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What is a real job, anyway?

What <i>is</i> a real job, anyway?

"...despite the fact that my mother owned a small ad agency at the time, it wasn’t clear to me that Illustrator was a conceivable profession. I attempted to find a more practical application of my creative desires..."

Awhile back I read this article and it really resonated with me. I think a lot of kids grow up thinking they have to find a "real" profession like a doctor or a lawyer or a teacher, but following your passions will likely lead you to a profession that is just as "real." I grew up with my mom being a graphic artist, doing layout design, copy editing and production work for a small wine magazine in Northern California. I always knew that being an artist could be a real job. But I never really connected artist with what she did because, like most kids and teenagers, I didn't know exactly what she did. So when I graduated high school and went off to a big four year university, art was never on my radar. I'd grown up playing with KidPix and being creative was something I always loved. But when I started thinking about what to major in, I waffled between sociology, psychology, becoming a teacher, and back around again. Many times. Fast forward to my mid-twenties. I decided to go back to school. What was I going to get my degree in? Well, business is a safe bet, right? I enrolled in a micro-economics class, bought the books, and showed up for the first day. Snore-fest! Not for me. Time to rethink this whole thing. Well, I'd always loved art. I was a decent illustrator and felt like I had an ok eye for design. Sure, I didn't know the first thing about Adobe Creative Suite, but that's a skill I could pick up. So I started taking design classes at Portland State. I learned so much. I'm still learning so much. And I love it. I'm certainly not at a place where I call being an artist the way I make my living. But I create when I can. I collaborate with my mom, ask her for her seasoned-professional eye to take a look at my work. I am learning web design and teaching myself the basics of coding. And I'm learning more and more everyday what being an artist means to me.

"Some version of this story can surely be told by every one of my colleagues. We are not masters of the universe, we are pious citizens of the creative class. We are aesthetes and nitpickers, masochists and technophiles, organizers and disorganizers, pixel-pushers and stubborn brats, nerds and artists, oversharers and brilliant hermits, scientists and authors, gamblers and brigands, drawers and dreamers."

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