Heck Yes! Or it's a NO!


  • SVS OG

    alt text

    Art by Norman Morana

    How do you decide which projects to take on and which to avoid? Is there a secret to finding your dream job? And how do you get to that point? This week, Jake Parker, Lee White, and Will Terry focus down on finding your dream art job, how passion plays into making great images, and why you should avoid some projects and not others.

    Click here to listen and to read the shownotes.



  • I love every time Jake says to work on any assignment as if it was a 20k dollars assignment, reminds me a lot of something my mother as always told us: Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. It is from the Bible, but it has the same idea and energy.

    In my case, I'm at that "take anything that comes your way and give it your 110%" and so far it has work, besides, you can say that you are getting paid for drawing



  • Has there been an episode about falling out of passion? Or burnout?

    I can't wait to hear about this next topic!! but it just made me think of these other ones too


  • SVS OG

    @Jose-A-Nieto Golden attitude!




  • Moderator

    I went into a creative career field that was everything to me when I was younger. I even got a Masters degree in it. And as time went on, it slowly dawned on me that getting my dream job in that field was never going to happen, for lots of reasons.

    After that realization, I found myself expending a lot of energy figuring out how to emotionally invest in projects that I cared a lot less about, and finding the one thing in each undertaking that I could be excited about doing. It got harder and harder, and I continued to be frustrated at each project for not living up to what I felt it could/should be.

    And that has brought a lot of personal shame and guilt. Shame that I was very naive, and probably didn't really understand what the nature of my career field was actually like when I was getting into in the first place. Shame that I had invested so much money and time in a direction that apparently wasn't ever going to pay off the way I thought it was going to. And guilt for not feeling passionate enough about all of it. Guilt for not trusting in the process and my collaborators anymore after getting burned too many times. Guilt for protecting my heart and going through the motions sometimes. More and more often... More and more shame and guilt...

    So I've been investing in my illustration skills instead, shifting my personal passions from my disappointing career field to new found interests, and it has been a life-saving endeavor. I was crushed for so long, trying to drudge up some rationalization that I wasn't seeing things objectively or that I just needed to stoke the flames a bit more and my passions would blaze again.

    But the real truth is the balance of "Deference to Reality" and "Developing the Dream" is askew in my particular career field. It took me a very very long time to see it--way too long because I didn't want to believe it. And even longer still to let myself off the hook of thinking I had to be passionate about everything that was assigned to me, that it was somehow my own fault for not seeing how exciting things were, my own fault I wasn't actually doing what I set out to do, my own fault reality didn't match my dream. My own fault.

    But it's not all my own fault.

    I'm learning that it's okay to adjust the balance from "All On All the Time" to something a bit more healthy, and I don't have to feel guilty about it. That my investment in my Masters degree actually helps me have a different perspective about things in my new field of interest, and what I really need to do is exploit that once I figure out what it is. It's not time or money wasted. I've learned I personally can't let passion alone be the only thing that I burn as motivational fuel because I can't dip into that well perpetually nor dig deeper for more that doesn't exist, and that's okay.

    I agree with Jake's quote, and for me finding that balance will continue to be a struggle. But I have no time for things I am not interested in anymore. I've lived a lifetime of that. Now projects have to speak to my heart, feed my passions, and actually substantively mean something--whether that's practice or experiencing process, or message & meaning. I'm done feeling shame for being naive or guilt at not being invested enough.

    This podcast meant a lot to me and made me think. Thank-you!



  • @Jose-A-Nieto your Mama was a smart lady.



  • @chrisaakins She still is haha



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  • I have just finished listening to this episode and I am feeling deeply grateful for the many insights and interesting perspectives it offered. I fully agree that achieving balance is the hardest thing. Something that gave me relief in these past months was coming to terms with the fact that yes, in the long run, I want to be a full-time illustrator, but no, I can't do it right now. I am not thinking about it too much anymore and I am trying to stay in the present moment and work on small commissions that I love and that build towards my goals while giving them all I can, as if I was being paid 20k (one job like that and I'm settled for a year BTW haha).

    Something else that's helped me recently has been forcing myself to set aside one afternoon every week or every two weeks to simply experiment and make something I care about. I sometimes push myself to work harder on other things (design work mostly) so that I am done with them by Friday at noon. I am in the middle of one of these creative sessions right now and making these experiments is helping me to understand more about what projects I might enjoy more or less. Also, I am realizing that, without the great advice coming from these podcast episodes, I would have never made certain decisions. @Lee-White @Jake-Parker @Will-Terry you've helped me turn around my life. Thank you.


  • SVS Team SVS Instructor Pro SVS OG

    @Elena-Marengoni Thanks so much Elana! It sounds like you are making very important choices that are working out for you. We are so grateful and happy to hear that our school, podcast, and forums are helping so many of you.

    Illustration is a very strange career. The path is murky and tough to figure out alone. I really hope that our community is helping you guys figure out how to navigate the way.



  • Great episode!
    Thank you @Jake-Parker for giving this very personal insight about your dream project. I kind of feel the same when I'm thinking about my dream project; "I'm not good enough yet" "My style doesn't fit in" "I don't know how this industry works" "I'm not a total board game nerd"...
    It's good to know that even pros like you guys feel uncertain from time to time.
    I tend to do projects again and again that I actually don't like and that are not even close to the projects I would consider my dream projects. This episode helped me to remember stop doing that. Thank you guys!



  • I wish this episode was done a year ago, before i agreed to do a 26 book contract for a self publisher - not even scholastic.. My first kids book contract and i'm now waist deep in it, really struggling with what was mentioned about digging a ditch, emotional labour, locked in. It's been a great learning experience and iv'e grown in speed and understanding, but boy oh boy would i be on the lookout for warning signs if i was to be offered one again. oh.. and self published books - hardly ever go anywhere without a massive fan base... so there's that too.


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