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Survivor: Carrie Purcell

"Survivors" is an interview series highlighting artists that maintain a "day job" to pay the bills. To shed some light on the techniques and methods of coping and succeeding as an artist. But also bring us all a bit closer by showing we all share the same struggles and challenges.

Carrie Purcell Is a Writer, Non Profit Board Member, Musician, and holds an M.F.A. from the University of Washington. She lives in Seattle and is currently completing a manuscript of poems based on diagnosis codes. She's a motivated individual capable of anything she puts her mind to and I have little doubt that she will succeed beyond that which she has already seen.

1. What (other than art) do you do to pay the bills?

  • I nanny and teach piano.

2. What else would you do for money?

  • I have in the past done administrative work, house sat, cat sat,
    temped, and worked retail.  Currently, I'm willing to do whatever pays
    well enough to allow me to work part time and that I don't find
    morally reprehensible.

3. What's the hardest part of having a day job while you build an art career?

  • Never having enough time to do what needs to be done or not having
    enough money to participate in the events I'd like to (conferences,
    writing retreats, readings that cost money etc.)

4. Have you ever gotten in trouble at your day job for promoting your art?

  • No.  My employers have always been supportive of my art and usually
    try to make it to my events.

5. What would you say departing your day job for the last time?

  • Thank You!

6. Hours per week at your day job?

  • 25-30

7. Hours per week making art?

  • 25-35

8. What's the least amount of sleep (hours) that you need to get through a busy day?

  • Sleep? Who needs that?  The question is how much coffee do you need to
    get through a busy day.  7 hours=one mug of tea.  6 hours=one 12oz
    drip. 5 or less=16oz drip in the morning, 12-16oz americano in the
    afternoon.

9. Please list the following items in order of MOST neglected to most attended.
Sleep, Food, Sex, Art, Day Job, Friends, Health, Bills, Mom

  • Sleep, food, my mother, parties, my friends, my art, and then my day job

10. How did you end up in your day job?

  • Analysis of what jobs pay the most for part-time work that doesn't
    drive me batty.

11. How would you measure the amount of success needed to quit your day job?

  • By the amount of money I earn from a different, more writing-oriented, day job.

12. Where can people find your art online?


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  1. Thanks for posting this Jamison!


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