Lauren Purje (b. 1987) grew up in Dublin, Ohio and graduated from Ohio University in 2009 with a BFA in Painting. She moved to Brooklyn, NY in 2011 where she currently lives and works. This series of comic...

7 replies on “When I Stopped Taking Art-Related Jobs”

  1. “It feels less like like a thing I do, to build a career, and more just a part of everyday life. Which feels more like how it should be.” My feelings exactly. I too got an art-unrelated job and it changed my relationship to art in the best way.

  2. I love this and as a fellow Bobcat I’m proud to have gone through the same (or at least similar) program at OU’s school of art. Always was encouraged and pushed to treat art as a serious practice, capable of social and real-world changes, but it can’t truly be that when art is confined to a gallery. Now I’m training to be a yoga instructor, something I didn’t even try until halfway through college, and as opposed to the ego of the art world, yoga practice is completely and utterly interactive and (done right) works towards eliminating (or at least reducing) the ego. Certainly, more people should practice yoga for both mental and physical well-being… but more people should also get warehouse jobs and artistically play at work. I had a stocking job at a Michaels arts & craft and I really felt like it was so monotonous and soul-crushing at times because my ARTISTIC LIGHT wasn’t being allowed to shine… in reality, I made a friend and we bonded over art while stocking beads and wooden letters. I learned about hard-working people and chains of command… I gained even more real work experience as a dishwasher but that’s another story of extremely hot and incredibly close spaces. Do Work! Make Art!

  3. I got a non art related job 40 years ago. I put down my box of colors and secured an engineering degree. Best decision I ever made. Unfortunately, for many artists, an art career ≤ no money 🙁

  4. I did the same thing, took a massive pay cut but I’d say I’m overall happier, I might get back into it one day but when I was in my early 20’s the stress of working in the art industry was to much, do miss that money sometimes though.

  5. I am pretty sure the majority of artists’ day jobs are non-art related, but welcome to the club. No host bar to the right, restrooms down the hall and to the left. Last one to leave turns out the lights.

  6. Do not stop looking for creative jobs, until you find one you love. And then look again from time to time if you want. The world is vast.

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