„Should I really professionalize my hobby?“

Künstlerin Stephanie in ihrem Atelier

Stephanie used to feel enormous pressure to do the “right thing” when it came to her professional career. Today, the Hamburg native is a freelance artist and the owner of Estie’s studio, where she does acrylic painting, hand lettering and illustrations. Her abstract art is inspired by nature, feelings and everyday situations that some people might see as insignificant. But to get to this point, Stephanie has had to learn to trust her inner voice .  

Like many self-employed people, she did not follow her passion at first, but rather followed what is socially considered a „reasonable“ path instead. 

(Click here to read the German version of the article)

„I was too scared to follow my passion“ 

Stephanie always loved being creative. After graduating from high school, the logical consequence would have been to pursue an artistic career. Stephanie even comes from a very creative family: Her father is passionate about music, her mother is an enthusiastic seamstress. 

Nevertheless, Stephanie could not yet imagine that a creative career would be a viable option for her. She felt a lot of pressure – on the one hand from outside, because her parents only ever pursued their passions as hobbies. She was worried that she would jeopardise her future career by following her creative passion. On the other hand, the pressure also came from within: The fear of not being good enough and exposing herself and her art to comparison and evaluation. A feeling that many artists and self-employed people probably know too well. Ultimately, this led to Stephanie choosing a completely different path. 

Stephanie’s colorful atelier.

So she became a bank clerk. A job that gave her exactly the security she was missing in her passion: „I was happy to have something steady!” Even though it was anything but a dream job for her, Stephanie still managed to find elements in the job that brought her joy. The tasks were pretty much the exact opposite of what Stephanie actually enjoyed. But interactions with customers and getting to know more and more new people also made her time at the bank a valuable experience.

„If I follow my passion, it has to work out somehow“

For many years Stephanie worked like this: Never unhappy, but never really fulfilled either. When she was in her 30s, many parties took place in Stephanie’s circle of friends. Because she enjoyed it so much, she hand-lettered invitations, place cards and so on: „I quickly realised that lettering wasn’t enough for me. I needed acrylic painting back in my life!“

She remembered again how much joy painting gives her: „If there is something that makes me so happy, then why shouldn’t it be possible to earn money with it!“ This thought became louder and louder over time. So loud that Stephanie decided to give in to the voice. 

Taking small steps out of the comfort zone

But she didn’t want to put all her eggs in one basket right away: „I was lucky that my daughter wasn’t eight years old yet – so I could take the second part of my parental leave and just give it a try without risking anything.“ She reduced her working hours to 16 hours a week. It worked so well that she just stuck with it after her parental leave ended. 

Today, Stephanie says she can’t imagine living without her creative outlet ever again: „I get all antsy when I’m not painting. I need to free my emotions regularly!“ 

For far too long Stephanie was  held back by overthinking every single detail of her potential project. This carousel of thoughts acted like a protective mechanism: a million reasons why it wouldn’t work after all, why her passion was only a hobby and why she should remain a full-time bank clerk. „I struggled with myself for so long about whether it was the right decision. So one day I just decided to set up and publish my Jimdo Website. That was already an enormous step for me. What I learned from it in retrospect: Just dare to start without having worked out every detail beforehand. The leap into the deep end seems  threatening at first, but the feeling afterwards is incredible!“ 

Stephanie did it. Her passion has finally found its well-deserved place in her life. Not just as a hobby, but as a profession – despite all internal and external resistance.

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Go check out Stephanie’s lovely paintings on her Jimdo Website.

Katharina Mühe
Katharina ist Content Creator bei Jimdo und immer auf der Suche nach inspirierenden Geschichten von Menschen, die für ihre Leidenschaft brennen. In ihrer Freizeit kocht sie gerne, ist viel mit Freunden oder in der Natur unterwegs.
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