I'm taking a big leap tomorrow and I'm scared as heck



  • I'm new around here- my name is Matt Smith and tomorrow I might screw up my life.

    Tomorrow morning I'm going to have a meeting with my boss and turn in my resignation letter. I've been at this graphic design job for over a year and you guys- it's awful. I moved with my wife to a new area for this job and in the meantime she's (thankfully) found something she really loves. Me, on the other hand, this job is a nightmare. It's internal and in higher education, which has great pay and benefits! The work is truly boring and now I find myself in a review period. All that said it's become miserable to go to work everyday and my anxiety and depression symptoms have exploded from the added stress of being constantly watched (unfairly).

    I've been making art seriously for about 5 years. I'm staring to get kinda good-but I really need to kick it into high gear because my wife supports me in taking on something part time next. That means I can dedicate (hopefully) 2 or 3 days a week to making art a career.

    I guess I just want to put that out into the world to see what comes back. Maybe other people have had similar experiences and want to share potential pitfalls or tell me to turn back. I don't know. I'm just scared as heck.



  • Wow. It's a big thing you are doing tomorrow. It's good you are taking this chance, if not now, later it will become really hard to do it.
    I wish you the best of luck!



  • You are doing a brave thing! There may be struggles ahead, but you won't screw up your life. You can do it! Good luck, I'm rooting for you.



  • Hey Matt, we'll all be pulling for you and hoping for the best for you! Keep us posted and hang in there!



  • Your work is good man! Do you think it would make a difference if you continued in your job, but gave yourself a date down the line that you would make the transition? It might ease the strain at work in the mean time giving you time to get your ducks in a row and hit the ground running when that date comes. This is of course based on the assumption that there’s no solid plan in place to get your art career going.



  • Good luck.



  • It's scary to take that leap, but you can do it!

    I started freelancing [building websites] 5 years ago. Choosing to leave a steady job is scary! But growing tends to be uncomfortable at first. It's a big change. You wonder where the money will come from. I had a few projects lined up, but what happens after that?

    But at some point I realized there was nowhere to grow with my regular job, and I couldn't really be a freelancer by dedicating only 20% of my time to it. With my old job responsibilities gone, I could put 100% into my freelancing. Building a network, leveling up my skills. My clients loved working with me, and word of mouth brought more work, more money, more regular customers. (Now I'm rediscovering that I can draw, and might have to change my priorities again. We'll see!)

    If you have the drive, you can succeed too!



  • I've known a lot of people so afraid of failure that they never really try and never really take any risks. In that regard I applaud you for taking a crack at it. With regards to the fear though, while understandable, ask yourself, how bad could it be? Could you struggle to find work and have others look down on you? Yeah, that can happen. Could you end up having to go back to working some other kind of job to make ends meet? Yep. But you're not going to die if you fail. your life isn't going to fall apart. All of the worst things are primarily existential. In that regard, win or lose, this is an opportunity for strengthening the spirit. If you take the hits and bear the shame, you won't just be a better artist, but a better human being. No small thing.



  • @mattsmith_makes Congrats for taking a scary leap: if I had it to do over again, I would choose less fear (still working on that😊). So happy your wife is being very supportive--best wishes for happiness, fulfillment & success!



  • @mf-james Thanks! I went through with the resignation and am going to get some good references (and my leave paid out) which is what I was worried about. I'm glad I did it, it's a big burden off my back.



  • @carriecopa Thanks so much, that's extremely encouraging. You're totally right- I wasn't able to grow here and felt like I was cheating myself by not putting 100% into something I genuinely cared about. I'm gonna get out there and hustle and see what happens!



  • @mattsmith_makes Well done! I admire your courage. After all, a journey of a thousand miles begins with one step and you had taken yours!!!



  • Hey man,

    I just joined SVS yesterday, but was wondering how is it going and how do you feel? I'm a graphic designer as well and was super curious and also checking in. Do you have anything you're working on now?



  • Thanks for sharing this experience.



  • @jbrannan Hey dude! Well today is Friday, so this time next week I'll be at my farewell lunch I guess. It's pretty surreal. Do I have anything going on? Not at the moment, no. I wasn't updating my site much, so I've got to do that and dust off the resume before I can apply something else if that's what I end up doing. Right now I'm really focusing on Inktober and using that as a vehicle for galvanizing my process for image making and idea creation. I'm posting everything on my instagram if you're interested (https://www.instagram.com/mattsmithmakes/) but also like shoot me a DM or an email and we can talk more if you want.



  • So great you have the support of your wife, you've got this!