[Complaining] I Just Want to Make stuff

I’m kind of feeling like my soul is being crushed by one of my jobs. I have two art teaching jobs, one with adults and one with kids. The adult one is the one that’s getting to me.

On paper, it’s practically perfect for an artist who likes to teach. The hours are minimal and the pay is $22/hour. But sketching on the canvases for customers and painting an example piece pay far less and are a flat rate no matter how many you do. It’s one of those “paint and sip” places and we all paint the same painting per class.

I think it’s mostly that the job feels so pointless. It feels like I’m not actually teaching people how to actually paint, but rather how to paint THIS one painting in 2 hours. AND no one seems to feel good about their painting when they leave. They say they have fun, but seem so stressed the entire time they’re in class. There’s so much self depreciation every class and I try to reassure them, but they almost always retort with “your paid to say that.” Which I promise that I’m not. My goal is to give them a fun time and I never feel like it’s possible.

And after painting all day, it’s like all my creativity and energy is just sucked out of me. I have ideas (so many ideas) for projects but I’m just so tired and burnt out from doing it all day. I only work this job for 3 days out of the week but it still feels like a full time job.

I just want to MAKE stuff, especially stuff that makes a difference. But it’s starting to feel impossible under these conditions. I’m looking for a new second job (or full time job) to replace this one but I don’t even know what I WANT to do anymore. It changes so often, probably because of my bipolar disorder.


I feel similarly to you. While I can’t offer much in terms of advice I just want to know you’re not alone in feeling unfulfilled and burned out from your job, and how customers will treat you.

A mind trick I learned from Dr. K is to say “I don’t know how to explain to you that I genuinely care about you and your art. Your argument is irrefutable”


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