The Impossible Garden
& The Wildforest
ART & STORIES BY MARICHIT GARCIA
My ultimate dream job is clear. It is to be a full-time artist and author, and be able to sustain a decent living with what I make from selling my art and my creative services. What is less clear perhaps is the detail of those services and even the "products" that I want to sell. I guess I have to sort that out. Right now I am easily swayed and dismayed by what other artists are doing, and feel bad by what I am not able to do or offer.
I am inspired by Sarah K. Benning and Jose Naranja who are very focused on one kind of work (but requires a solid base of patrons and customers for an assured income stream). I am also inspired by Lisa Congdon who believes and recommends "diversifying" her creative offerings (which makes perfect sense if one is to develop more income streams).
And then of course there is the need for a job with a regular paycheck.
I have dream day jobs too. Such as working in a library. Or a publishing house that makes the kinds of books I read. I would also like to work in an organisation that has to do with nature, especially plants. Work that has to do with conservation or finding ways to help the planet recover from the abuses of humankind. If I had the skill and talent I would have liked to work with something like National Geographic, or The Smithsonian. Or a job that will require me to work inside a lot of libraries and museums. I am not too good with work that involves too much active peopling. I can work well with small core teams that are allowed to act independently rather than having to execute a template process. I think I might enjoy work relating to old cultures and its preservation and promotion. If I had been born in an older time and in a more moneyed circumstance, and better brain cells, I think I may have had an inclination to be an academic on literature, an archaeologist, a botanist -- someone with a specific and deep expertise, almost to the extent of being a genius in that particular field. And that field would be something that provides learning or resource to all, an expanding of knowledge and an aid to wisdom.
I could work with a lot of writing but not a lot of having to talk and present. One of my dreams when I was more actively doing market research was that there would be a time when all I have to do is write a comprehensive idiot-proof report that will present itself and not have to be presented by me. it will have sidenotes and footnotes and appendices that are easy to access and understand, and can be consulted again and again.
The other day I was thinking about whether I have the talent and skill for illustration. I think I need to understand more about what it is because right now it feels like a version of an ad agency creative job where the brief plus the client's opinions and demands could curtail the creative flow. Also, I am really not trained for drawing and may be very limited in what I am able to do. I don't know. I really have to read up a bit and be better informed. But it's a possible direction I can take that is commercial but still "artsy". It will be a terrifying shift, if ever.
I am ambivalent about teaching. I was a high school teacher once and I enjoyed it for a while (until the Dead Poets' Society version of an incident). I may no longer have the patience, especially when kids now have that annoying sense of entitlement and are too outspoken and insistent on their freedom to express for their own good. I am open, however, to maybe coaching a creative class of adults, but following my own design or curriculum. A physical gathering, lightly structured, contained, and smaller version of Jane's Creativity Bootcamp and Salon. It can be something that companies can perhaps avail of as part of their HR projects, like a creative retreat, but it will be the total opposite of those loud extroverted team-building courses. Then maybe I can also do one-on-one, following similar structures and schedules as the group ones.
I need a day job. I want to keep growing my dream job. But I need a day job. One that will hopefully not kill my dream job or put it into coma.
I am currently in that frightful place where I am unable to make a decisive move because the move that seems most sensible also feels the most like a mistake.