Life is better with cats

life is better with cats

My life is better because of my cats. When I’m at my desk, and they are beside me, poking me to get cuddles every now and then, I can feel my stress levels go down. Playing with them lifts my spirit, and every simple daily action is more enjoyable because of their soft company.

I feel perfectly content working from home, drawing my silly illustrations with them by my side. Yet, recently, I have put all this in doubt. This is the story of how I have tried to be an adult and happily failed at it.

I began drawing when I was really young, and I always knew I wanted to make a living as a creative, but I often gave up for two reasons: 

1) I didn’t believe I had enough talent.

2) I was often told to find ‘a real job’.

As a teen, when I told people I wanted to become an illustrator, an animator, or a cartoonist, the replies I got the most were: ‘You won’t make a living drawing!’ or ‘Stop dreaming and think about a real career!’. Growing up the tones of these replies intesified. Apparently, if you draw illustrations usually dedicated to young children, you look like someone who doesn’t take life seriously.

Time after time, these voices must have got under my skin. And even if I’ve learned to silence them, sometimes they still are loud enough for me to hear them.

life is better with cats

So, in the summer of 2022, I accepted a job at a company. The pay was shit, the place was too far, I didn’t like the job, but I LOVED the people working there. 

I accepted because I needed a change of scenery, a fixed salary, and security. This is what I told myself. The truth was that money was tight because I wasn’t making enough from my website. But I wasn’t making enough because I didn’t invest the time needed. I thought it was wasted time. Because I am not talented enough. I listened to those voices once again.

I also forgot what years of working at big ‘safe’ companies taught me: security doesn’t exist. All the companies I worked for have closed down for some reason, and this last one was no exception. After a promising start, all went down rapidly, and they closed.

Let me tell you this: if having a ‘real job’ and acting mature means being enslaved in exchange for lack of sleep, hours stuck in traffic, and money just enough to survive, I prefer to look immature and childish and live my life according to my values. I prefer to look like I’m playing instead of working.

life is better with cats

Most millionaires have made their millions playing, by the way. Think about actors, musicians or athletes.

from my window

So I got back at my desk, surrounded by my cats, next to my window with the mountain view, determined to draw. But I stared at a blank page for weeks instead. After a year and a half of a very tight work routine that had nothing to do with creativity, getting the right rhythm back wasn’t easy.

Starting from the basics, I asked myself: ‘What makes me feel good?’ Cats and colours always make me instantly happy! I thought about all the times my cats have made me laugh and how bright colours can lift my spirit. I wasn’t in the mood for drawing yet, so I began making the graphic for a possible illustration and wrote: ‘Life is better with cats’ in chunky letters and bold pink. The result was good, I loved it and I decided to make something different: a graphic design with no illustration. It broke the ice perfectly, and I like it so much that I have a few more ideas in mind. 

Fun fact: I studied graphic design, along with fashion and art, but… guess what? I didn’t think I was good enough! Beacause of this, I rarely used my knowledge to make graphic designs. This is about to change, and this was the first step. Once again my cats ‘saved’ me. Life is better with cats, indeed.

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