My month of career assessment in October was fruitful.
When I started out on this road adventure, lo six years ago, I supported my farming travels in part with work as a freelance web designer. When I lost my test machine I was happy for the extra space made by its leaving. In that time, I enjoyed a small stream of steady clients and as they dwindled away I replaced online work with odd jobs. Helping organize checkbooks, offices, and basements; painting houses, garages, fences, and interiors; plumbing and electrical repair.
I was quite glad of the change. Moving away from the sedentary mental work in front of the computer screen in favor of tasks more physical, and socially rewarding. Felt great. The reduction in income, I figured, would be well worth the increase in good spirits. And for a time it was, I’ve had some awesome adventures, met great folks, and done good things. My universe, metrically and beautifully expanded. I will continue same, however just a little differently.
For one, I will be returning to freelance web work. What makes this possible is the relatively new slice of web engineering called Front-end Web Developer. As I reviewed my previous stint in that field, I separated the things I loved to do from the things I had to do. One big reason my love of web work tapered off, were my few short problems with designing the look of a page.
I like illustrating but graphic design was never my strong suit. I’d been tempted to go to school for it however I’d rather go learn a new language. So, in the years between, I have focused on customizing templates, fixing issues on live sites and helping update them. Graphic-wise, I am comfortable designing ads but whole sites flummox, and I think that is a fine place to rest my abilities.
How things work over how things look. That’s me. And, good for me that’s exactly what a front-end developer is. Let other folks design the look and feel. I’ll take that pretty picture and make it function.
For two, an experiment in folk art. Considering my love of illustrating and sculpting within my nomadic-and-simple lifestyle; a series of limited-run, seasonal or geo-specific art projects might be the thing to do. T-shirts, prints, found object art, placemaking, and the like.
One formula for consideration was suggested last summer by a friend in Northfield, Mn, and has been stewing since on the back burner. C.S.A. – Community Supported Art. Much like the agricultural version. You purchase a share and, depending on the artist or program, you get either a single delivery of multiple artists’ work, or monthly installments from an individual artist or studio. Another relatively new concept (about five years old). Curiously, I read that the first, orchestrated program started in Minnesota and has been spreading across the country. Pretty cool.
For those who’d like to stay tuned, check out my newly pubbed page: www.facebook.com/farmingartist.
November’s priority, reaching out and finding groups of the like-minded.
There you have it. Stay warm, stay active; hug somebody.