Floating on The Same Cloud.
In my last column I talked about how having the mindset ‘I am an illustrator’, helped me with my career change. This is not all of course. For me, there are a few things that played a part in making my big switch.
Another element that really helped with the change was connecting with people who are floating on the same cloud as I did. Don’t get me wrong, I do have ‘real life’ friends who support me in what I am doing now, but I don’t really have ‘real life’ friends who went through the same things like I did.
This changed when I started blogging though.
Suddenly there were people who gave me advice, who could relate to what I was going through. As some of you know, I didn’t make the switch just like that. It took quite some time, before I decided to go for it. Until that point, my days were filled with piles of paperwork, research notes and SPSS (an evil program to calculate statistics.). When I stared at the path leading up to my possible new creative adventure, I was scared. Just thinking about all the things I had to do, to start completely from scratch, was really daunting. So in my head it was easier to stick with my thesis as I was working on it anyway.
As time passed, I kept on blogging and I connected with more creative individuals. This feeling of ‘I need to make change’, grew stronger by the day. I finally felt that I was on the right track. Everything I was thinking about, the constant daydreaming and the urge to tell stories and doodling…finally made sense. It didn’t seem silly or weird at all. There were signs everywhere that a change had to be made. I couldn’t find an excuse not to go for it nor did I want to wait. It was just right. It’s difficult to explain, but I was spending so much time and energy into my thesis, why couldn’t I do exactly the same for something I really wanted to do?
It sounds so easy, doesn’t it?
When I was facing my decision, I knew that eyebrows would be raised. I knew I would have to put in a lot of hours, as I didn’t have an arty background or knowledge to begin with. I also knew that my work schedule would be completely different than most people. I knew I would be working a lot alone.
However, I also knew that I would be doing something that I just love to do. I knew I would connect with like-minded people who could guide and inspire me along the way. I knew I would be true to myself and not to what others expected from me. This just made the switch easier and now I just have to keep on going.
You know, going through a big change, shows you who really accepts and understands you as a person. I can’t switch off my creativity and for some this is difficult to understand. I can’t deny who I am and I am too aware of the possibilities and opportunities I have now. Also, I am too aware of what I will lose if I would go back to how things were before. This alone makes my switch worthwhile.
The way you act upon your dreams and put things in action, separates dreamers from doers. In a way, I like to call myself a realistic dreamer. You can dream, but a dream will stay a dream if you don’t start working for it.
One thing is for sure, no matter where you are in life, you will always find people who will support you or they will find you. You will never have to face it completely on your own.
Originally published October 28th, 2011 on TJ on Illustrations.
Tags: a magical journey, adventure, career as illustrator, career change, columnist, making a decision, TJ Lubrano