Featuring Galaxara - On Quitting 9-5 and becoming a full-time artist!
I have decided to feature some of the people that I work with and really admire, and who I think you will benefit from knowing about - one way or the other.
This is the first one of my features and it is written by the AMAZING Sarah Sharf aka Galaxara.
Sarah is a fellow Dane (she is located in Denmark) and is an artist with a big A. She is passionate and driven. She does commission work as well as creating the most amazing murals.
She quit her 9-5 job to be a full-time artist and to pursue her dreams. She is creative, compassionate, beautiful, kind and caring and that all comes through in her art - which I completely adore and she has so many important things to say! She is a true inspiration!
So without much further ado - here is Sarah on being a self-employed artist.
“Being self-employed and moreover, a self-employed artist is some really tough sh*t, I can tell you that.
However, If I had told my past self what I know now (years after I quit my stable, high-income job), that it involves: sleepless nights, the struggles of imposter syndrome, the constant economic stress and the never-ending evolution of skills and psyche,
I’d still do it. 100%.
It’s been 2 years since I started my journey “for real” where I wanted to live off my art and hopefully inspire people around me in the process.
You see, with the risk of sounding a bit arrogant, I knew that the one thing I was good at was “Just doing it” (no, this isn’t a Nike commercial).
What it means is that I had a gift since my rebellious teenage years, that every time something didn’t go the way I wanted or when I found something I DID want, I’d tackle it head first without thinking of the consequences, nor how it would impact my life.
I’ve always been a “do’er” more than someone who “thinks a lot before making decisions”.
To this day, it has been both a gift and a curse, as you surely can imagine. But for the most part, it has been the best catalyst for making mistakes and thereby learning quickly how I had to reflect on future choices in life.
With all that said, I didn’t know all along, that being an independent artist was what I wanted to do.
I had been painting and drawing for most of my life as a hobby, but never did I think of it as a job I could actually live off either.
I was privileged to be born and educated in Denmark, a country that allows economic bandwidth and the tools to experiment with what education you’d want (at least back when I was studying).
I tried becoming many things, because I have always had a natural curiosity about any job out there. - I think there’s still a video back from primary school, where little Sarah at 13 years old, saying she’d like to be anything from a policeman to a scientist, among 23 other things.
When I got older, I went through Nursing School, Computer Science and Prosthetist Creation, without finishing.
I actually ended up graduating in Marketing Management.
This backstory has really prepared me to be a person who isn’t afraid of experimentation, but I’ve had a bunch of life-lesson setbacks in terms of a really bad financial situation and learning how to extinguish friends from toxic relationships.
The decision of becoming a full-time artist actually came quite naturally, since creating art helped me through the period of high expectations projected from the world around me.
My creative side was fueled in the time I felt bad or in doubt - which was quite often. My art was the drug that calmed me down. I could deep dive into other worlds where responsibility and worries couldn’t reach me.
And, when I started to post on social media and also found people who wanted to support me and loved me for who I was, it became very clear what I had to do.
It is important to say, during all this time, I’ve been very lucky and privileged, to have a big crowd of friends and a small loving family, who’ve always shown a lot of support in my creative endeavours. Their words of encouragement have saved me multiple times and kept reminding me, that art is a big part of who I was and am today.
I could write books on how important supporting friends and family are, but let me just narrow it down to these few things.
Keep people in your life who want to help you, people who are driven, and above all, people who are honest and kind - the ones who know when you need a push and when you need a hug.
The decision of becoming a full-time artist isn’t something I can talk about without mentioning the job I had before.
I was working an office job, which to be honest, gave me
some comfort in the form of stability,
having a 9 to 5 workday
A good income
I felt I made a difference
... but in reality, I wasn’t stimulated in the areas I shone the most.
My brain was slowly decaying for a year. And a year is a looong time to not be stimulated in the areas you love. It slows you down. Makes you question a lot of things, especially about yourself and what you are doing. I don’t have numbers on how often I would get home and feel worthless and goal-less, making me over-analyse things no normal functioning person was able to, which after some time pushed me towards anxiety and depression.
It was actually when a friend of mine “Sophie” who made me take a turn away from that “stable life.
Sophie is an amazing person, although some of our friends would refer her as being someone equivalent to a mad badger with a microphone.
Anyway, she had just finished her education in culinary arts, and from one day to the other, decided she wanted to become a Michelin Chef in London.
She acted very quickly and carelessly because she wasn't about to compromise on her dream. And that inspired me to do just the same.
She made me remember my gift again: “don’t think so much, just do it”.
And so I did.
I’m not saying it was the most thought through or responsible choice, but honestly, I think more people should do more instead of thinking about the consequences. You’ll have to work hard and you need to have a strong group of people supporting you mentally, but you CAN do it if you really put your mind into it.
It’s not just about wanting something because it sounds cool or it would be convenient, it’s about what makes you happy, that it motivates you, makes you want to evolve and become better at something. I think this applies to everyone, no matter if you’d like to be an artist, a doctor or the local cafe worker. As long as it lights a spark in you, keeps you up at night and helps to keep your head held high even though you are struggling, then I will believe in you. All it takes is “just doing it”.
(still not a Nike commercial here - however, do remember to work out, it helps a lot too).”
Go follow Sarah on Instagram and dive deep into her beautiful world right here —> https://www.instagram.com/galaxara/