I've never had the ability to be content in situations I don't like. For better or worse, near enough isn't good enough in my world and I try everything in my power to improve things.
When I was younger I had quite a few jobs that were pretty soul destroying for a creative like myself: Cleaning a butcher shop, shoving steel rods in a machine all day and picking stationary off shelves were among the jobs that made me search for more. After many failed attempts I eventually got a traineeship in multimedia and started a new life being able to use my creative abilities. The traineeship turned out to be more video production instead of multimedia and after a couple of years I found a job doing something I really wanted to do - creating interactive multimedia. A year or two into this job with the internet just starting to come alive I found myself drawn to creating for the web instead of CDROMS. I taught myself web design and eventually started a business Kwest Digital Media, providing graphic and website design. After ten years of working for some great clients I started getting restless again and my creativity longed to be let loose in a way that clients and their rigid briefs didn't allow. Instead of just plodding along making good money doing what I was good at, I decided to change directions again and pick up a camera.
That decision changed my life! I taught myself how to use a camera and started shooting everything I could think of. Within a few months I began selling the digital images online. Within a year it was my primary source of income. I was loving the freedom to be able to shoot what I wanted, when I wanted but my real dream was lurking beneath the surface... I wanted to sell prints. i wanted my work to be hanging on people's walls. I ignored this dream for a few years, as life was pretty easy just doing the stock photography thing but 6 years ago this month I bit the bullet and started Earth Art. Graphic/Web design fell even further off my radar and the amount of time spent on shooting stock photography dropped. Making a living from prints is pretty damn difficult but I just couldn't not follow what I truly wanted to do.
Fast forward to today and Kwest Digital Media is officially dead. I haven't taken on a new job in nearly a year. Stock photography is something I spend only a few days on every year - and I have managed to make a living from selling prints of my Earth Art Collection. I feel extremely blessed to be in the position I am in, but boy it has taken some hard work, persistence, poverty and self belief!
I have no idea where my creativity will lead me in the future, but I am so glad I never just accepted second best over the past 20 years. If you're like me and you long for more out of your job - then get out there and follow your dreams guys. Its scary, but very rewarding.