Before I became a painter fulltime, I was a project manager. I just finished my masters in art- and cultural science, which I started right after I finished art school. When I applied for the job I thought: 'there are two things I’m really good at, painting and organizing. I know I enjoy painting, but maybe I’ll enjoy project managing more.’
I’m glad I gave it a try so I’ll never have to think ‘what if’ and within a year I knew a few things for sure:
- I’m not a team player, I like doing things my way
- I didn’t enjoy office talk and people asking me on Monday ‘How was your weekend?’
- And I didn’t enjoy working for a boss, I wanted to be my own.
When I was sent on a management course and the team leader let us take a test to determine what type of person everyone was, I was the only one in the group who scored sky high on ‘Creative’. At the end of the day, he took me aside and said that he normally wasn’t in the habit of telling people what to do, but that it might be a good idea for me to look for my passion elsewhere! The next day I handed my boss my resignation letter and felt so relieved that I didn’t have to continue on that path. I told myself that I would give myself five years to earn a living as a painter and if that didn’t work out I could always be a postman. Okay, I would have a boss, but I would work alone and I wouldn’t be stuck in an office. Now, 15 years later I no longer need that fallback plan, but for a long time, it gave me financial peace of mind.