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  • Irma Kniivila

Is it worth it?

To be honest I'm here 12 years into my working career and still struggling financially due to my dogged determination to do personal, honest work. I also feel like I have little choice in the matter - there's some compulsion to go down this path whether I like it or not.


My current life looks like this: Find paying work which isn't too long-term in nature, and then stretch those dollars as far as I possibly can in order to buy time to work on the things I really want to work on.


The trouble is that the things I want to make are stories - comics namely - which are awkwardly straddling the line between commercial and non-commercial. I think they have the potential for widespread appeal, but they don't really fit the mold of what is currently considered "sellable". I loathe the idea of making work to fit a mold for the sake of being more sellable, so here I am. Balancing work for money with this persistent, insistent need to create from the heart.


At present it's unsuccessful on both fronts - neither have I made a very successful living as a freelance artist (partially by my own making, always doggedly pursuing the direction of personal work), nor have I been successful "making work from the heart", at least financially. Maybe my gamble will pay off in the long run as I race to finish these personal projects in between paying jobs, or maybe I have so many pots on the go that none will ever boil.


But unfortunately, the more I make comics, the more I want to make comics, so it doesn't seem like this need to create this "honest work" is going anywhere anytime soon.

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