The dream job myth
Untangling identity with work
When the executive director of Animal Humane New Mexico asked what my dream job would be, I said, "This one."
The promise of a steady paycheck, puppy breath, and kitten cuddles in exchange for photography, copywriting, and designing ads sounded incredible.
It was more perfect than I ever imagined. Spending 40+ hours a week with wonderful humans helping pets find homes was my dream job. I couldn't wait to go to work every morning! I'd pick out a dog for the office (meet some of my past office dogs here) and spend my day making things for a cause I’m passionate about. Eric and I even got married there!
This dream job taught me what happens when I’m too emotionally invested in my work. If you care too much, life gets messy. You can become overworked and ultimately burn out.
It's the same with art. Becoming too attached to an illustration can lead to tightness, overthinking, and overworking your drawing.
Finding balance in your art
Work in a beginner's mindset. Ask yourself, "What will I learn from this drawing?" instead of "What should I create?"
Draw to destress. Do it for the pleasure of the experience. Do it for fun! Not every drawing needs to have a purpose.
Practice drawing in a creative community. Hint, hint, like this one! We focus on the enjoyment, not the outcome. That’s how you bridge the gap between fun and work.
I demo how I draw dogs in the video below using Vigo, Reggie, and Charles as live models. I paid them in pumpkin treats and peanut butter.