I promised myself I was going to write every day this month, and what better way than to start off with the biggest curveball I've been tossed in a long time. Someone asked me, yesterday, if I needed a kick in the ass to get my animation dreams rolling, and to get out of the design industry for good; to stop faking it, and to stop wasting time on what I feel others expect of me, and what is safe. I'm coasting through on comfort, and this person knows it. They see my frustration, they see how bored and uninspired I am. They said enough is enough, because I have so much to share and they feel responsible for keeping me from doing so. This person was my boss.
My boss has tried over the years, to keep me around, to keep me entertained and motivated, to take advantage of my skills while I'm around. The trouble is that the momentum is fleeting, as my days coast back down to a dead end of putting checkboxes on forms all over again. It's just not the place for me to be, and he feels somewhat responsible for repressing my capabilities. I appreciated his brow scratching and frustrated expression, as he tried to figure out once again how to keep me around. It was a tough call, but we agreed that the solution was that it was time for me to go. I'm being kicked out, but with assistance to make sure I get into what I'm meant to do. I came home last night and cried at the thought that someone offered to help, and that I'd accepted it. You have no idea how much I suck at accepting help. I'll get into it another time.
It's tough to admit to myself that I am not a self motivator. I don't know how to set up deadlines and stick to them confidently, on my own, because I don't know how to take myself seriously. I work far better with the crack of the whip, with a tight deadline, with someone to please other that myself; where I can't pace too long or overthink my approaches. I have one month to dig up the work that I've done, to quit reinventing the wheel, and show myself that my current body of work is strong enough to show for what it is. This is quite the confidence exercise. I'm a big deal, and I need to firmly believe that.
I chose to be a graphic designer because it was what I felt was the most logical thing to do, in regards to stability, and for the sake of having a well known position that people have heard of. There are people who exist in this world, who get paid to do the things I want to do. It's just a bit more competitive out there, but that doesn't mean it's impossible. I have the skills! Everyone sees it, except me. I mean I know it's there, I just don't acknowledge it so strongly as I should. I've always stood out as an artist, and I've also found that to be quite intimidating. I was ripped out of my classes, in art school, because my teachers said I was making them look bad; because my skills were recognizably above average, doing things that I had already taught myself. I'm a master at my talent, with room to grow, and the desire to learn and challenge myself further. I don't get that from putting words on stock photos. Repression is the root of my depression. I'm glad to know it stops here.
To think what this could do to my state of mind, and my drive, is where I get all choked up. To even say to myself out loud that I will never be a graphic designer again.. it's amazing. I believe it, because someone is there to make sure I don't cop out and hop back into the same mindless game of clicking mouse and kerning. Someone has offered to help me; someone who knows how to market things, how to sell a product, how to network and talk to the right people. Someone who believes in me, who knows that I have 'killer skills' to share. I was given the golden ticket to let myself shine, and believe in it. No ifs, ands, or buts. There's no time to worry, doubt, or hesitate. One month, to prove to myself that I'm not a graphic designer anymore, I'm an artist.
Shit just got real.