Inspired by every student whose told they can’t be an artist because it doesn’t “make enough money”.
this is a very easy thing to say of you’ve never been totally skint
money doesn’t buy happiness, but I’d rather be sad and able to feed myself after paying rent
'it doesn't take much to live comfortably” is a naïve statement to make
I agree, this is very…out of touch. And, it certainly does take a lot of money to “Own a yarn shop!” Plus, “loving to knit” has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with owning that yarn shop. Owning a yarn shop is maintaining a business wherein you buy yarn from suppliers and pay people to help you sell that yarn to other people who, oh, say, aren’t spending their time running yarn shops…
Plus, you have to pay for the lease on the shop space itself, pay for the electricity to run the lights, more electricity or maybe the gas to heat the place, advertising to let people know about it, pay the ridiculous prices for the cash register and attendant software (because that’s a niche racket for independent shops), pay for the water and sewer bills because the space will have those somewhere, pay for the maintenance of that entire retail space, pay for the security system services, pay for other little things you might not realize, like, say, if you want to play music legally, it has to be licensed and not just the radio or some music you have—I worked for an independent toy store and saw a lot of this firsthand…
I love comics from people who don’t actually live in the real world where responsibilities and consequences happen. They’re always a fascinating insight into a realm where you can just live happily on hobbies, wishes and pixie-dust farts.
Especially at the absurd prices the yarn stores get for pixie-dust farts today!
Look, I don’t mind this kind of advice, but they need an addendum: you have to understand that you may not be able to make a living doing the thing that makes you happiest in life. It’s worth looking into. It’s worth trying. But you might find out that it’s not happening for you — or that you can still enjoy your passions as hobbies (maybe even ones that bring in a little extra income as a bonus!) while you get another job to pay the bills.
I’ve spent most of my adult life following my creative passions, and I’ve had some amazing opportunities because of it. I’ve had jobs that people go “oh my god that must be SO FUN”, I’ve had my work on store shelves. I’ve officially written material for Transformers, G.I. Joe, Spider-Man, Kingdom Hearts, Mega Man, and more. I’ve done comic work both written and art. I know industry pros, I’ve gotten to travel, I’ve done some work that makes me and others happy. Fuck, we’re making a toy line, for crying out loud. Stuff that my high-school self could only dream of.
I’ve also spent good chunks of my adult life working annoying, soul-sucking, physically and mentally strenuous, thankless jobs in retail, offices, and food service between-slash-during those “dream jobs”, because “dream jobs” aren’t automatically self-sustaining, never-ending projects. Companies close. Markets shift. Rights-owners contract elsewhere. Upper managements change and have their own favored people to work with. Shit happens.
I still keep at my passions. Aside from the ongoing work on Transformers and the aforementioned toys, the last couple years I’ve been fortunate to do work with some amazingly talented people who are putting their passions on screen in the online video realm, and they’ve inspired me and best-friend-slash-creative-partner Trent to go at it ourselves, and it’s been very rewarding… creatively. Financially, well, it’s a little bit of lunch money, I can get some cheese and bacon on my fast-food burger. But not once have I got it into my head that the best idea evar would be to not work some other job that sustains me financially as I work on things I love because YOUR PASSION HAPPY IS MOST IMPORTANT EVAR
I fucking CAN’T. The real world keeps shitting in my cornflakes and I’ve got fucking financial responsibilities that could have dire consequences if not taken care of, and a goddamn Blip check for a few bucks a month ain’t gonna cut it. As it is, I’m pretty lucky to even be where I am now, as I kinda owe my family a LOT for helping me through rough years in several ways (and frankly I hate that I’ve had to but I kinda like living indoors and eating first-hand food). I’m fortunate I haven’t had some kind of medical emergency, because there’s some shit that’ll financially ruin you for a long long time.
I’m not saying “don’t follow your passions”. Your hobbies and passions should help keep you sane, lift your spirits, give you release. And I know several people who DO make a living by doing the thing they love. It IS worth looking into.
But comics like this virtually never have any grounding in reality and just barf up a message of extreme lack of self-awareness. I legitimately wonder what kind of life the people who make these live, socio-economics-wise, how much they got from their parents. How old they are. The people I know who are making their livings on webcomics or online videos or in video games or whatever by and large not only went through the “shit job” phase, the reason they make their living now was because they WORKED DAMN HARD at their passions for a long time to get it there. I see the production schedules they keep and it’s staggering. And a lot of them STILL work damn hard and are amazing talents but still need that extra boost because well, shit happens.
Just because you can knit a baby sweater doesn’t mean you can successfully operate a damn store that will forever sustain you financially.
Follow your passions, but not over a fucking cliff. Not everyone was given a parachute.
DON’T BE AN IDIOT.
I didn’t get to make Atop the Fourth Wall my job overnight. In fact, I was still working at Barnes and Noble for about a year or two before I finally decided to make the videos my priority. And why did I make that decision? Because at that point, I was making more money doing the videos than I was working at Barnes and Noble. The decision was justified in that I could make more money if I focused my time exclusively towards the videos.
And even then, I WAS still living with my parents at the time as a safety net. I wasn’t going to be an idiot by just burning my bridges and expecting to become crowned-king at this.
YES, pursue your passions and dreams… but don’t be a friggin’ idiot about it.