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I'm not around much because I'm entering the work world, or trying to at least, and I never seem to have any free time anymore. Basically, I was fired today out of the blue. And I'm just really sad. and frustrated. and exhausted mentally. I have been trying to get into the custom interior painting industry. Painting is what I love, am good at, and feel I could really make it out there once I have the chance. So I felt blessed when I searched on the internet for companies and a man with a small business was willing to take a chance on me and teach me the trade. I went on one job with him, unpaid, as my try-out and then was invited to do a week long project in a million dollar home(which actually isnt a huge job considering california real estate).
Well I started on monday and for the past two days did serious manual labor. I plastered walls, i sanded them wearing a face mask and goggles. I was inadvertently getting plaster dust in my nose, mouth and eyes. I was working on tall ladders. I was giving my all just for the opportunity to get to do some of the artistic painting later on. And as the day ended today, with dust covering my hair, face and arms, I was handed some cash and told "this just isnt going to work." I dont have what it takes apparently. well of course not for that! I'm not a laborer! I went to college. I got a degree in art. I just assumed as an "assistant," yes I would have to do some grunt work. I was prepared for that. And I didnt complain.
I just feel completely taken advantage of and deceived. Just when I though a good soul was finally going to give me a chance it turned out to be another hollow experience where I'm left with my mouth wide open (this time probably full of plaster) not understanding why I cant get a break. I know everyone has been there and I should just get over myself. but its so hard. I'm the most hard-working, dependable, trustworthy person I can be..and its still not good enough. Nothing is even good enough. And I'm constantly told I just dont have enough experience.
Well then, I guess I might as well prepare to be a bag lady, b/c if no one is willing to give me experience, I'm going to go my whole life without work!
Please someone just say it will be okay. I'm losing all hope here...
That absolutely sucks.
Is this guy licensed? If he is, I believe there are (varying) state laws that might protect you from losing compensation for that much labor.
Well, good luck in finding something new. And don't ever take being fired as a measurement of your talent. Some bosses are just too dumb to know what they've got.
you think you've got problems? Stop whining - things will get better
In the meantime... maybe I can help you out
I know a couple of people who are involved in what you do...they're up here in LA. I can get in touch with them and if they say its ok - pass on their info to you -
maybe you can get some advice/leads or maybe even work/train with them.
I actually went to paint with them once...decorating people's houses is not my thing though.
Very nice people...no promises but worth a try...if you're interested, let me know
I have to say I would be very intimidated to do what these people do- you can replace a canvas - but not some expensive piece of furniture or a wall in a million dollar home.
Thats my good deed for the day
for payment - I will take your first born
Last edited by Rascar Capac; October 11th, 2005 at 09:47 PM.
Hes licensed its all legit, I even filled out a w-4 for him...ha, waste of time. I got paid in cash for my two days of work and was told he needed someone with more experience in production work(i.e. I need to be a mexican laborer, thats the competition for painting jobs and I was actually working along side one for this job). I emailed him saying how shocked and disappointed I was by this abrupt and cold dismissal, and he actually wrote back saying his field is very labor intensive and I just cant handle it. Which, hell, maybe its true. It sure isnt worth my health. That dust and chemicals can kill you.
im just so sick of this constant starting over process. I do temp work on the side(office work which makes me cringe) and am willing to do anything to get my foot in the door. So much for a degree being the ticket to sucess. I feel so alone and helpless.
Bluegoddess. He's an asshole, but he did the nicest thing he could for you. He fired you.
If he didn't like you, he would have fired you, and made you wait until the end of the week to pay you, or until the middle of the month, or the end of the month, just to make you suffer a bit for your money.
The fact that he handed you the money was his way of softening the blow as best he could. What is the kind part of this, is that he saw you WERE giving your all, and he knew he was NOT intending to hire someone like that. He wanted someone with enough of a strong back to be "Manuel Labor" and get to work clean up work for him in the painting part. When he saw you really, REALLY took this serious, he got scared. Real fast, because he knew you were NOT going to work long if you were the "hired help," unless you got a chance to show your stuff.
He was using you, and he actually felt bad enough about it to fire you AND pay you in cash for the two days...
