Friday, November 30, 2007
My hometown, Cleveland, Ohio from a popular section called the Flats.
I'm here in Florida, missing my parents back in the burbs of Cleveland, and working like crazy, studying for a test. Changing day jobs during the holidays is a bit of a challenge but worth the work. The great thing about being a home agent and artist, is that I can work from home doing both, and save time/gas by eliminating rush hour and other commuting nightmares. Ok, I miss out on things like company parties and get togethers or every day camaraderie with co-workers, but it's helped to keep me focused. I have people in the art world that I do business with, and work, well, it is all by phone and internet. Other people rely heavily on their cars for work, I rely on my computer. If it gave up on me, I'd freak, so it is maintained within an inch of it's electronic life, as well as backed up by two others.
Having switched home agent jobs for a better and mroe prestigious offer, I am now in training for my new job, after taking a bunch of clearance, drug and other tests. Now, it's on to the book phase, which I enjoy. We must take many company paid courses, and to me it's all great education. This is the last day of my first round of training, all done through the phone, IM and their website. It's very comprehensive, and today is the final test. I'm surrounded by banking policies and security measures, along with a long list of other other heavy duty topics that we must know upside down and backwards since we'll be handling people's money for a living. It's a job of responsibility and a lot better than my old day job of three years, that is going down in flames in a spectacular fashion. Good companies grow, the bad ones just die off from poor management.
During all of this, I am deep in production, doing a bunch of drawings for a valued illustration client. It's so fun to be able to do two drastically different jobs, from both sides of the brain. It keeps life interesting and me motivated. Life is good, and it'll be better (I hope) once this exam is done. Then, it's on to another course and a bunch of new tests...
Friday, November 23, 2007
'Tis the Season to go Shopping..and Shopping, and More Shopping..
Yesterday was Thanksgiving but for me, it was a peaceful day of doing very little. I was home, here with the cats, enjoying solitude and relaxation of doing nothing. For the last three days before, I began training for my upcoming day job, working as an agent from home, for the banking division of a famous company. It's a job that gives me the freedom to work from my home office, and still do my artwork as normal. Training for this job is complex, and will take six months to complete but it's interesting and challenging. During these hard financial times, a second income is going to help me out with a steady paycheck. Such is the life of a freelancer, going with the flow.
Today is Black Friday, the busiest shopping day of the year, right after Thanksgiving. I'm staying in, working on illustrations for a customer. I have a bunch of them to do, and it's fun to kick back and draw them, one by one, here at my drafting table and computer. I work all the time, and practically sleep in the big, cushy recliner that is my work chair. Working this much means I must keep myself as comfortable as possible, for the sake of my back. Those office chairs never did much for me, so I bought a really good recliner with top of the line back support. It works perfectly and keeps me from having a reoccurrence of the herniated disk and sciatica that made me immobile for months, earlier this year. That experience taught me not to rely on office chairs. After buying all kinds of so-called great ones, I gave up on them altogether. Ever since, my back has healed and all is ok.
Outside is dark, overcast and pleasantly warm. I don't miss the cold weather of up north, but do miss my parents. It's always hard when we cannot be together on the holidays. I call and talk to them every day, so at least we have phone time together. Losing my cousin, George, and my beloved Blackie last month really left me feeling no holiday spirit whatsoever. I'm calm and OK but just too busy with work to deal with celebrating anything. Blackie's ashes are in their urn here on my desk. He's out of pain now, no more hyperthyroidism to deal with. I hope he's up in cat heaven feeling young and being the big kitten he was in life, only with more freedom to play and enjoy himself. My sweet baby, I miss him and his constant presence here. He was always with me as I worked. Here he is, observing as I work on the computer for my old home agent job. He was the best co-worker ever, quiet and caring always.
So, now, Fluffy and Beau are here, watching me work here and there. They are more independent than Black was, and prefer to sit in the windows and watch the birds out on the lake, or the squirrel in the tree out front. I throw myself into work as always. Left brain, right brain, it's all being used to the hilt. Doing the art is my priority, but the side job keeps me living comfortably. It's good to challenge myself with financial work, having spent my younger years supplementing my income with banking and accounting work, now it affords me to do it from home instead of the daily commute. It's fun to have two very opposite sides to myself - the logical banking side and the carefree artist side. It feels good being grounded like that. For a class in college a few years ago, I was given a test to see what side of my brain is dominant, the creative or logical side. The test showed I am balanced, exactly in the middle. That was really cool. Who knew? I sure didn't.
Time to work some more. Maybe later, I'll go to the store, but for now, it's time to create. Coffee is brewing, and the creativity is flowing. Life is good. Oh, and Happy Holidays, too.