From Psychology to Creative. Is it realistic to pursue your dream?

This is about how I, a Psychology graduate and former HR analyst transitioned into Creative industry.

I am not a successful personnel (yet), so am I still in my journey exploring and sorting out path to my dream life, I don’t regret for where I am today.

I was unaware and uncertain of what I wanted

I always have a passion towards art. Since I was very young, I liked to draw. I drew every day and eventually I asked my mom to send me to a local art center. My love towards drawing and painting never ceased but not in a mind I wanted to make it my career (I was put in a mindset that people who do art cannot make a living and also I had no idea how much I love doing art).

Watercolor Painting — The Roof Restaurant

Until I finished my secondary school, I was put at the fork in the road: what’s next then. I knew definitely I were to go to college/university, but what should I major in?

Due to several reasons, I studied Psychology (I did not feel a sense of need to select a major/how crucial the decision might lead me to be back then).

Stepping into society

By observing and being fed by people around me, I thought life is all about going with the flow (not yours, but the society’s). You study, you graduate, get a job which secures your financial status, and yup work until you die hooray!

After I graduated from college/university, I worked in a shared service corporate as HR analyst (because it was related to what I majored in). I was capable of performing and completing the tasks but I felt bad (like very bad) going to work every day. “This is not what I want.” I told myself. The culture and people there were very good, but the job nature was what’s stopping me.

I tried to seek fun and meaning from my work and then I realized all of them were not from my main tasks, but related to aesthetic design/decor for recreational purpose in team. And then, at once, I came to the realization that I truly love art.

It always takes a lot of courage to make the first move, but what do you lose from there?

After 6 months, I quit my job. I did not jump into another job right away. I already had a direction — I want to do art. But how? What kind of art, what form of art service?

I was a traditional artist, using paper as medium. I figured that being just a traditional artist was not enough, I wanted to reach out to more audience. I bought the cheapest Wacom Tablet and Intuos, installed Adobe Photoshop to my laptop and started learning digital art by myself.

As soon as I was familiar with Photoshop, I started working as a freelancer online. It’s not easy to freelance , but the more I did, the stronger was my vision of me creating art for people. It’s tiring and discouraging to revise artwork for multiple times knowing yourself were being underpaid, but I felt the satisfaction and fulfillment every time I completed an artwork. The belief of doing art became even strong.

Digital Art — Female Assassin/Soldier

Frankly speaking, doing art by freelancing could not feed me. (Worse of it, I was a shy person and I was not proactive enough in terms of promoting myself and my artwork). At the same time, I realized just Photoshop would not bring me far. I needed networks (social, business & etc), more knowledge and skills in other software like Illustrator.

So I decided to throw myself into art/creative work industry for practical experience. I started applying for creative positions (intern for most of them) in corporate and as expected I got rejected every time understanding that I did not have any art qualifications (even though I have years of experience doing art). I kept applying while doing freelance job online to size up my portfolio, waiting for the one person who believed in me and took me in.

Where am I now?

Now I am interning at WOBB under Creative Team. I learned about Illustrator and Premiere Pro. I know more people who love and support art.

I gained unexpected knowledge here. I follow the team out for company branding video-shooting and photo-shooting. I learned how to set up the equipment, the camera functions and better way to take video. I am also given autonomy and chance to practice my designing skills and creativity here.

This surprise gain opens my eyes and bring me into videography and photography, inspire me to make my own video, perhaps, in future.

I am unsure if I will end up working at WOBB, other companies or doing freelance jobs, but I know I am in the right direction.

This is not the end

Life is a journey, so does your career, it takes part in most of your life. You hesitate, you change, you make attempts, your make mistakes and you grow. No one knows what they want to do at first. It’s okay that you feel lost, but do not dwell in it for too long. Figure a path out or else you may get trapped at the same place forever.

I am not asking everyone to chase after their dreams blindly. I am no one to teach you what to do, but here’re some questions and words to you:

  1. Are you satisfied with what you are doing now? Do you see the reason doing it other than for money?
  2. Do you have something that you like to do? is it possible to make a living?
  3. If there’s none, plan your career by incorporating something that you are skilled at/interested in.
  4. If there’s something that you love to do, and there’s market, go for it. (If it’s a hard startup, make sure you have a stable financial income and slowly work towards it as a side job. Hate to say, money still comes before dream).
  5. Do it as early as you can. Put it into action once you know what you want. Time is ticking. You don’t want to miss any opportunities to grow your dream.
  6. Try your best to realize your dream with your best effort and reachable resources. Realistically to say, if you fail, at least you’ve tried, knowing what the “answer” would be, rather than dying with wonder. (For me, if I did nothing to my dream, I will regret so much at the end of my life.)
  7. Whether it’s worthy for you to get your dream, you are the one to tell. There’s a quote that I always keep in mind —

I am still in my way pursuing dream. Who knows I may not achieve what I want by the end of the day, but I am now a little closer to it compared to where I was at the starting point. I don’t regret for what I’ve done, what brought me here today. If I did not study Psychology, my perception towards world and human would be different/biased (guess I wouldn’t be so persistent and determined also). If I did not work as HR analyst. I wouldn’t know how much I love doing art as well as learning how to appreciate it.

Everyone is in the ‘flow’, you need a little extra effort to get out of it. For me, a path that diverged from it has been created.

Now one last question.

Do you have dream?


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