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The Beauty of the Rule Breaker

If a title is not present, does that make my job impossible, or unrealistic?

WORDS - HILLARY STREITBERGER

ILLUSTRATION - GRACE MAZZUCCHI

As a freelancer, I value the ability to exercise creativity in whatever I want. The life of a freelancer, whatever your title may be, is anything short of glamourous, and can often become discouraging. Finding your niche is what becomes key. Setting yourself apart from the others can be crucial. Well I have found my niche, but it does not have a name.

I often wonder, if a title is not present, does that make my job impossible, or unrealistic? What I mean by not having established a job title as a freelancer is that I want to apply all my interests to my work. I want to bunch them together and spew them out on to a page—a page with words and visuals. Now, this does not sound like anything spectacular, but between one woman to another, I call it breaking the rules, and I encourage you to do the same when it comes to your passion and creativity.

My interests lie in writing, photography, illustration, fashion, and art. It is impossible for me to choose one. Believe me, I have tried! But, the pressure of having a job title is very much real and I have decided to be rebellious against it. When you assign a title to yourself, you put yourself in a box, possibly creating some limitations. Do not get me wrong. I am not saying if you have a job title, it is irrelevant. What I am saying, is if you are trying to acquire one, and just cannot find a fit, throw out the status quo instead of stressing yourself out. For instance, I adore fashion, but I'd rather not design clothing. I love art, but do not want to create an oil canvas piece any time soon. This is when I found myself pinning an old denim shirt to my kitchen wall, throwing acrylic paint at it, snapping photographs of the beautiful mess and writing about it. I do not know what you call that, but I am okay with it. I want women to feel like they can explore their creativity in that way. No labels, no limits, just beauty in the process alone.

I want women of all ages to feel that the uncertainty of their art is a much better and more freeing process, because it leads you down a road of many other creative possibilities. For instance, when I pulled that shirt off of my kitchen wall, after photographing it, I cut pieces of it out and kept some, because I noticed that the splatter patterns were different throughout the surfaces of the shirt. I have in mind to use those pieces and patterns when I do collage work. Each creative process leads to the next, so stopping after just one angle is not always enough. Also, do not be afraid to collaborate to complete the job. One misconstrued thought I had was that my work would become less “my work” if I brought someone on to help me complete the job. You are simply scratching someone else’s back for scratching yours.

We are better together, and as women and creatives, we can learn to become content with something as unorganized as that.

Hillary Streitberger

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