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When Opposites Attract…and Inspire

                This
month we are examining the duality that often accompanies the life of an
artist. Last week we spoke about the struggle we sometimes encounter when we
are deciding whether it is “right” to take on another job while still writing,
in order to make money. This means that as artists we may have a minimum (and
I emphasize MINIMUM) of two jobs: one that we just enjoy (often in the field of
the Arts) and one that makes us money (sadly, often not in the field of the
Arts).
                For
the latter, I find that many people make the mistake of settling into a job
that’s entry-level, underpaid, and not really something they enjoy. The
simplest reason for this, I presume, is that these jobs are relatively easy to
get and easy to do. It’s easy and uninspired money. I guess the reasoning for making this choice (beyond that it’s easy) is that all the energy and effort can be
focused on the art if little is required for the other things we do.
                I
would argue, however, that this is a potential missed opportunity. I’m going to
use another personal example here to illustrate my point. I have been
interested in music and singing since I could phonate (produce vocal sounds).
However, when I started being exposed to science and biological workings of the
world around us, that soon became a passion of mine as well. Since then I have
found a way to fuse my two interests by looking into the anatomy and physiology
of vocal production and how we produce the different sounds we hear in different
styles of music (insert shameless plug for my other blog The VoiceNotes here).
                I
am currently studying to become a Speech-Language Pathologist, and I hope to
use this expertise and work in this field alongside working in the music field. In
a way, having this other passion has unleashed new perspectives for me on music
and my love of performing. This is a pretty drastic example, but the point is,
I believe that it is worth taking the time to think about what else you could see
yourself doing if you couldn’t write, or paint, or sing, or dance, or do what
you love to do.
                Take the answer to this question (and actually try and answer it… it’s not
cheating on your art, it’s just smart), and look into possibilities in that
field. If you need more schooling to be directly in the field you came up with
and you don’t want to go back to school, find an “adjacent” field. There are so
many options these days in the workforce that you probably didn’t even know
existed. Even just being close to something else you enjoy will make having a
job alongside your art more tolerable. And who knows? You may find the inspiration
in that field that allows for a beautifully unexpected collaboration between your two interests!

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