My Real Job…

And so, here I am. Computer has been in for repairs and has now come back to me. My dinosaurs are all finished and stretched and ready to be delivered to the publisher, I have loved doing them but it is quite a relief to have them finished and I am still quite chuffed with them.

This last two weeks have been full of exciting treats ,late nights, sticky fingers and potentially stressful moments but I have survived. I hope your week has been good to you also.

Aside from drawing dinosaurs and thinking about stories that are blossoming in my head I have been to a dinner to hear Jackie French, celebrated my sons twentieth birthday (don’t feel old enough), helped install my laundry and attended a reunion dinner.

 Reunions can be filled with problems and anxieties but this one was wonderful and we have all vowed to meet up again on an annual basis. A lovely bunch of women I have known since our kids were tiny babies. We all sat and caught up on our twenty plus year olds, two had become grandparents and many had in-laws added to the family group. Once upon a time we had all spent many hours talking to mums on the phone as ABA (Nursing Mothers) counsellors. We all share a passion and it was a delight to see the photos as they were handed around the table.

About 15 years ago, at a Nursing Mothers Meeting we were all asked to write down what we would like to be doing in ten years time. I wrote down that I had always wanted to be a children’s picture book illustrator and that was a goal  I was going to aim for. We were encouraged to pursue those goals and dreams. So here I am, pursuing the dream and I achieved it.  Thankyou NMAA for your encouragement and philosophy of empowerment.

Over dinner much was discussed, a lot of catching up had to be done. A lot of us had kids who were studying or working in creative fields, in fact my son and the daughter of a friend are both studying music at the Con’ in Hobart this year and have become good friends. One mum said with exasperation that her son, now in senior secondary, was interested in performance and set design. Her exasperation wasn’t that he wanted to do this with great passion but that his father had said that amongst these creative subjects he was choosing to study, he also had to do some ‘real’ subjects. My heart sunk. As an art teacher I am well familiar with this take on the arts. Pick the art  teacher – the only teacher with an empty date card on parent /teacher night! Kids often said to me that they wanted to study art but their parents wouldn’t let them as they needed to do ‘serious’ subjects. Art wasn’t important!

What era are we living in?

I know that most of you who take time to read the blog of a professional artist/author/illustrator are the converted, so I won’t bore you with a soap box stand but I encourage you to pass on these sentiments to anyone you hear declaring the arts as not being ‘a real job’.

Next time you watch TV, it wouldn’t be there without movie makers, designers, actors, presenters, artists, writers, musicians and many more.

Next time you read a book, writers, graphic designers, publicists, printers, illustrators etc.

Next time you go to the supermarket consider how things would look without designers and graphics, could you find your favourite chocolate bar?

Next time you go to the movies, the theatre, read a newspaper or magazine, pick up your phone, use an app, admire your pretty toilet paper, go to bed in attractive bed linen, drive your car, sit on your couch, eat at a table, snuggle with a cushion, put on your clothes, shampoo your hair, the list is endless.

So, as I work hard at my real job (which by the way has actually paid a wage this financial year, small but growing) and appreciate the benefits it brings, including the joy of following my dream and

fulfilling my passion which is quite different to chasing the dollar signs, I feel sad for people who don’t realise that being creative is perhaps the hardest but most rewarding of ‘real’ jobs there is.

I’ve had a few jobs in my life but this is the most ‘real’ and ‘alive’ I have ever been in any one of them. Because I am using my gifts and talents I am content and know that I can bring joy to others as well.

Lets encourage our kids to follow their passions and discover their true ‘real’ jobs.

Happy writing

The Carrum Sailing Club

'The Carrum Sailing Club' by Claire Saxby Christina Booth. In stores now.


This entry was published on October 4, 2011 at 10:40 pm and is filed under Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

5 thoughts on “My Real Job…

  1. You are speaking to the ‘wellandtruly’ converted here. It always saddens me when I hear parents say that kind of thing, both as a parent and a teacher.
    I am so very glad for you that you have achieved your goal and have done so very brilliantly, Christina.
    It took me till now to achieve one of my goals in life. Although I have been a teacher most of my working career, it was not my first choice, but I am so glad I have been for over forty years. But now to have a career/lifestyle change in the arts is so fulfilling. And, as a ‘closet architect’, to have designed and built the property I now live in, is even more fulfilling…. now just the author bit to go!!!! (as well as lots of other stuff I still want to achieve)

  2. Thank goodness for people like you Christina, not only willing to follow your creative dreams in your own life, but also to raise kids with the ability and passion to do so, and also the time and passion to raise awareness about the necessity and relevance of art. I’m glad you’re blogging about it! I will add your blog to my RSS feed! Also, it’s nice to know a woman who has had kids, and been in NMAA (now ABA, which I’m involved in), and who has successfully pursued a career in art later on. Woohoo! Go artists, go women artists, go mother artists! You are an inspiration 🙂

  3. Yup, a-hah. (nods furiously).

    Love my real job too. Also encouraged a teenager today to do what she loves – writing – when her mother was saying she should get a real job.

  4. Hi Christina, Have just discovered your blog and am enjoying it! May I make a small comment though?…I find the white text on black background very hard to read, especially as there are long paragraphs of (very interesting) text. Has anybody else suggested this?

    • Hi Marjory, I’m glad you are enjoying it. Very sporadic at the moment, so busy with kids home and visitors since November. However, all will return to normal in a week or so. I will review the text/background issue, thanks for letting me know.
      🙂 Christina

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