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Survivor: Jessica Day

"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.

Jessica Day is a prolific writer, tireless non profit board member, and avid patron of the arts. She holds a BA in English from one side of the country and a Masters in Fine Arts from the other. Her work is loaded with hilarity and laced with humanity. I recommend that you take a minute of your day and read some of her work, then go get a tattoo with her name on it... cause she's that good.

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

  • I freelance write for a market research blog and I work a 9-5 as a marketing coordinator for a marketing firm.

2. What else would you do for money?

  • I would love to teach - preferably creative writing - preferably to college students. I have also always thought that being a film critic would be one of the most savory jobs out there. Or, you know, a florist.

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

  • I think balance is one of the most difficult things to maintain between a survivable day job and your commitment to being an artist. You always have to borrow from some part of your life to make time for everything and sleep and a personal life are usually the first things to go. If you give any part of yourself to something else - like freelance work, volunteering, or more, you have to borrow further. Prioritization, it seems, is key. And also very difficult.

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

  • No - but I probably should have. Oh office copier... please continue to keep your secret safe.

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

  • "Thanks"

6. Hours per week at your day job?

  • 40-50

7. Hours per week making art?

  • 10-20

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

  • I need sleep. I lust after sleep. I need a minimum six hours. "What do they call those people who don't need sleep? Oh yeah... successful" ~Jim Gaffigan

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

  • Health, Mom, Bills, Friends, Sleep, Art, Day Job, Sex & then Food

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

  • I was hired because I had a professional connection to my then-boss. And somehow, I miraculously survived the layoffs through that recession. And here I am... keeping my health insurance.

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

  • Just enough money to get by for six months - enough to pay the rent, the student debt, insurance, the groceries. It's not an impossible number. My savings awaits that magical day. After that, the novel and movie adaptation should take care of me.

12. If your art was an animal, what would it be?

  • An otter... or possibly a goat.

12. Who are the people in your neighborhood?

  • I live in Wedgwood. This means that my neighbors are the lovely scooter-renting lesbian couple and the wholesome family with a stay-at-home Mom and a husband who works at T-Mobile. Is that what you meant?

12. Where can people find your art online?

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Delicious
  • MySpace
  • Share/Bookmark
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