Creative Block → 004
I agree with the dangers of turning your passion into your paycheck and I’m really pleased to see that more and more people are talking about it with their own experience ❤️🩹
Thanks for sharing!
Happy anniversary to you both!
Lovely article. I agree that you don't need to monetize your passion. However, if you do, don't be afraid to change things as you see fit. There's nothing wrong if you stop offering a service you used to offer before. Too many times we think things should continue the way they started, but the reality is often different. So make a change if that's what you need to regain your love of something.
Happy anniversary Temi
My passion is teaching while my skill is graphic design. But I found out I am not comfortable with the stress of taking a full time teaching role cause the burnout would be much. But what I observed is paid or not paid I enjoy teaching. Thank you for this temi
I think about this a lot! I think the question of turning your passion (or skills derived from your passion) into a paycheck...really depends on what the 'paycheck' asks of you.
If your paycheck is based on a healthy exchange whereby you are still able to create and share your work in a rhythm that feels natural and authentic...then it can be a dream come true.
If your paycheck requires you to create in an unhealthy or high-pressure way, that's when it can become problematic. Selling 'skills' doesn't save you from this.
I am a skilled writer. I don't take jobs where I have to write creative content for others all day, because I want to save that energy for my own writing in books and on Substack.
Howver, my own writing on Substack is also a stream of income, for me, and that feels good. I've worried about it becoming a high-pressure thing, but so far it's not.
I think if I can create a business with diversified enough income streams that offers me flexibility and room for breaks, I can continue thriving within this medium. I've definitely crafted an exit plan lmao.
I think it's ultimately about how you create your business model. Some people don't have healthy boundaries or self-awareness and so their art becomes another medium for self-destruction. They become slaves to their craft, and then blame it on the fact that it's a business when it's really just about how they approach it.
Another example of the nuance:
I created my documentary in a stream of passion, without any intention to sell it. But it became a best-seller in my niche, and now this is my stream of income. The work I currently do to distribute the film is very different than the creative work I did do bring it to life, and I don't really "like" the work involved with film distribution. But it hasn't killed my passion for film, because it's a separate thing altogether.
Distributing my "passion" is not creative work, it's just admin and business to support myself. My art is still sacred to me. The film still holds the energy of passion I poured into it. My business is not asking me to mutate my creative energy into something that it's not.
Hi Temi. This was a beautiful read. I'm very much embroiled in the angst of trying to marry my passion with making an income. On this journey, I have come to realize that I need to assess my skills (as per your first great question at the end of your post) and figure out where all three things - passion, skills and income - intersect and how I use my talent/skills to build something. Thanks for sharing your experience and I want to tell you how gorgeous your posters are.
I see this is a post from May of this year, so know that it is still reaching people! Curious to know if you've come to any new discoveries and/or decisions since you wrote this :-)
"Art, as I see it, is any human activity which doesn’t grow out of either of our species’ two basic instincts: survival and reproduction."
Scott McCloud, Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art (p. 164)
This right here has long guided my personal point of view regarding art. Scott goes on to further definition: "a way we assert our identities as individuals and break out of the narrow roles nature casts us in” (p. 166) It can be used as discovery, truth, exploration, and foundation of language as well. Everything we do is an element of art. “Pure” art is tied to the question of the purpose of deciding what you want to do with art.
I believe once we tie our passion to our paycheck it crosses that invisible line. Whether or not you consciously acknowledge or recognize the change, it has become intrinsic to survival and loses some of the power inherent in its creation. I don't mean that as assertion that one should instantly decry any melding or cross contamination of the two, just as a rejoinder to remain cognisant of the role you've assigned your passions to. Are they a release? Or are they a cog in the gears, being ground down as they grind you down.
If you'd like to explore more of Scott's theories on the definition of art, check out Understanding Comics pages 162-169 and Reinventing Comics pages 42-51. Definitely worth a read.
Great read! Happy anniversary!!