There is a saying that you see on motivational posters, generally involving a cat, that goes something along the lines of, 'Today is the First Day of My Life... ' for most days this is true, except for one (it is always good to keep in mind that all things have a deadline - no pun intended). So, about ten-eleven months ago I was present at an announcement that was to throw a big fat spanner in the works of my day-to-day life, though the announcement not a surprise it was a disappointment (and that disappointment is a whole book on its own). However, the announcement meant that as of the 1st of April 2016 I, along with many good friends and colleagues, would part company with my employer. Thus started a whirlwind adventure of where do I point my life going forwards and trying to find my 'Why'.
What is 'Why', complicated. That's what 'Why' is. In a nutshell, 'Why' is why you do things, what motivates you. It is a brilliant concept, and HERE is a link to find out more, I can highly recommend watching Simon Sinek's talks and reading his books. The guy is a genius and changed the way I look at the world. Great stuff, however, now on with the adventure...
The beginning of my journey was bonkers, and no mistake, I got into my head I wanted to start my own company. The company was going to be called Cimmerian Studios, and was going to be epic. I seriously for many months considered this as an option. A lot of work, time, money, effort and thought went into realising the 'dream' that was a creative studio focusing on gaming, art and other crazy stuff. Everything kept returning to becoming something I didn't want to be, a business owner. A business owner of many hats, from accountant to shop keeper, from designer to advertising sales representative and many more. The idea was a big one, and all I wanted to do was design cool artwork, characters and worlds, and after a lot of work it very quickly came to a head when the truth was I would spend very little to no time doing the things that I loved, and spend almost all of my time working on the things that I really have no passion for.
So where do you take this, because when this truth hit me I only had a very short time before my day job and I said the long good by. I must admit, I panicked. Suddenly I'm in a place where I now have to join the rank and file of the endless job hunting, interviewing bonkerness of the, 'Job Market'. A crazy and unforgiving place where luck plays more of a role than ability in landing you an interview, let alone some of the nuts interview challenges you have to survive to even get your possible future employer to even start considering you for a role you are probably not too sure about yourself.
Then I had a thought, one of my fave films is Terminator. Terminator has this classic line, 'The future is not set, we have no fate but what we make...'. This is true, your destiny is in your own hands, it is up to you where you want to take it. We all have a choice, in all situations. The reason I was panicking was that I was heading in a direction that in my heart, or 'gut' as I like to think of it, I didn't want to go. A bit of advice, trust you 'gut', it's smarter than you think.
I suddenly started to feel much better, the panicking subsided and I had a direction and a big part of my 'Why' in the bag. It was a bit of a no brainer really. Go full-time freelance, I'm already working as a freelance artist part time, why not take something I love and turn it into a future and income. So, for now, that's what I'm doing.
Day One starts today as I officially become a full time freelance artist and illustrator, yeah I'm still looking at the bonkers 'Job Market', just in case things do go wrong - a Plan B is a good thing. Plan A, for now, is to go self employed and do something I love for a living, for as long as it lasts. If I have learnt a hard and heartbreaking lesson in the last twenty-four hours, it is that life is too short, and it is unacceptable to trap yourself in a place where you are unhappy and doing something simply because you have to. Remember, there is always a choice. So choose to be happy and do the things you love.
For me, that's creating characters, worlds and all kinda crazy in artwork. Day One begins now.......