About being in between and getting there

So you finished art school. You are not a beginner any more. Officially - for sure compared to someone who just pursues it as a hobby - you are now a professional. But you yourself feel far away from being as professional as you would like to be? You get commissions. But you are not producing the work you would love to produce?
Then you probably in the gloomy grounds of In-between. When you are still surrounded by the safe borders of art-school-country, In-between seems a country that is far away. You might even think “Yeah, but I will just pass through In-between to get the land of milk and honey were the professionals live and work”.
Then you cross the border and get 'professional' stamp in your passport. Before you can protest - “But I am not a real professional yet” - you get shoved out of the line. There you are in In-between. Just you, your pencil and a stamp in your passport that says that you are already that what you want to be, but seems too presumptuous to actually call yourself that.

Some things that happen in In-between are weird commissions. Things you would not do if you had the freedom (aka. money) to chose in that certain moment: “Sure I do logo design....” up to: “soooo.... you want me to illustrate that book in the style of that famous illustrator who wouldn't work for you because you don't want to pay them what they are worth?” up to just plainly getting laughed at by potential clients, because they assume you are filthy rich if actually anybody would pay you the rates you proposed to them. They didn't laugh at the phone. No, they wrote the laugh in an email (“Hahahahaha....”).

Luckily - at least some wise art-hermits told their followers - you won't spend the rest of your career in In-between. There are some lucky bastards who are able to board the train which goes directly from art-school-country to the promised land where thy pencil has never to be sharpened and thy Wacom nibs won't tear down nor scratch thy Wacom surface. The rest of us have to go through In-between. Sometimes for a longer time than you have thought or you would like to. But just try to enjoy the ride! To give your arty soul some fuel to speed your travels up a bit: 

Stephen Silver - "DAMN IT!!! Follow Through"

 

Stephen Silver - What does hard work for artists mean?