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  1. #1
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    Getting a job :(. And why art sucks even when it kicks ass.

    Getting a job in any kind of art related genre, is like trying to hit the moon with your piss on a late friday night.
    If you have a degree in art, this makes it even harder for you as nobody ELSE will hire you while you live in the gutter trying to get money for WATER.

    I've studied art since forever and well. I can't get a job anywhere for many reasons but mainly because a) I have no previous working experience and b) Im younger than 25. And everyone knows that anyone younger than 25 or older than 40 can't get a job in anything unless they have some form of contacts within the industry.
    You're either too young to be trusted or too old to be fully usable in the company.

    Personally I'm applying for everything I can, every day and have done so for quite some time now. It is hell out there.

    I can't even get a job lifting boxes from one space to another.
    My next stop is... Mcdonalds. DUN DUN DUUUUN.

    If you want to work within art, be ready to get laughed at by everyone outside the art community.(Unless you have friends who can get you a job)

    Point of this misc thread. I'm REALLY tired of being broke and people laughing in my face when I apply for jobs.
    Any tips on getting a job would be great, but don't say "Ask someone you know" I HAVE. And they are pissed at me for asking so much.
    "Sadly, most artists prefer to give the elite their attention."


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  3. #2
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    The question you gotta ask yourself is "can my stuff compete with industry standards?" If yes, then its a matter of persistance. If no, you have to grind that pencil. Studying art forever might be well and good, but in the end how long you studied doesn't mean jack shit, its what you can produce that counts.

    As far as people laughing at you.. fuck them. You're following your dream. Some people have the balls to do that, others take the easy route. What matters is what will make you happy in the long run.

    I've looked at your portfolio blog, and you need to polish your skills a little more. You have potential, but all your images have an unfinished look. Be more patient with your pieces. Also work on composition and presentation of your images. Be sure to put in hours of study and practice every day, keep producing new stuff while searching for jobs, replacing the weakest images in your portfolio with new and better ones.

    //edit: to be blunt: age, industry contacts, schooling etc doesn't matter as much as skills. If you have skills you're gonna get a job eventually. If you keep getting rejected, don't blame other insignificant factors, just start studying and practicing until you level up your art skills.
    Last edited by Slash; August 24th, 2008 at 03:22 PM.

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  5. #3
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    It's a hard nut to crack....and there's a hell of a lot of people out there who want to crack the same nut....I'd suggest that instead of applying and applying to everywhere and anywhere, and using the bulk of your energy that way maybe you need to look at improving your skills so that the kick ass folio you have when you rock up to these places in future cant fail to get you a job....I'm not suggesting your not skilled, you have some cool stuff in your folio which shows potential, but there's an army of highly talented, highly motivated people out there, and generally its the ones with the most bad-ass folios that get the jobs....I'm not in the games industry, but I do draw for a living, and it took me forever and a day to get to the point where I could pay the bills with it. Whenever I got turned down for a job it motivated me to go learn some more, do more stuff for my folio, and get better so that the next job the client would see my stuff and be like "damn, this guy has some cool stuff, lets hire him". You also want to be tailoring your folio/images to the jobs your after....if you get turned down theres nothing to stop you asking the person who turned you down why they did, and this will help you work on your shortcomings and build a folio thats going to get you work in future. Good luck with it, I know how hard it can be, but the journey is worth it

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    Of course I'm still practising my art and trying to refine it. But with family and friends yelling at me to get a job, I feel like I'm all alone in this big world of let-downs. And not being able to even get to lowest of jobs in the bottom of the hierarchy I'm not feeling very motivated to do anything except maybe give up, get into a school of whatever boring unfulfilling job there is left and hope I have better luck in a few years. And I'm not very motivated to study crap I don't care about either.. I just wish I had some kind of comfort. A thought, a goal, an income .-. something to get me through another month of being laughed at and rejection.
    You know?
    "Sadly, most artists prefer to give the elite their attention."

