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I Am An Artist!

I am an artist.

It took me a while to embrace that I've always been an artist. Born that way even.

I attribute a culture of shame and having to "make it" in arts for why it took so long for me to get over feeling like an imposter when I call myself an artist.

See, although I am an artist, I don't aim to make a living off my art. This is in direct conflict with the definition of "artist" in society.

Artist, by society's standards is yet another occupation title. And your occupation is the means by which you make a living. That's the whole point of a career: how you make a living.

And mankind has had a long enough history for us to have created a comprehensive system of pigeonholes for how to catergorise the ways people make a living. We call them jobs.

But you know what's interesting about writing this blog post right now? In the middle of the pandemic?

It is watching these systems break down.

Of course, the breakdown isn't new. The system of jobs has always been breaking down slowly, suffering attrition over time. As technology improves, new industries are born, and along with them new roles and jobs are created while old ones are lost.

But the pandemic has led to a bigger breakdown, entire industries and jobs being made redundant overnight.

Suddenly, there's a gap on the map of "ways we can make a living".

This might be horrifying for many us, but is probably the norm for the generation after me, who is brought up on "being trained for jobs that don't yet exist".

Indeed, it is worth wondering what kind of jobs will exist in the future, where we perhaps have universal basic income, or don't run o capitalism anymore.

The entire idea of jobs will have to be rethought, redefined.

One thing is for sure though, humans do terribly with idle hands. It is why we have entertainment and hobbies. We like to be engaged, to DO things, be it in the form of games, movies or baking and scrap-booking.

So where am I getting at?

In the society we live in right now "what you do = what you make a living off of", even though that is not the truth.

There are people who are musicians, who are amazing at their instrument, who spend the bulk of their time and energy on music, but cannot claim the title of "musician" because their profession is that of an accountant or real estate agent.

That likely will not be the problem in the future as the idea around jobs and careers shift and change. It is already changing.

The beauty of the uncharted waters that is the future of work is that, in uncharted waters, we get to make up our own definitions and start build systems and traditions.

This means that we live in a time where asking yourself "what do you want to do in the future" involves figuring out HOW you want to live? What is the quality of life you want to have? How you want to participate in society and how much do you want to participate in society?

Because there's no saying that off-grid living, in a self-sustaining farming community isn't a valid mainstream option in the future, especially when there are people already living that kind of life right now.

So maybe you came to read this blog post to learn about my journey and career. But chances are, you wanted to read that because you want to see if my journey, my path, might be valid for you.

It won't be.

The world is changing far too rapidly for anything I've gone through to be valid for you.

So instead, I'd like to offer you permission, something which maybe society and those around you, have not or will not give you, to think about how you want to make your way in this crazy place we all the world.

I offer you the permission to have a long deep think about both:

1. The ways in which you can and want to make a living in the world. From being a farmer to an influencer (or a farmer-influencer) and beyond.

2. What you want to DO. Not as a career, or as a job. But as a human, what are endeavours you find fulfilling? Is it learning? Is it writing? Is it coding? Is it understanding how the world works? Is it an amalgamation of things that my limited millennial brain don't even know of?

But alright, if you wanted to know more about being an artist or making a career out of it, here are two books that will basically be what I have to say on the topic anyways:

The Artist’s Way

Artis’s U

Good luck figuring out this thing called life =) Ri Chang Experience Artist To chit chat with Ri, click the book now tab.

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