You know – the one that is supposed to be paying your bills while you concentrate on your rise up the ladder of artistic achievement? The one that takes 8 hours to do plus the commute time plus the overtime that no-one mentioned in the job interview? The one that people are always telling you not to give up, as a way of damning you in a smarty-arse way?
I gave mine up 6 months ago and wondered if my artistic star was going to rise as a consequence. I can tell you now that it has not. It is still the same place it always was in terms of commercial recognition and industry awards – somewhere out past Alpha Centuri. My attempt to build a better – or at least a more artistic – mousetrap has not resulted in the world beating a path to my door. The darned cat has brought the occasional half-eaten rat in, but that is a different matter.
I have started to get back skills that had vanished for 7 years. I am engaged in model making by the scratch method and a lot of the materials and techniques I used in dentistry can be used to make model parts. Waxing dentures and cutting cavities would be a great bore now but waxing master models for casting and using a rotary cutter for carving shapes is great fun again. As there is no day job, THIS is the day job, and it yields as much satisfaction – perhaps more – than professional or commercial activity. And if I get a chance to make the models I want and photograph them in the way I want to, the result will last far longer than any of my previous endeavours. Filled teeth or dentures or whatever will disappear into the grave or the waste bin along with their possessors, and all the camera gear I have ever sold will be on the shelf eventually – and no-one the wiser that I was ever involved with it.
But a good digital photo – particularly one that captures the attention of the world – will be there forever. Goodness, it is nearly impossible to get rid of spam emails on our old computer so I reckon that deliberate images will be there forever.