So you want to quit your 9 to 5 job
Most creative artist like myself, when we first start off, we typically have a standard nine to five job that pays the bills in our lives. This is because the beginner artist has not established a reputation in his or her community or field and lacks experience creating. Like all beginners with time and practice we begin to improve and develop a high level of proficiency in our art and we begin to start being hired to create. Overtime the thoughts of going full time creative artist begin to seep in your head, but when is the right time to leave your nine to five job, and instead completely focus on your art.
In Season 2, Episode 1 of my podcast the Creative Knights Podcast I talk with a friend and fellow creative artist MyArtYourEyes and I asked him a few questions regarding his career as a photographer in hopes of sharing knowledge with other up and coming creatives. One of the questions I asked him was "What did it take for him to leave his full-time job and pursue a full-time career as a creative artist," his answer might surprise you.
"Taking the leap for me was definitely opportunity bound, because I just didn't have enough to get me out of that situation, even though things were going really good through photography you know. I guess it's all in steps, man. It's all in stride, you know. I guess what gave me the confidence was that I had built up to that. I've never really plateaued. Through photography, it was always like, what's next? like, Okay, I'm going to shoot models, right? Cool! Let me shoot some models. Great! Oh, you know, this dude is shooting food and he has a huge Instagram account. Let me hop on board with him and see what he's doing. Right? Okay, let me at least try to create some type of aesthetic through him or with him. So, I've always kind of been, I guess more opportunistic when it comes to photography and creating just in general. I guess that's what led me down the path, you know.
So, my first big breakthrough was starting a magazine, Miss Curvy Magazine for plus size women. I photographed a model, Amber Nova, you can find her on social media ad our shoot went great. She basically booked me for the day and she paid my day rate, which nobody had ever paid before, which felt great. I think it was like $1,200 for the day and it's supposed to be like eight hours. Of course, we didn't shoot that long. So that kind of started it, you know.
I always lead with photography. Well, I start with photography, but business is always in the back of my mind. If I see an opportunity, or hear somebody talking about something, even if it's not my place, I'm probably going to put my input in there, even if it’s something like an idea or whatever. I started that with her and took that journey with her and was making great money. Our first year we made really good money, but splitting it two ways was just not enough for me to take that leap, but I knew I had to. I knew that at some point I had to take that leap, I just couldn't keep going to work anymore. I just couldn't keep doing my nine to five because it was burning me up. What's funny is a lot of people looking from the outside in, they thought I was a full-time photographer. So there goes the catch 22, where a lot of people, at least on Instagram, they're like "man, this dude is crushing it. He has to be full time." But I was working full time as well. That's just how much pride I took in me trying to get to A. Enhance my skills, and B. Trying to keep pushing and trying to get those opportunities, and then it finally hit man. It was it was kind of magical.
For me, it all happened all at once. I had to move to a different state, Indiana. So, it kind of had to happen honestly. I'm glad I wasn't stuck in the whole nine to five mentality because I wouldn't have taken the risk and taken that jump if I didn't believe in myself. Then the opportunity that was presented to me and I'm just glad that I said yes to it. Basically, I got put in a position where I had to quit, if not, the opportunity was going to go to somebody else. Honestly an opportunity of a lifetime to shoot for GrubHub. I mean, it was just substantial the amount of capital that I was getting, to basically travel around the country to shoot photography, food photography at Airbnb locations which were basically our studios. I started coming out my shell because it was me doing the whole business thing, the invoices and stuff. I had done it all before in the past but very light. It was very elementary, I guess you could kind of say, so it really pushed me. Sometimes we can be our own force to move things around and to push ourselves, but sometimes you also get pushed into doing something, I think for me it was more me a having to move out of state. So, I had to quit at some point, but there was more incentive to because the opportunity was so grand that I had to take it."
For MyArtYourEyes it was an opportunity that pushed him to leave his nine to five, but what we must not forget is all the work he had to put before hand to get to the point where he felt confident in himself and his skills to be able to live up to the work that would be expected of him when GrubHub offered him the opportunity of a lifetime.
If you are not already following my podcast I highly recommend you go check it out and subscribe to it and finish listening to the episode. MyArtYourEyes touches on a lot of more points that got him to the point where is he today as a creator. You won't be disappointed. If you also don't already follow MyArtYourEyes be sure to follow him at @myartyoureyes and @playdirtyonthebeat on instagram.