I recently came upon a list of "11 Celebrated Artists That Didn't Quit Their Day Jobs", and was reminded that even if I'm not where I want to be as an artist, that's OK. There are other creators that have lived through the same circumstances, and used their experiences to hone their crafts.
“Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass,
it's about learning how to dance in the rain.” -Vivian Greene
All my life I knew that I was born to draw. During my first 20 years I dedicated my time to refining my skills as an artist. All I wanted to be was a Disney Animator. But as we get older, responsibilities take over, and at the age of 24, I was blessed to be a husband and father. It was during this time that I had to put my dreams aside and do what I had to do, and provide for my family. Yet all along, I was still drawing.
During this decade, I worked as an Account Executive in the mortgage industry, strengthening phone and managerial skills. After 4 years, I moved on and became licensed in private insurance, conducting face-to-face consultations and large group presentations. But then the 2008/2009 economic crash occurred and I was forced to reinvent myself again to provide for my family. Yet all along, I was still drawing.
After a long and stressful span of uncertainty, a door was opened and on September 9, 2009 I was hired as a temporary employee with a global bioscience company. Traveling up to an hour in SoCal traffic to get to the factory, I used this time to think. Realizing that my situation wouldn't change unless I did, I requested to begin working the graveyard shift. This meant working from 10:00pm to 10:00am, Friday night through Monday morning! Why? To invest more time with my wife and daughter. Yet all along, I was still drawing.
It was during these quiet moments in the middle of the night at the factory that I began to start a journal. I wrote down what I wanted in life. What I wanted to do and where I wanted to be. Slowing an idea found a voice that led to action, and I created a roadmap. On May 27, 2011 I registered my business name with the county and officially launched VoogDesigns! "Great, but how would I get back to doing what I knew I was born to do?"
I was still working at the factory, and with gas prices at over $4.00 a gallon, I discovered that the company had another facility 3 miles from my home! So I requested a transfer to eliminate a 2 hour round-trip commute and spending $100 a week to fill up my gas tank. Saving time and money, I could now devote more of my time to building my company!
"I’m working full-time on my job,
and part-time on my fortune." -Jim Rohn
For the last 2 years I have been blessed to work at this factory, and am now close enough that I could actually ride my mountain bike to work. There are some weekends where I'll work a 20-hour day, doing tasks that are mundane, monotonous, and far from "creative". But like the "11 Celebrated Artists That Didn't Quit Their Day Jobs", I use this experience to keep food on the table for my family, a roof over our heads and health insurance for medical emergencies. Every weekend I work three 12-hour days so that I can spend the other 4 days of the week drawing.
I'm doing what I NEED to do, in order to do what I was BORN to do.