my creative cortex

getting through life with creativity

Job hunting as an introvert artist

Hello, you lovely human!

Here's a little Canada/Vancouver update for you:

We've been back in Vancouver for a week and a half now. Well, we arrived in Vancouver to then take the SkyTrain to Burnaby. Burnaby is its own city but is literally on the border of Vancouver and only about 30 minute train ride from Downtown. It's a lovely, quiet place with nice houses and parks.

For the first week we got a room in a shared house. If you follow my Instagram you may have seen when I shared my little "studio" tour and this image:

The studio tour can be found in my Story highlights called "Travel Artist"!

We've now moved on to another part of Burnaby, where we managed to find a cute little studio apartment. We'll be here at least for the next week, but we're hoping we might get to stay a bit longer...fingers crossed!

CV's are up to date, Bank accounts, SIN numbers and phone numbers are sorted - today we got our Translink (public transport) cards...Phil's got himself a job, congratulations to him!

Basically, everything is going great. Except: I still don't have a job.

I've sent out lots of emails and applications for jobs but with little success so far. I even had an interview, but haven't heard back. The interview I had before our road trip also hasn't turned into anything yet.

So, on Thursday I brought my CV out in person for the first time. This was the part I'd been dreading the most and I was really hoping to avoid. The challenge I face is that I'm socially awkward. I'm shy and introverted. I'm so much more comfortable behind the computer, typing out emails and cover letters. But as soon as I pop out of that cozy little bubble of mine I become a ball of nerves.

But life is all about challenging yourself, so off I went into an art gallery in the mall and asked if I could leave my CV with them. The man I spoke to politely said no by pointing out that this was just a "Pop-up Gallery" - so they'd only be there for a short time. As I walked away I heard him behind me shout "good luck!". I turned and said "thank you", but once I got out of there my eyes started flooding with water...

Having my first attempt at handing in my CV be rejected was like a big slap in the face. If I wasn't anxious about it before I definitely am now. The funny thing is that it wasn't even rejected because of myself - it was just because they didn't need anyone. But the voice in my head kept saying: Oh silly Silja, you should have known it was a pop-up gallery. Now you look stupid!

Right now I'm feeling a bit stuck. I know I shouldn't be worrying about not having a job yet, as I've only been back here less than 2 weeks. But for some reason thinking about this whole job situation makes my heart feel tight and heavy. It's not so much that I don't think I can get a job - I know I can get a job. I've done it before in Iceland, England and even Sydney, Australia. But will I get a job that I'm excited about? A job that lights a fire under me?

I feel lost because I don't know if I have what it takes to get the jobs I desire. The impostor syndrome is showing up BIG TIME. I know I have the skills and I know I have the interest - I'm actually bloody good at writing a promising cover letter! But as soon as I take that cover letter and expose it to the world, I start to question whether or not I actually am the person in that letter.

I don't know whether to a) stick it out and go for a job within art, something that I truly want - even if it takes a long time - or b) go for the jobs I have done in the past (such as cleaning) and continue to work on my craft on the side, until a great opportunity comes up?

Ideally I'd like to go freelance. Accept commissions for artwork, get some products with my art on them...I'm nearly finished with my graphic design course too, and considering whether I should look for design projects? The questions that I'm asking myself are:

1. How do I find freelance art/illustration or design work?

2. Who do I contact?

3. Is it worth emailing people/companies to ask for work?

4. I'd LOVE to illustrate and design greeting cards and stationary - who do I speak to about that?

5. What are the requirements to work in the following places:

- An art gallery?

- Design agency?

- Greeting card company?

6. What's the best place to get products made with my artwork?

7. How can I run a shop while travelling around?

8. Will anyone want to buy my art?

9. How to I market myself?

10. How do I make myself stand out!?

11. ...and so on...

As I've said before, being a creative brings a rollercoaster of emotions. Wanting to pursue your passion is all exciting and scary at the same time. Right now it's more scary. I feel very lost - I'm just a small girl in a big city.

But as with everything, we will figure this out - to quote Marie Forleo: "Everything is figureoutable".

To you fellow artist, please don't give up. We're on this journey together. Feel free to join me, to learn from my failures and (hopefully) successes.

And I welcome any advice you may have too! I'd love if you would leave me a comment or get in touch via Instagram or email, so I can follow your journey too.

P.S. If you know someone who knows someone who knows of a creative job for me, CALL ME (or email).

Webcam - hello from our new apartment!

That's my rant over! I need to go give out some CVs now.

Speak soon.

Lots of love,



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