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Natasha Matila-Smith on dicks: Everybody wants me to work at McDonalds

Part Ten

Everybody wants me to work at McDonalds.  

So, I moved to Brisbane.  I don’t know how long it will last but here we are.  I have lived here before but this time I’m told I have a month to secure a job or I will officially be a failure at life.  Having recently acquired an illustrious Masters degree from the exceptionally exclusive Elam School of Fine Arts, University of Auckland, I find myself in a difficult position looking for a job.  I am probably too inexperienced to actually pursue a Curator position, yet I have curated and have it listed in my resume.  I could take my resume to McDonalds but looking at my very art directed work experience and education, they will say ‘Why do you want to work at McDonalds?’.  To which I would reply, ‘I don’t.’.

I am feeling increasingly pressured, even at age 31, to cold call and drop my resume off to any place that has available employment. If I don’t, I won’t have any fucking money to fund my groovy lifestyle.  Am I being picky or am I having self-respect? I’m not waiting around for ‘the unicorn’ that is any job in the art sector but do I have to take a position at a fast food restaurant with kids half my age to be able to afford life?  I’d like to at least try to get an entry level admin position at a hip contemporary design firm or something.

I have been in Brisbane for 11 days now and have not really had any ‘bites’ from potential employers thus far.  According to Seek, the job website, realistically it takes at least six months to get a job, so I am guess I am asking for some kind of miracle.  I’ve applied for 3 ‘art’ jobs and been rejected by 2, waiting on the 3rd rejection as we speak.

To be fair, I know fuck all about the Brisbane Art sector.  I recently went to the QLD GOMA (Gallery of Modern Art) to see David Lynch’s Between Two Worlds and Michael Parekowhai’s survey show The Promised Land.  David Lynch, I am aware of because he’s American.  Michael Parekowhai, prominent New Zealand artist, they seem to promote the fuck out of this show, so thumbs up.  I’m trying though.  I bought the May 2015 Art Monthly Australia for $12.95.

Elam did warn us that the likelihood of getting a gallery job was very slim, almost certainly nil.  While waiting for that elusive art career to start, one must 100% pursue another profession to put food on the table and clothes on one’s back.  I would just like to ask, am I a dick for wanting more for myself than a blue collar job that I spent 5.5 years and $50K of student loans trying to avoid?

Natasha Matila-Smith

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