13 June 2013
CASHING IN OR SELLING OUT
Cause of ambivalence:
Money (and the frustrations of being a woman working in a creative field)
I know you can't buy my happiness, and I knew that pursuing an artistic profession meant that I'd never see much of you, but I can't help but wonder if I'll ever get to cash in without having to sell out. AY❤"
At a bank machine.
I’m a woman working in a creative field. I am a woman (the weaker / more underpaid / more irrational sex) working in a creative field (“how fun! creativity is fun! You get to draw all day! you love doing that anyway! sorry we can’t pay you that much for it though, we could probably do your job ourselves if we tried, and you are having fun anyway, right?”)
I am a woman working in a creative field. I was raised to think my creativity was a skill I could enjoy during my spare time, meanwhile I was told to study math and science so I could one day get a real job.
I got a real job after school, working in a creative field. I got paid to draw, but not much because I like drawing anyway so I was lucky to have such a job and thus they would not pay me so much for it. And when you go to art school you learn that money shouldn’t matter anyway. Capitalism is bad, and embracing it is bad, and there are more important things in life than the things that money can buy… so you go along with these “creative” jobs that suck you dry and send you on your way with barely enough to pay the most basic bills that come along with living in any North American city. And yes I followed my dreams, yet sometimes it feels like I spend more time using my skills to help other people follow their dreams. But I am a WOMAN working in a CREATIVE field! GRRRRRRR hear me roar, but not in anger, women should not get angry, it makes them seem irrational, then again, I am a women working in a creative field, an artsy/hormonal type, so maybe irrationality is to be expected.
I am a women working in a creative field and I wish I was making more money than I am, not because I care that much about money, but because I see my male counterparts doing the same work as me and making so much more, and that makes me angry and my anger then becomes an excuse not to pay me more. And besides I will probably just go and have kids soon anyway, so I’m not worth the investment, but don’t say that out loud because you could get sued. “We’ve just cancelled your position due to company cutbacks” they will say, but don’t get angry, anger is so unbecoming.
I just want a little more money, so I can stop getting paid like a high school drop-out even though I have a masters degree. I also have work experience and an extensive portfolio and great references, but none of that matters because I am a woman working in a creative field, and if I start making too much money I won’t be a real artist anymore. Is it better to work for nothing at a crappy minimum wage job and stay true to my art? Because it doesn’t really feel better. Uh-oh, I’m getting angry again, roaring and grumbling and I am told that I look so much prettier when I smile.
I am a woman working in a creative field, I have to work on my brand, my public profile, meanwhile my hair is starting to go grey and my boobs don’t perk the way they used to. And my art is girly, so girly that most boys or men tell me privately that they like it but it’s too girly to buy or share, I’m too girly to invest in, clearly my love of girliness is a sign that I am a product of social constructions and pop cultural brainwashing. Nice to look at but nothing more. Feminine = pink = frivolous = worthless = a woman working in a creative field. Be sweet, work hard, be grateful for what you have because “you’ve come a long way baby”… “you are so incredibly lucky to have the job that you have”, I am told while I am asking to be paid what I am worth, and apparently that is what they thought they were doing.
And of course it’s sad to try to measure self-worth in monetary terms, but I want to be treated like the boys are treated. Actually I take that back, I want to be treated like a girl, but the kind of girl who is equal to any boy. And maybe I am acting like a spoiled brat but I want to sit at the grown up table and have real conversations, I want to travel, I want to buy the good kind of drawing paper and have a studio space and the luxury of time to make the work I actually want to make, instead of exhausting myself working for nothing for others who see me as nothing more than some woman working in a creative field.
So am I selling out or cashing in? I work hard, I’ve worked hard, and I’m unattractively angry now, so please pay your invoice as soon as I send it, because I don’t feel like being nice about it anymore. Is it better to be pushy than to become a pushover, or am I still pushing in all the wrong directions? I don’t want to become an asshole but I’m too angry to be nice. Because I am a woman working in a creative field and this lady wants to get paid, even though it was never about the money anyway.