Yesterday, I began a discussion on how working a day job nurtures my creativity. Today, I want to explore more of this:
Exposure to New Technology
My day job uses technology nearly all day long, from complex tax software to Microsoft Office and other specialty pieces of software. There’s usually very little training for this – my co-workers and I struggle together to learn it and explain it to each other. We have to learn it – there’s no choice – and learn it well due to the constant pressure of getting more done with less and less resources.
This model serves me well as I nurture my creativity. What I don’t know, I can figure out. For Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom, I can take classes on lynda.com or ask my favorite boy toy. For my blogging, there are extensive forums and help content to explore or I can search the Internet. This is all similar and familiar to what I do at work. Those same problem solving skills that I use to do my job effectively and efficiently are the same ones needed to use technology for my creative expression.
Above all, I know I need to just experiment. It’s the best way to learn technology, as long as I’m careful to not wreck whatever I’m working on.
Another intangible benefit of my day job is the overall business knowledge it gives me. It’s not a perfect knowledge, but I’m way ahead of the typical artist. Although I do not sell my work, I understand there are costs that should not run amuck (i.e., keeping a budget). I understand taxes, forms of business, how to read contracts, and the politics of the business world. Well, I do sometimes. Other days, I wonder what exactly I do know!
Still. . . the point is that my day job gives me constant exposure to the business world. This helps me when I’m looking at the differences between wordpress.com and wordpress.org (.com is free and therefore does not allow advertising as compared to .org which allows you to accept advertising dollars, but you are responsible for everything from spam filters to firewalls). It helps me when I’m reviewing my homeowners insurance and how it covers my camera gear, which is why I use a personal articles policy instead. It even helps when I’m comparing different models of computers, their costs and what the warranties are providing.
How does this nurture my creativity? I have to spend a lot less time on the mundane, administrative stuff. There are less missteps and I raise more questions quickly. My decisions are not perfect, but I struggle less to reach them than the artists my husband knows who do not have this background and are not married to someone who does.
I Have Money To Spend
One of the really great benefits of a day job is having money to spend on my photography and writing. I don’t have an unlimited budget, but I am able to buy cameras and computers when it’s time. Three years ago, I upgraded from a top end point-and-shoot camera to my first DSLR, a Canon Rebel. It’s been a great camera and I’ve taken many wonderful pictures with it. But a month ago, I wanted a better camera, something with a full frame sensor that would improve the quality of my shots, especially when I was processing night shots or something noisy. After a short deliberation, I replaced my Rebel with a Canon 6D, and upgraded to an “L” lens for my main zoom lens. This was a big step for me, but I’m glad that I could afford it.
Likewise, it’s been nice the last few years to take some vacations. For my boy toy and I, they turn into photography trips. That’s okay, I enjoy shooting pictures with him even though he rolls me out of bed before daybreak to go chasing the sunrises. I’m glad we could afford those also. For more on how we share our passion for photography, click here.
Having money to spend on my creativity is huge. So many artists struggle with having the financial resources to buy what they need. I’m glad I don’t have to do that.
That’s enough for today. Tomorrow I will wrap this up and share about Wallace Stevens. Here is a final thought from Wallace Stevens, an observation on the beauty around us:
Beauty is momentary in the mind —
The fitful tracing of a portal;
But in the flesh it is immortal.
The body dies; the body’s beauty lives.
So evenings die, in their green going,
A wave, interminably flowing.
― Wallace Stevens
To see everything I’m doing with my 31 Days of Nurturing My Creativity, click here.
To see what others are doing with their 31 Days project, click here.