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    Heh, you're not alone, thats for sure. And if you give up and don't make it, you're certainly not alone, since thats where a lot of people end up. And let me tell you right now, you won't have better luck in a few years, since its not about luck. If anything your skills would have stagnated by then. If you want comfort take comfort in the fact that those who give it all and and keep busting their ass are the ones that make it. Goals.. you have to set your own goals. If you don't have a goal then you're in trouble cuz you don't know where to go. If it helps put up a list of small concrete goals like 50 gestures, one speedpaint enviro and one character per day.. or something like that. Also have a bigger goal to work towards, like "this and that job at this and that company."

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    concept art is one of many, many avenues someone can take. a LOT of people on this forum are aiming to become character/creature concept artists in a videogame company, which is by far too many people aiming for the same position. there are things to do in commercial arts besides drawing big-titted scantly clad female commandos and anal octopuses with laser beams. there's matte, environment, prop, vehicle, weapon designs, illustration, traditional 2d, 3d, sculpture, which open's up a whole 'nother creative area. Not everyone is cut out to be an artist, and not every artist has to be a commercial concept artist. this may not give you much comfort at the moment, but you may want to consider other options, in art or otherwise. whatever road you decide to take however, persistence is key. just my 2 cents.

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    Well, there's 2 problems I see.
    1, your portfolio is like 7 blurry images of just normal people and places.

    2, Your attitude is piss poor. People can sense a bad attitude from miles away. And no one wants to work with someone who's going to be grumpy all day. Not even McDonald's.

    Also, it's a hard thing to really grasp, but being more concerned with getting the job, rather than producing work with enough quality to get you a job is not the way to go. And this you can't get a job under 25 stuff in nonsense. You see that alot "you need 2 years experience" and all that.. really I think it's just a tactic to scare away people who are'nt ready. if your work is good enough, you have a very good chance of getting a job.
    * Help a CA artist! Visit the Constructive Critique section! *



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  11. #8
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    Post your cv / cover letter, i'll bet your having trouble getting normal non related art related jobs because of that or your performance in interviews. if you dont fancy posting it then take a massive critical look at your whole approach.

    My friend was applying for cookery jobs, he'd never done any cook work but needed a placment to do a chef course.

    he emailed alot of palces, but his big mistakes were putting his cv as a attachment and just saying "im aware ive not had any work before but im a hardworker and willing to learn"

    he needed to hook anyone who was gonna read it properly on the first line, instead he gave them the worst news and a poor excuse.

  12. #9
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    just bust your ass everyday and take freelance til you get reaaal good then start applying. Theres no reason why you cant look for freelance(and take it simply to improve no matter how low you gotta charge to get it), theres an artists looking for work section on this site(and all over the internet if you really wanna look). If you study everyday and are confident in your abilities to improve as an artist then you can become any sort of industry professional you wanna be. Its not about just doing a couple of drawings then going out shouting your name around. You have to keep on working at it constantly. Theres no easy way out, no shortcut home
    'If you don't make mistakes, you're not working on hard enough problems.And that's a big mistake.'
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  13. #10
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    Stop applying for art jobs and spend two solid years painting. That's my advice, for what it's worth.

    Your portfolio shows promise, you just need to get in there and make that improvement day after day, week after week.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Interceptor View Post
    Well, there's 2 problems I see.
    1, your portfolio is like 7 blurry images of just normal people and places.

    2, Your attitude is piss poor. People can sense a bad attitude from miles away. And no one wants to work with someone who's going to be grumpy all day. Not even McDonald's.

    Also, it's a hard thing to really grasp, but being more concerned with getting the job, rather than producing work with enough quality to get you a job is not the way to go. And this you can't get a job under 25 stuff in nonsense. You see that alot "you need 2 years experience" and all that.. really I think it's just a tactic to scare away people who are'nt ready. if your work is good enough, you have a very good chance of getting a job.
    As harsh as this guy sounds, I sorta agree about the attitude thing.

    I'm in the same pool as you. I know my artwork isn't up to what the industry is looking for, and all we can do as "starving artists" is to keep working towards our goal. Take our time to work on the artwork whether it's working on composition, anatomy, etc. blah blah blah But it's REALLY HARD. I can't help but feeling sooo down myself. It's hard to see all these professionals working the jobs that other artists with not-as-much experience want to work.


    I don't think your artwork is "bad", just needs a little work on. Gear your portfolio towards something you want to do. For instance, if it's character designing you want to do, then pump out a bunch of characters for a simple story (EX: Alice in Wonderland, Hansel and Grethel, Peter Pan or something).