Mind you, this also gets the sleazeball off the hook for taxes, as by paying you in cash, you are now responsible for reporting it, while he gets off with it as Office expenses...
Honey, I know it hurts SO bad right now, and yes, it WILL get better. Stick with the temp thing, pride swallowing as it may be, just because it helps pay the bills, and it is "clean" work. You don't get dirty, greasy, dusty, grimy from cleaning shelves, serving food, or any of a hundred thousand icky jobs as you chew your way into the right position...
In the meantime, please use this hurt and anger, and frustration to motivate you to push forward with your desire to be a custom interior painter. Keep trying to make contacts, and if you have any type of a portfolio, get it out there. I know you can do it, just as I know you will have to get screwed over a few times before you get there.
This guy could have taken a LOT worse advantage of you. At least he was decent enough to set you free to fly...
Change is Inevitable, Growth is Optional
I am The Choosen One!
Jason sez: Draw more from Life!
What madster and mike said.
Take it in perspective. You gave it all you got and the fella - asshole or not - felt maybe your talents lie in another part of art. Don't feel down, take it as a "critique". You're just going out to work, so it'll take a while to fit into the groove...or to find your own. Its just a part of learning process.
Look on the bright side. At least you got paid.
There are 3 sides to every story. Yours, mine and THE TRUTH.
Can I borrow $20?
Keep your chin up! It'll be okay.
This is going to sound wierd but you might wat to think about going and talking to a military recruiter if you keep hitting dead ends . A friend of mine wanted an art career as an illustrator but nobody would give him a chance so he was broke and had a ton of college debt. So he decided to join the Military . He went and talked to a recruiter who asked him what he wanted to do and the recruiter basically told him he could set it up so that he could do Illustration and other work for some Military magazines . Anyways he was in the military for 4 years and got all the expereince he needed and actually landed a very high paying job at a large magazine doing graphic design and illustration . In your case they probebly do have some kind of job that would allow you to get the experience you need . Also since you have a degree you would be going in the military as an officer and that means you would have a pretty large pay grade . It's something to think about . I would do it if I was younger and hitting dead ends . Either that or keep networking and talking to people . This guy sounds exactly like what you said . I mean he probebly wanted to look at a cute girl for a few days but he also wants someone he can push around without much complaint . Maybe go back to your college and talk to some of your professors maybe they know someone who might let you do an intership and get some experience part time ? The art world is a very hard dog eats dog world. Just keep posative don't let one jerk spoil your opptamism !
thanks you guys...i knew people with more experience out there would probably understand the situation more than i did. i suppose the way the situation was handled was probably in the nicest way possibly, im just getting so used to these repeated out-of-no where impressions that i basically suck with no explanation whatsoever. all i want is for people to be straight with me. I'm sick of being treated like i cant handle the truth.
mike-- thanks for checking out my work. all I can really say is ive never wanted to be a "professional artist" and just sell my work. I want to work for a company and use my artistic talent in a functional way. interior painting just seems to be such a great fit since painting is the main genre I engage in. i had gone on an interview for a painting position at a company that did a lot of faux work, pretty much right after I graduated and before I had even considered the idea. after that didnt work out(most likely due to my lack of experience in the work) I was so disappointed and realized it was something I was excited about getting into. After realizing this, as if being given a true sign of it being my path, I found a posting asking for someone who wanted to learn faux painting in exchange for helping her paint a room in her house. and i got $100 for that. i continued my relationship with her, and did a few more projects but she turned out to not be such a good teacher(i understand, im not good at teaching others art either). That wasnt really going anywhere so i took the initiative and just searched all over the internet for companies in SD. i was nervous but the first place I called was this guy's company. for whatever reason, he actually talked to me for a while and invited me over to his studio that day, and let me tag along on a job the following day.
i should have known the situation was too good to be true. i had thought i finally found someone willing to take me under their wing. but i guess he had no intention on sharing his tricks of the trade. some people just want to do it all on their own, i guess. maybe he was afraid I would challenge his abilities, i dunno. i never got the chance. ive thought about murals too, or set design. i just really want to do something hand-on. i just cant do it freelance, im too scared and oblivious to the cruelty of this world at this time, it appears. im just so emotionally damaged.
