Unemployment Offers New Opportunities to Create March 15, 2016 16:56

Boston Public Garden Boston Public Garden

I'm officially unemployed.  It took me awhile to come to that conclusion since I seem busier than ever - but, "officially" I am unemployed. Technically, I have a part-time freelance writing gig which I am enjoying - although I miss the stability, and yes money, of a full-time corporate job.  I also have a board seat, am a single mother running a house with two teen boys, and am looking for a job so putting in a lot of networking time. All this doesn't sound like it leaves a lot of personal time - but what time I do have I have focused on painting. I've painted more in the last few months of working part time than I did all of the year before.  Which brings me to a little problem . . . I'm enjoying being unemployed. It's a guilty pleasure, painting. 

There are days that I am busy writing a blog for a company or reading white papers for research that all I can do is think about what I will paint next.  Then there are days I wake up and realize I don't have any deadlines that day and can paint - on a Tuesday! - and no one will care.  It's freeing! It's liberating! It's therapeutic! It's wonderful! It's also, unfortunately, not paying the bills.

The question I sometimes ponder is...what will I do if I get a job?  Well, I can't easily paint on Tuesdays, or any other work day for that matter, but there is always the weekend. Creative time, down time - MY time.  So the kids get a few extra pizzas - they like seeing what I paint. And hell - I put a fence up around the yard, the dog can skip a walk and play ball in the yard instead.  And so what if I put grocery shopping off until 5pm on Sunday - its quieter at the time so it's more efficient (I tell myself). I've even thought about not getting a "real job" - just looking for opportunities where I can create - sell my paintings through my website, Giclee prints through sites like Etsy, take commissions, approach art galleries, sign up for art exhibitions . . . and I've started to do some of this - and yes, I've sold some of my work (pleasant surprise!), but I need to decide to build this up or keep looking for a traditional 9-5 job. And, I write creatively too - not just for work - so how would I finish my next book if I got a job?

It's a difficult decision now that I've had a taste of a creative artist life. But for now, while unemployed, I can wake up and get the kids off to school and have HOURS to myself to paint. I am enjoying this time to myself.  Relishing the quiet time at home, the smell of oil paint filling the air, and the large-scale canvases that I am filling my walls with.  I'm going to love landing my next job - don't get me wrong - but until then, I am enjoying being officially unemployed. How many of you have faced the same dilemma?