    And really, if anything! I think that times are just HARD. We're going into a recession and it's ridiculous that things cost so much. Lots of people are getting laid off and money has become something I really need in order to survive (to buy food and gas to get around to simple places!). Just hang in there! I know I am :]

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  16. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Interceptor View Post
    Well, there's 2 problems I see.
    1, your portfolio is like 7 blurry images of just normal people and places.

    2, Your attitude is piss poor. People can sense a bad attitude from miles away. And no one wants to work with someone who's going to be grumpy all day. Not even McDonald's.
    1: If thats what you think then thats what you think. I think the same about your sketchbook

    2: I can smell you all the way over here.

    I'm glad you decided to criticize but that was more like bashing than anything.
    I like what you said afterwards though, ty.

    NRX - I don't wish to post my CV but I will definitely look it over and run it by my relative who works as an employer one more time.

    Mr.Delicious - I gave up on shortcuts a long time ago <_<
    When it comes to doing a couple of drawings and shouting your name out. Isn't that what professional artists do? I've read so many articles about modern artists and how they got rich on standing naked on a street throwing a bucket of paint at a canvas or using shit do draw shit and be considered the worlds best artist
    Ofc this is not what I consider art and not what I'm aiming for!

    Cheers
    "Sadly, most artists prefer to give the elite their attention."

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    Skills only give you more freedom to what jobs to choose, what is more important is "work ethics", i got a couple of jobs as an illustrator even when i draw and paint horribly, and i believe thats because people got the message that i work hard, i get things done on time, and im reliable, and im friendly, and cheap , in one word "competitive".

    What i learned is that people look at proftolios to see of you can do the job without any doubts, if you want to work in comic books, you should do a comic book cover and pages, if you want to make webpages, you should do webpages to show people, if you want to make logos, you should do logos, then you need references from other people you worked from before, and if you are a great worker your boss is going to recommend you to others, i forgot to say, i worked as a freelance graphics designer over internet. www.odesk.com and www.rentacoder.com where sites where i worked (the odesk is better for me though).

    I guess you should get info on how to apply for jobs and how to get jobs, thats a job in itself, there are many articles on how to do that in internet im sure. Good luck.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pawkfox View Post
    1: If thats what you think then thats what you think. I think the same about your sketchbook

    2: I can smell you all the way over here.
    Erm, you just proved him right... :/

  19. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pawkfox View Post
    1:
    Mr.Delicious - I gave up on shortcuts a long time ago <_<
    When it comes to doing a couple of drawings and shouting your name out. Isn't that what professional artists do? I've read so many articles about modern artists and how they got rich on standing naked on a street throwing a bucket of paint at a canvas or using shit do draw shit and be considered the worlds best artist
    Ofc this is not what I consider art and not what I'm aiming for!

    Cheers
    No, you work and while you're working jobs that aren't making you all too much money you're also improving by taking work and actually doing more art. The artwork you see from people getting better and better is usually the work between jobs they do for themselves to further push for better jobs since people will see the newer better work so youll retain newer better jobs.

    I don't get why you put up the fine art thing, I'm guessing its a joke. I'm not joking around, I'm trying to help you and tell you how I went about it myself. I'm not a big time professional artist or anything but I'm well off enough to be living on my own. All I'm saying is that you have to bust your ass working on your art everyday. There are no shortcuts to getting all that you want out of life. You have to work for it by pushing your work and continually providing new work to stay fresh in people's minds. If you really want to be a professional keep pushing studies and learning.

    And don't have an ego, look at the pros and don't compare yourself to anything but them. If you look at it that way then you aren't there yet, and if you want to be then its time to stop reading this and get to drawing!

    I really wish you the best of luck and hope you can keep motivated! Don't bog yourself down with self doubt! make a looking for work topic with what you have and take any work you can get! After all you're not gonna wake up tomorrow and all of a sudden have all these crazy skills.
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  20. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pawkfox View Post
    1: If thats what you think then thats what you think. I think the same about your sketchbook

    2: I can smell you all the way over here.

    I'm glad you decided to criticize but that was more like bashing than anything.
    I like what you said afterwards though, ty.