ive tried a lot of things. ive emailed random commercial artists inquiring for, if nothing else, advice on getting into the industry. nothing. ive contacted friends of friends to see if they can help. no response. ive even decided to try to network in my sorority(please, no judgment..i mainly saw it as a potential networking connection..) im just running out of ideas.
anyway, im feeling better about this current situation. the guy specializes in Venetian plastering, and it is pretty difficult work. i still cant get the taste of plaster out of my mouth. and yeah, im so lucky i got paid the proper amount.
btw, i have to report it?? ive done under the table jobs before and never had probs? but then again, taxes really confuse me...
madster: your words mean a lot. you seem to really know what you are talking about, and i believe everything you said. its like you just had an inner spiritual discussion with the guy and know his every thought. i believe hes a nice guy, just didnt know how to handle me very well(he deals with a lot of illegal and mexican workers, and maybe didnt like the idea that i was so educated...thats sounds sad but true, b/c i wasnt going to continue to get abused. in fact i inquired about whether he had workers comp and he doesnt...NOT GOOD TO HEAR WHEN YOU SPEND ALL DAY ON LADDERS AND INHALING PLASTER DUST.)
anyway, its in the past...i have to move on. no one said life is easy...but i was led to believe going to college would amount to something.
Rascar Capac: i appreciate your honestly. im going to pm you about your contacts, i appreciate it.
*deep breath* okay, i think im gonna make it. once again i feel the love of this community. thank you all.
Last edited by bluegoddess16; October 11th, 2005 at 11:26 PM.
you only have to report if your net gains are over a certain amount. I forget what that amount is however...
okay ill look into that...the last thing i need is the IRS on my case. hah.
Shit happens, good luck with finding a better job.
this advice really is dependant on your area, but have you everthought of doing it yourself?
I mean I call myself a professional illustrator, that's what I enjoy- but i'm more of a career artist. I make more money doing caricatures, murals, and portraits then anything else- and I consider that side work. It only takes a couple of samples and networking is easy once you get the hang of it. you might want to look into doing it yourself- that is experience- and you'll be surprised how happy clients sread the word.
yeah id love to do it on my own if i could..every time i mention that its what i want to get into, people's eyes light up and say they would love to have some painting done in their home. or they they know of people who do it. i know the business is there...there are tons of wealthy communities in my area, i just dont know how to run my own show. estimates, pricing, gaining the materials, promotion, and actually knowing about business is needed or id totally die out there. im not saying im not willing to do what it takes, i just wanted to work under someone to feel more comfortable in my abilities. i like the idea of being a team player at this point in my life.
I think you only have to report it if you get a 1099 form from him. If he paid you cash I doubt he is filing one.
On the work thing, experience has showed me that it's good to diversify, have a lot of irons in the fire so you're not dwelling on the *one* job. I know that's difficult to do just starting out, but as you go on you'll find that the sucky job experiences make good stories later on.
Hang in there, good luck!
At least you only worked there for one day, and didn't invest months into trying to get into a job position they weren't going to give you.
Wanker... Don't worry bluegoddess, i'm sure somebody will realise your artist talents and give you a good job to flaunt those We're all behind you!
Well, looks like I get the "old folk" award, but maybe this can give you some perspective on a career as an artist. I went to college in 1978 for a BFA in commercial art. Didn't finish cause I had a kid, etc. I started doing design work for pay while in school and in 1982 started a stained glass commission business. After 2 years I opened a store front featuring glass art and stayed there for 10 years.
I closed my store because my husband got a MAJOR opportunity in Minneapolis in neon work. I've been doing lots of different types of work since I moved, including project managing. The past 5 years I have worked in clothing graphics and logo design almost exclusively and been employed full time until last year because of health issues.
The point is: I was "let go" from my employer of 1+ year on this past Monday. (It was a part time gig as head artist for a screen printer.) They were paying me (25 years experience in art) $10 an hour. No matter how much time you have in "the business", you have to stay flexible about what you are willing to do. I'm not saying plastering, but there are a lot of places you can find work if you think abou your abilities.
Since Tuesday, I have been able to generate $300+ in commissions (more than I made at my last job in 2 weeks) online doing logos and tshirt designs. I visit a number of sites and am building a client base. Starting over again, but that's how life is. You've gotta keep rolling with the punches.
