Well, finally I have made legitimate funds from my art. Not much, not quite enough to secure a months rent even, but some. This is a big step. Not least of all because it gets the ball rolling, but it means my persistance and seemingly endless sleepless nights are not totally in vain. So thankyou to my customers, you have picked me up more than you know. Hopefully this is the beginning.
Last week I was forced to do the thing I was desperately trying to avoid. Call an agency and ask for supply teaching work. On Tuesday I secured a position teaching photography at a sixth form college, which yes, is great, because I need the money, its sixth form, and Im lucky to be getting work, blah blah blah. Its only a few weeks, and it was a tough position to secure, so yes, I did well to get it. There are two good things to come out of this, and niether of them involve money (although that part is helpful).
1. Once again, Im reminded of the less than convenient fact that I do not want to be a teacher. This is a great school, no behaviour issues, there are great facilities, and Im teaching what I love. Still not happy. Am I too hard to please? Am I lazy? Or am I just so god damned sick of trying to convince myself that I need to do this to support my creative pursuits and please the conservatives that I have spent years trying to satisfy?Yes, I am educated, yes I have knowledge and I like to share this with people who want to learn. Outrageous as it seems, there is a world of difference between being qualified to teach, and wanting to teach. I have been teaching for 3 and a half years, and I know what a good teacher is. I also know what a bad teacher is, and when you feel so drained and exhausted and bitter day after day, one knows which kind of teacher they are likely to become. I am tired of giving everything and going to all lengths for a career I never even wanted. Teaching was supposed to support what I really wanted to do (sound familiar fellow creatives?) but sucked me away from where I wanted to be. Having said that, the school Im at is nothing I can complain about. I have managed to find that elusive job where all of the positive benefits are there, they just dont add up.
The second good thing to come out of this is that by some universal reward for sacrifising my self and succumbing to the one thing I hoped to be rid of forever for the sake of my artistic integrity, people have started to notice my work, and even opened their wallets (but seriously universe, is this entirely neccessary to entice such an epiphany?)
So what now? Im going to keep struggling financially, because its worth it. Luckily for me, I have the support of another amazing human who is struggling to find his place in the whole artist/teacher dilemma, and without him I would still be in my un-chosen profession becoming a more and more un-inspiring person. Read his story here.
Enough moaning, Ive just got home from work and Im going to have a gin. Cause I deserve it. x