    NRX - I don't wish to post my CV but I will definitely look it over and run it by my relative who works as an employer one more time.

    Mr.Delicious - I gave up on shortcuts a long time ago <_<
    When it comes to doing a couple of drawings and shouting your name out. Isn't that what professional artists do? I've read so many articles about modern artists and how they got rich on standing naked on a street throwing a bucket of paint at a canvas or using shit do draw shit and be considered the worlds best artist
    Ofc this is not what I consider art and not what I'm aiming for!

    Cheers
    You might as well just quit and give it up, cause you arent going to make it. Like interceptor said, you have a piss poor attitude and your ego is too big for your own good. I don't see someone trying to get their dream job, i see someone who doesn't want to take advice, whom gets good advice and when they get it takes it personally and gives bullshit excuses why he isn't going to change. I see someone who doesn't want to put forth the effort necessary to do what it takes and wants the easy way in. The people in this thread are trying to help and you reply to them with scarcasm and closed ears. Just quit bro.
    Last edited by ArtZealot; August 24th, 2008 at 10:01 PM.
    "I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain."
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  22. #17
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    Pawfox, i think you should listen to interceptor instead of getting defensive. I mean, seeing how you don't have a job, and you are asking for help, maybe you don't have all the answers, and maybe the truth needs to be said even tho you don't wanna hear it..

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  24. #18
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    give up, get into a school of whatever boring unfulfilling job there is left and hope I have better luck in a few years
    that sounds like a solid, can't-fail plan to achieve your goals
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    Take it for what it's worth, but if you go on craigslist.com and go through all the creative jobs in the world that are posted (takes about a day or 24 hrs) you will get work. Seriously, I did it last week. If the studio jobs aren't working then you have to do the freelance route.
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  27. #20
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    Have you tried talking to your local printer and offering to help on artwork (for a price, of course). When I was younger (before I moved away from the area) I had a good relationship with my local printer, and he would sometimes offer me freelance work (cheap rates; I was only 16)

    Stuff like that can be put in your cv, and can be added to your portfolio.
    Now, when it comes to that,- I don't want to be harsh, but there's a sameness to it. All your standing figures are looking left, with a biggish space on the left hand side. You aren't showing a variety of techniques; which means that you're not showing yourself or your work to the best of your abilities. What about some figures with b/gs? How would you use decoration? Do you do anything other than digital?

    These guys are trying to help you. Please don't bite their heads off.

    Why not try joining one of the weekly or daily activities on here? It'll give you a challenge,and might give you more work to include in your portfolio.

    It's all too easy to settle into a comfortable rut when you're on a downer. People are trying to throw you a rope here.....
    Last edited by alesoun; August 24th, 2008 at 06:20 PM. Reason: I'm a crap typist!

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  29. #21
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    Hey join the club, no point in bitching about it though, its not to do with your age, haha! Im 25 now and am searching for a full time job, still cant find one after two months. So its back to freelancing which will do me fine for now, until I get good enough that a company cant or find it hard to say no. Just keep at it and dont question, just try and try again. I wouldn't say give up, just change your attitude a bit and keep at your art, really keep at it though, like, everyday for many hours.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pawkfox View Post
    1: If thats what you think then thats what you think. I think the same about your sketchbook

    2: I can smell you all the way over here.

    I'm glad you decided to criticize but that was more like bashing than anything.
    So your response to a suggestion that you revitalize your portfolio is to blow it off out of hand and then make a petty attack at the person trying to help you?

    Well, I think interceptor has a point. What kind of jobs are you trying to apply for? I don't really see anything demonstrating strong illustration or concept design in your portfolio if that is the type of work you're trying to find. There are 3 environments that look basically like speed paintings, and four fairly static character designs that all have some anatomy issues and are presented with no context or environment. None of it really looks finished.

    If you want to do something productive NOW, my suggestion would be to reboot your portfolio and include a wider variety of pieces, including some character turnarounds, vehicle and architectural/industrial design examples for concept work, and maybe some actual illustrations instead of just designs if you want to do illustration work. Make sure your figures are all convincing and don't include any that aren't.

    Or you can look at my sketchbook and blow me off too.