Maybe you could think of yourself as a muralist? (I've done some of that too.)
Good luck and hang in there.
Last edited by Kreestahl; October 14th, 2005 at 09:05 AM. Reason: add suggestion
You can paint on walls? That's awesome! I already have at least 2 years experience doing that. And if I (rather, my parents) had known about career possibilities then I'd have stuck with it.
Keep at it! Retail is my current fallback job and I hate myself everytime I go to it...but you have to do what you have to to pay the bills. Sometimes though, you have to knock a little harder. Who else can you talk to? Where else are there interior painter jobs?
 DRAW EVERYDAY >
i didnt realize this thread had kept going! those emails for subscriptions come a bit late...
well guys, i tried another job through my temp agency yesterday. data entry for repossessed cars at a auto finance company. omg, horrible horrible horrible work. i kept looking around at all the people in the tiny cubicles, with tons of cameras watching their every move, and got really sad. so many hard working people are forced to take awful jobs to get by. i guess im lucky im still young and only have to support myself...giving me the option to quit something i detest and move on. which is what i did. i had the op to work there through the rest of the year but man, i could not handle that. it was seriously one of the longest days of my life. and i think i would have become so depressed if 1/3 of my life was spent entering numbers for all the people in the country who get their cars repo'd.
btw, my god i cant believe how many do!
anyway, mike: thank you so much for the advice on that book and contracts and such. i believe i did read that "freelances beware" post. that is the exact stuff im talking about. i feel so young and inexperienced...im sure companies would try to take advantage of me all the time. i really should have taken some business classes in school...
in fact, right out of school i was going to do a mural for the office of an ad company...3 walls, one like 30ft long by 15 or 20 ft high, and i figured for what they wanted it would take at least 2 weeks. after doing a sketch, and them walking around the payment issue, i finally found out they only had a budget of $1000 for the entire project. supplies are expensive. i had asked other artists about an estimate of what I should be getting, and i would have been greatly cheated.
i really should buy that book....
Kreestahl: thank you for sharing your story. i know that the consequence of being an artist means there is some struggling now and then. history has, and probably will, always show that. $10/hr is my min. I understand about being flexible, but in san diego that is barely getting by and considered poverty level. at least for a full time job, anything less would just not work
i have thought that maybe a muralist would be my thing. though ive already had a bad experience, i think its something i would really like...just need to invest in a projector...and i may be doing a jungle-theme playroom for the daycare area of my step-sibling's mom's house. i think my problem is time-management. i take so much pride in my work that detail means a lot to me. i totally understand the "time is money" in business and need to work on that
everyone else, thanks for your support. i know i just have to keep my options open and believe in myself. im totally over what happened earlier this week. i now know it was for the best...my body is still sore from it! and im cool being a receptionist or whatever for the time being. it aint so bad.
and i know everyone has their story out there...and that pretty much no one got the job they love at first. i think every post-college person is very naive about how the world works...because unless you get the ball rolling on your own, nothing in school prepares you for how things are on the outside.
most of us have to learn that the hard way....
Originally Posted by bluegoddess16
This may be the wrong advice but... ok my Snob is going to be showing here. When you go to college and you get a degree you need to tell these boys that you're not going to be 'cracking a nail' ever! The thought of you having paint in your hair makes me feel
Don't do grunt work girlfriend!
Like any professional in any field, you need to start small. For the moment, I would approach friends, family and even small business like restaurants & bars about doing murals and wall design. You may have to operate at a bit of a loss at the beginning but part of getting your start is building a portfolio so future clients will take you seriously and eventually demand what the work is worth. If a client is happy with the work, ask them to write you a reference on their personal or business stationery and keep copies in your portfolio. I see you have a few examples of murals in your online portfolio but those few examples won't be enough to get you work yet. You need more.
People who succeed in doing what they love learned early how to take an emotional beating and get back into the game a little smarter & tougher. I hope you are made of the right stuff to succeed because working in a cubicle won't get you any closer to where you want to be. I am sure you'll figure that out soon enough.
I know you just wanted comfort & not a lecture so if I ruined the mood, oh well
Art Direction & Design