Great article - very practical. I also left a well-paid job to do something where I get paid a fraction of that to do something I love. Some people said it was crazy and just don't get it. But others think it's really great and wish they could do the same thing. I had this revelation about money and time after I graduated and always knew I was trying to buy my freedom so I wouldn't have to keep working to pay off my student loans. It's a big risk and really important to know how to manage your finances regardless - because that's how you can work your way to more freedom and stability. Even though I feel like I made the right choice for me, sometimes I feel guilty because people who chose to do it the reverse way (pursue their passions first, and now working for $$$) are struggling.
@Evie I would be worried if I were you. What will you do if you are sick? What will you do if you lose your job? What will you do if your rent increases? Do you want to have a family? $60K in a major city is not a lot of money. It also doesn't set you up for retirement or handling life's disasters (or even non-disasters of your 30s). It is unnerving to not know where your next paycheck is coming from and whether you'll have a job in 6-months - especially if you see the industry in decline. I just made the switch to become a creative professional, and if I'm lucky if I can make that in a couple of years. Meanwhile, recent grads with no social skills or life-perspective are getting paid twice that in my city. Our values are upside down. When I talk to my (well-educated!) friends, they feel that art does not need to be an endeavor of focus (because that's what we were able to do as kids when we had way more time!) They remind me that artists and innovators have never made any money (as if the plight of the artist is to be starving) and are compensated through happiness through their art. But it's not true that art hasn't been valued. During the Renaissance or Ancient Egypt, or anytime we had amazing cultural development, artists and scientists were well-taken care of and favorites of the court. Burning Man is a fantastic expression of creativity - but it's NOT art.