I currently have the good fortune to be working on a project in the service of Her Royal Majesty Heavy Metal Music, who just happens to have been my first love. I’ve done work for Her before, but most of it—from junior high notebook adornments to silkscreened gig posters—has been essentially pro bono. Now that She is a legitimate client, with a statement of work, a schedule, and a budget, I’m reminded of something I learned in Psychology 101 back in college: Supposedly, when people manage to make a living at something they really love, their affection for that thing tends to diminish when the money dries up.
Now, I don’t expect to be in any hurry to unload my Slayer collection when the lucre of Lucifer is gone and our next client is an investment banker who insists that all type be set in Impact (indeed, Show No Mercy will be necessary medicine), but I do wonder if/how this psychological theory applies to me. In a somewhat related example, I’ve seen many cases of people starting a business to sell their creative services, only to eventually abandon their creative role in favor of a solely administrative role.
Has anything like that ever happened to you?