Wednesday, 28 December 2011
Leaving London | Holly Exley Illustration
I've been a waitress, living at home, I've been an intern, living out of boxes. I've been another intern (and another and another), living off benefits. I've been an unhappy house-mate, and then a new house-mate, in a happier place. I've been unemployed, firing CV's at HR departments. And, briefly, I was employed, working in social media.
But the ride has now spun a different loop, and I've been left with part time social media work, no boyfriend and the prospect of putting this year behind me. This sounds like the beginning of a film doesn't it? Staring Jennifer Aniston, pictured packing her life into boxes, dressed in denim dungarees (I imagine) and making huge life choices whilst maintaining her glorious hair.
Well, as corny as it sounds, I am going to have to do that (minus the hair - which is a bleached mess). I've reached a point where the only thing driving me forward is the desire to be happy. But choosing to do this can be scary can't it?
I had a phone call with my mum before Christmas. It was strange, but I was really nervous of admitting what I really wanted, which is of course to be an illustrator/artist. I felt that she would sigh and say, "but Holly, haven't you given it your best shot? Don't you think you should knuckle down and get a stable job?" I think this country is on my side here, because there are very few 'normal' jobs that a graduate can get. It's not enough to have good Maths and English skills, and know your way around a computer, you need years of experience, or to be recommended or work for free. I've done my fair share of interning, and I've had enough.
With no "normal" jobs at my disposal, my dream shines brighter. Can I really do this?
Of course my mum was very supportive, and with her advice on board I've decided to leave London (it was doing me no favours) and go back to Bristol, to live with my mum in her garden flat. I will still be a social media executive part time, and pick up other part time work when I need it, but my focus now is on my work, and how I can make a living from it.
As it has been in the past, I feel this blog will be my saviour. Every time I write out my frustrations and my worries, the response is always so wonderful, from other young artists and people that I admire, that it's almost like being given a little nudge back on course. Feeling a part of this on-line network of artists is so important for me, and I assume it will become more so, as I make my leap of faith.
Will you be with me?!
Prepare for many more ups and downs, many more industry related moans, lots of progression and new work and - hopefully - some good news thrown in. Here goes!