready for a planned move to LA (more on that some other day), spent most of the month of February printing my Kickstarter bags, and spent some time on smaller client projects. I ended the month with a clearer sense of how to move forward and become a working artist. And I still have my day job, only scaled back for my sanity.
I sometimes regret not having gone to art school, but, in many ways, I’m glad that I’ve had such a winding career path. Along the way, I’ve picked up skills that have served me well as an entrepreneur, and which have allowed me to find non-creative work that pays me well, and leaves me with creative energy. I’ve learned how to have a day job, I’ve learned how to run a business – and I’ve also learned when it’s time to walk away (albeit slowly) from a path that may have once seemed like the best route.