I'm very lucky to be in a paying job that utilises some skills that I enjoy using. Digital Marketing can be a very exciting and innovative field to be in, and for the first year or so that I was in the job I would get up every day, raring to go, keen to get to my desk and flex my creative muscles. I don't know whether the novelty of it has worn off, or if I've been there too long, or if my role has just mutated to be more administrative and less creative, but as things stand I feel a bit like I'm rotting. I have lovely colleagues and the comfort of a steady paycheck, and those facts alone make it better than lots of jobs I've had before now, but I feel like everyone is too young to feel trapped on a career path they feel so uninspired by. I hate to sound ungrateful, but that's just the facts of it.
You may already know that I have a small creative business called SPOOK & SIREN where I sell handmade flower and seashell crowns, and I have other products in development due out soon (if you were at the Bloggers' Blog Awards I may have gushed at you about it then!) I love having my little sideline and now that it's growing and I'm getting requests for custom work I'm even less keen to head into the office every morning and just itching for the end of the day so I can get into my workshop and start creating.
Now, before we get overexcited, I'm not about to announce that I'm canning my day job to make headgear for a living. I'd love to someday, but I'm not quite there yet.
I've been racking my brains for a little while, wondering what the best way would be to get myself into a more hands-on creative job. I considered graphic design, but I'm much more at home with a tool in my hand than sat at a keyboard. I even started looking up self-sufficient artists' communes where I could move to and become a free-living spirit, but to be honest that was a little too liberated for me.
One of my biggest insecurities in life is that I failed university. There's no other way to put it, I flat-out failed. I struggled for three miserable years on what I felt from day one was completely the wrong course, after agreeing to go to university for completely the wrong reasons. Looking back on it now it's easier to see that I should have been more stubborn and applied to do something physically creative, but at the time, for long and boring reasons I don't want to get into here, it wasn't an option for me. I took summer courses at Central St Martin's and had never loved anything more. I wanted so desperately to pursue some kind of course that would nurture my love of paint and ink and paper and making something beautiful out of nothing.
Well, now I'm an adult. And one of the benefits of a boring but stable job is that I have a tiny bit of financial wriggle-room. So, with all of this in mind my announcement is...
I'm going to art school!
Next month I'm enrolling in a distance-learning art foundation course in drawing, with a view to taking a distance-learning degree in creative arts. I am so excited I have been on edge since I first saw the course description, but I've never been so sure of anything in my life. I've never felt so strongly that something was the right thing to do. I've been sent a pack with the first unit in my course and even just reading the assignments has given me butterflies in the pit of my stomach.
As part of the course I can start a blog as a "learning log" for my tutor to use as a mark of my progress, and I expect I'll let you all know about that closer to the time and once I've got it going, but I am so excited (and nervous) that I needed to tell you all about it or I was going to burst!
There is a slight chance that with the 8-10 hour weekly commitment of the course, plus running two businesses (did you know I've taken over the Blogger Beauty Box from the amazing Vix Meldrew?), having a day job, my pets and my band, that I might slack even more on the blogging front than I already do. I expect I'll still take to my laptop whenever I'm in need of a rant about social politics or body image, and I'll keep in touch as best I can. But when time is precious you can't do everything. That said, it's not like a have a social life... hopefully my course will only cut into my "aimlessly faffing and watching Gilmore Girls" time!
Anyway, that's my announcement! I'd love all the support, love and advice you all can give, and if you want to help me while I'm studying you can buy something from my store - all the profits are either reinvested into the business for new products or will go towards my school fees and materials!
(I AM SO EXCITED.)