We all have lives that we have to attend to, and every artist out there has been through the starving artist time in life; even if only briefly. Starving artist isn't a myth, it's a fact. This is only more apparent in these troubled times and economy, where money that one spends on pleasure rather than necessity runs short. Art is not a necessity, but a pleasure. As such, it is much more difficult to sell, and this is where our starving artists come from.
Knowing this, I definitely did not plan to just live off income from my photography right off the bat--that'd be crazy! It takes time to build up a reputation, and to get your name out on the streets and into the public's mind. So of course, this meant I needed to find something to pay the bills.
Off I went to find a job, and it was actually my belly dance instructor that helped me in to one. Her older sister was the manager of a local bagel shop and was looking for help. Awesome. I was basically hired on the spot, and I didn't look back. Here was a job willing to give me close to 40hrs a week, at pay that was just above minimum wage, and heck, it was a simple job too!
This mentality lasted for about a month. Unfortunately, this job had quite a bit of drama that you were a part of even if you didn't want to be. Because of the drama, we had a high turnover rate. And since I was a supervisor, I had to help the manager make up for all the people who left... meaning one day I'd be working from 5am-1pm, and the next day it might be 10am-6pm. I never was given either an opening or a closing schedule; I was always bouncing around and not able to set into a routine. This severely interrupted my creativity, because I was run down and had no energy for photography. In fact, I pretty much napped the summer away because the job left me so drained.
I decided about a month ago that this just wasn't working. I wasn't able to work on my photography at all, and I definitely wasn't able to promote myself. So I went job hunting.
I ended up much luckier than most in this economy, because one of my friends works for a small company that produces Architectural Signage. So I applied there, was fought over between the office and the shop, and ended up getting hired to work in the shop. This job starts on the 20th, and that means I'll be out of retail for good. It's a M-F 7am-3:30pm position. No more bouncing around a schedule. And I will be trained in a specific skill set, which I'll be able to put on my resume from here on out, just in case.
All in all, it should prove to be a very good move for me. And it will definitely open up far more time for my photography, so look forward to it!