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    This is going to seem like an incredibly cruel thing to say, but it's the truth:
    You aren't getting an art job because your work isn't good enough. It's not particularly bad, but there's nothing about it to set it apart from 10,000 other people. I assume from the samples on your site that you're looking for illustration or concept jobs, which are insanely competitive. What you're showing has no technical, stylistic, or thematic consistency. Any potential employer looking at those isn't going to know what to hire you for, or whether you'll be able to deliver.

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  33. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elwell View Post
    This is going to seem like an incredibly cruel thing to say, but it's the truth:
    You aren't getting an art job because your work isn't good enough. It's not particularly bad, but there's nothing about it to set it apart from 10,000 other people. I assume from the samples on your site that you're looking for illustration or concept jobs, which are insanely competitive. What you're showing has no technical, stylistic, or thematic consistency. Any potential employer looking at those isn't going to know what to hire you for, or whether you'll be able to deliver.
    Listen to Dad.

    Going off on people who already have what you want is dumb. Learn from them and you will eventually achieve your goal...or, don't and you can live a life of regretting what might have been.

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    Woah! You put it so much better than what I was trying to say. I hope he does come back. It'll take guts,- but it will make him a winner!

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    I like all your responses and only got offended because lets face it, it was very uncalled for.

    Alot of you basically said the same thing but in detailed motivated ways that helped rather than just saying "you suck, get better" Which is never a motivating, helping, nice thing to say.
    And stop bitching about me bitching since I'm not bitching. I take all of your advices and Have even written them down and thought up things to do next.
    And of course I'm not as good as the pros, I never said I was and EGO as well as confidence is definitely something I lack rather than have too much of..
    I always compare myself to the pro's and infact its getting me more down than up, so I try to limit myself from doing it too much to have the mental power to stay in there.

    It's easy to put blame on someone and it's easy to criticise. I do these to myself every minute of everyday so don't go off thinking I'm some kind of goof on DA trying to get famous with stick drawings.

    Now, thankyou for you generous advice. I have taken all into consideration and am thinking of ways to get where I want.
    You have been most helpful despite the unnecessary comments.
    I'm just trying to be nice and professional about it.
    "Sadly, most artists prefer to give the elite their attention."

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    Hum.

    Well, uhm, for my own two cents, you don't seem to be very nice about it. :/ I mean, yes, a lot of these good people are VERY blunt and very harsh, but half the work in this industry is to be able to take it.

    Now, I'm definately not the best out there. Very, very very far from. When I look at a lot of these guys work, I get very depressed and think that I will never be good enough to really join their ranks.

    But, hey, got my first actual honest-to-goodness freelance concept art video game job, and I got it all done, on time, on a really, really strict deadline, and I'm insanely proud of myself right now and feel I have a right to be.

    Yes, I got this job because I work very hard at being nice to everyone I meet, and because even though I'm not the best I work very very hard. It meant that when my boss was looking for someone to do her concept art, she remembered me and called me up.

    Connections work, but having a good, positive attitude works even better. Even if you're not the best, crazy artist in the world, you can still get work if you're polite, hard-working and punctual.

    Coming on here, asking for help, and then taking it rather badly (because let's be honest, no matter how much of a dick someone is to you, you AREN'T required to give it back to them), is definitely not going to help your cause.

    If you're taking our advice, show us that you are. Earn our respect before expecting it.

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  38. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pawkfox View Post
    I like all your responses and only got offended because lets face it, it was very uncalled for.
    Quite the contrary, judging by your attitude I'd say it's very called for. If you can't learn to take something as nice as what Interceptor said, you probably don't have a chance. Criticism isn't a preference in the industry, it's a must, or you're old news. All everyone else did was mostly sugar coat it.

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  40. #29
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    There's always high-school art teacher position, you seem to fit the mold.

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  42. #30
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    Your 1st art director is gonna eat you for lunch! Took me 3 freakin years to just to get part-time design work....but I have been working hard on my art and it paid off cos I finally got a illustration job. I had to do all sorts of crappy work in between.
    Grow a thicker skin and perserveer - what are you gonna do when the boss tells you your work you just spent 2 days on is not what they want and must be re done? Gonna cry and call him / her unfair or nasty?
    Remember even though we are lucky to do that which we enjoy or have a passion for, does not change the fact that it is a job.

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