4 months into my first internship...

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  02 February 2011
4 months into my first internship...

My hands have traveled miles upon miles across stretched canvas and my eyes have sunken deeper and deeper as I've arranged countless pixels...

I've always wanted to be an artist... the drive, the passion, the raw energy as creative bursts of bliss translate from pencil to paper and from wacom to monitor...

I originally sought to be a 3D artist but always had a lean on the graphic design side of things. When the first opp for me rolled in after emailing countless resume and portfolio links I immediately packed my electronics and jumped on the first bus.

I guess what I never realized was the reality of the job. Don't get me wrong, I love working on the computer and falling unconscious to the world around me as my hands glide across hot keys, but damn, I'm literally in the same position for 8-9 hours a day.... The hours upon hours of literally being glued to the same chair, rotting away as my eyes bleed from staring at the hot pitch that emanates off of Adobe Illustrator's white canvas....

I'm an active individual and have never lived much of a sedimentary lifestyle. Whilst going to college I was always able to find balance between computer and outdoors because I had the option to make my own schedule; And by no means does a full-time class schedule actual translate to a "full-time" work schedule. Besides not being prepared for a 40 hour work week, what school also failed to in-grain into my innocent perspective of the art industry, was that I was doomed to become a stationary object for the rest of my adulthood.

So I don't really know the direction I want to take this in... Maybe just as a mere warning to others considering jumping into this industry. What it comes down to is if you can't find the time to commit to design now, then you won't be able to commit to it when you land a job.

Similar to the "Harvard Effect" which is where high school students worked tremendous hours upon hours to get to an ivy league school. Upon getting their acceptance letter, they feel as if the hard times are over and thus spiraled themselves into bad partying habits and eventual flunk out. The metaphor is that the staircase to life has no top floor. Their will always be more steps to have to climb.

Relating back to art, well I suppose you could say the same in that there is no limit. Art will always be limitless and require countless hours of work. Whether that be on job or at home studying. Looking back at it, I can admit I enjoy spending time working online, but by no means was I ever able to sit in front of a screen for eight or more hours straight.

As for where I currently stand.... Well I'm going to finish out the last two and a half months I signed off on and then see about finding an internship on the producing and printing side of things. Something a bit more laborous that I can pour more elbow grease into...

Currently Interning in Sunny Santa Monica
  02 February 2011
Originally Posted by TGNSD: but damn, I'm literally in the same position for 8-9 hours a day.... The hours upon hours of literally being glued to the same chair, rotting away as my eyes bleed from staring at the hot pitch that emanates off of Adobe Illustrator's white canvas....

Haha, yep, welcome to "life". Just remember the grass isn't always greener on the other side. At least you're eye's are being stabbed by an Illustrator canvas, and not say, an accounting spreadsheets.

It at least sounds like you've got a good perspective on things though. Life isn't always going to be quite what you expected. I still recall my first 8+hr job, and when you're used to hopping from class to class etc., yes it is an adjustment. But to leave you a word of encouragement, you'll get used to it. Also, get up from time to time. Go get some coffee & waste some time in the lounge w/ co-workers scheming against your superiors.....or just find a window to stare out of for 5 minutes. More seriously, just take a 10-15'er ever couple hours to stretch your legs.

Otherwise, you'll just have to do like my cousin. Move to a mountain town, marry an engineer, and be a climbing guide.
  02 February 2011
If it's any consolation, this isn't the only field with that same problem. With 10 years in IT admin, I experienced a very similar revelation (and my programmer-of-15-years husband).

During the course of physical therapy for the back issues resulting from spending 8-12 hours per day motionless in front of a monitor, I was informed that this is unhealthy for any human body. It's commonly recommended that a person set an alarm to remind them to get up and move around every 2 hours minimum. (I find it pretty funny that giving up smoking was TERRIBLE for my back, because I didn't replace it with another set-interval activity to get my body in motion)

Now that the PT is behind me, I use a standing desk. This has been a huge help to me, and I only wish I'd discovered it sooner. I pulled this off by stacking half of a $30 wire shelf on top of my old desk - tres chic it is not, but it wins for cheap, and lets me shuffle keyboard/mouse/wacom/sketchpad around very easily.

I understand career burnout (or I wouldn't be here!), but at least the physical issues are surmountable, though it may take some understanding (and possible investment) from your employer.
  02 February 2011
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