No Matter How Much You Love It, Work Is Hard

by Ariela

We're generally pretty cheery about our work process here at Geek Calligraphy on this blog. But today I want to pull back the curtain a bit and talk about some of the ways in which it is challenging.

Geek Calligraphy is a side gig for me. I have a day job that I work 35 hours per week (and only 35 hours, thank you, labor union). I create all the Geek Calligraphy art, write my portion of the blog posts, take commissions, and do scribal work around the edges of that. This means that I have financial security while I work on building up this business.

With the recent addition of scribal work to that load, however, I have started to strain the feasibility of this arrangement to the breaking point. There are only so many hours in a day, and aside from shifting more of the blogging burden onto Terri, I haven't really cut back on any of the other work associated with Geek Calligraphy. We still do a product release every month. I have a backlog of commissions that's over six months long. (Sorry people who don't have definitive deadlines! I promise I have not forgotten you!)

I have more work than I can feasibly accomplish while maintaining a full-time job, but not enough that I could quit said full-time job. (Also, my spouse is a grad student. That day job is what keeps a roof over our heads and food on our table.) Someday I would like to ditch the day job and do calligraphy and scribal work full time, but I am not there yet. Reducing my hours at my day job is not currently an option, and finding a new one that would cover our expenses, include benefits, and not require more hours is as likely as finding a unicorn grazing in Central Park (if you see one, it's probably a hoax).

Nobody is forcing me to do this. I could quit anytime, but I don't want to, because I love doing art and I love getting my art out to people who appreciate it. I don't want to stop doing scribal work, or product releases for Geek Calligraphy, because both of those are important groundwork for that elusive someday when I might be able to be a full-time artist. So I work too much, get out too little, and keep saying to myself "someday!"

And right now, I feel like this:

Gif shows Barry Allen on a treadmill.

Gif shows Barry Allen on a treadmill.