Monday, September 17, 2007

Polymer Clay - 100% Now!

So I did it! I am officially a freelance artist now. It is Monday, but I am sitting in my studio and actually working with clay – what can be better?!

Actually quitting my job was really difficult for some reason. It is the step I wanted to take for a long time, I planned for it, and yet closing my company’s door for the last time was almost a torture… I think it is the fear of the unknown. The change is just too drastic for me. Everything I did for the last 25 years was related to chemistry one way or another – I studied it in school, then at the university, I changed specializations, I switched from lab to teaching and back to the lab again, I progressed from a bench worker through a few levels of management, I worked for three different companies over the years, doing different projects – from sleeping aids to cancer drugs to military antidotes… But all of it was within the same field, and every next task was somehow related to my previous professional experience and knowledge. Now I suddenly abandon all of it and jump sideways, into a filed almost completely un-related to anything I have done before.

I think only a few (if any?) people in my office could understand and appreciate this step. I was told lots of good words at my last day, wished luck, etc., but I could see this question in people’s eyes. Why? Why am I leaving a well-paid job with full health benefits, good bonuses, and not too much travel? Some people have clearly decided that I’ve found one of those get-rich-quickly schemes and am planning to make big bucks with my jewelry and teaching activities (which is not true). Others decided that I must have hated my previous job (which is even further from truth). I think those who actually have creative hobbies themselves came closest to understanding my move. Truth is that I have a few notebooks full of sketches and ideas for my jewelry and sculptures, and never enough time to implement at least one tenths of them. Every time I read or hear about new business idea for my jewelry, I get excited much more then when I hear about new projects at work. I even caught myself looking at my co-worker’s tie at a meeting one day and thinking how to re-create this design in polymer clay…

I do not know, maybe I will indeed get tired of polymer clay in a year or two, as some people predict. For now, I just want to give it a try and see what happens…

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