|Elements of my dream day. Photo credits: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 (the illustration is by Oana Befort)|
I have a bit of a news for you.
I've quit my day job.
In the past 2 years, I've been feeling full of inspiration, motivation and drive to draw, yet I only had (some) week nights to actually do it. I've always loved drawing; but, due to various circumstances, instead of an art career, I've worked in startups for 6 years. I am ever so thankful for that period of my life though. It taught me to be independent, I've gained tons of experience and met amazing friends at work. I would not have changed a bit about the way things have happened.
A couple of months ago, I started feeling a restless need to give my creative drive more of my time. Slowly, but surely, I've decided that I am giving my dream a chance, full time, as of January.
I'm swapping an office for an art studio.
Wohoooo! (I still can't quite believe it when I am saying it. It's amazingly unreal.)
Looking back at the months that have preceded my decision and thinking of what's played a huge role in me getting this far; I've put together a list of things that I believe have made things much easier.
Here's what I recommend you to focus on
if you want to get closer to your dream life
1. First of all, I've gotta tell you, the law of attraction works.
Call it The Secret, call it visualisation, whatever you wish, I now know it works. I simply saw myself in an art studio instead of my office chair, I saw myself working on my shop opening, having a blog, drawing every day, packaging orders and here it is, it is less than a month away. I believed it, I knew it will happen and it is simply happening, right in front of my eyes. See yourself doing what you love, think about it every day, don't give up and it will come. Just watch :)
2. Save money. Start now.
I started saving up 6 years ago, with super tiny amounts. I completely forgot about my savings contract for some time and was not even saving up for like 3 years. I then started again a year ago. I doubt that I would have felt comfortable taking a leap into completely unknown, without having some financial security. Start saving now, you'll be very thankful to yourself in a couple of years. As Marie Forleo reminded me recently:
"Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it. The time will pass anyway" - Earl NightingaleYup!
I've spent sick hours watching tutorials on topics I wanted to learn about. I've taught myself how to use Photoshop from scratch (and can now do all I need, very comfortably), how to use a graphic tablet, how to scan and digitally edit illustration, how to set up a trade license in Austria and more. Be hungry to learn and don't give up researching.
Enroll in online courses, watch tutorials, read blogs, books, ask people around and find mentors - there is a million ways to learn, you just need to start and be very persistent.
4. Find out if there are any support systems in your country.
Are there any startup grands/ artist in residence programmes/ free consultations for starting entrepreneurs/ community meet ups related to what you want to do in your city that you can join? Research, join them, make friends and ask. See what your country offers, you might be surprised!
5. Be ready to work in the nights.
I don't think that there is a way to trick this. If you want to achieve something big and you happen to have a day job at the same time, you'll soon realise you've been spending the last x months (in my case 2 years) working in the nights - researching, learning, doing what you love.
6. Be ready to invest in it financially.
For me, it was online courses, consultations, materials, technology, trial prints, branding design and a lot of other things, that I've paid out of my pocket. There will surely be more to come and that is fine. It is, at the end of the day, an investment. An investment into learning, getting better and perfecting a product. If you mean it seriously with your dream, expect to make investments into it as you go. Choose very carefully, but sometimes you'll simply figure (after thinking of certain investments for months) that it will be worth it.
7. Don't wait too long.
I believe your gut will guide you with this one. There comes a point when you simply know you need to move on. Listen to that, repress the fears and stick with the plan.
That is where I am now. I've gone ahead with the dream plan. No clue what's ahead, but I love it.