By Diane Wright, Christopher Hutsul
People do all manner of unseemly things to earn a living. The reality is, most of them are perfectly legal. Toronto writer Diane Wright spoke to six independently employed urbanites on the cusp of adulthood. They’re artists, realists, and dreamers searching for the better life that might not exist. Can the ordinary schmoe live the good life without having to resort to becoming a mob boss – or worse – a banker? Illustrator Christopher Hutsul portrayed the six working hard to give Canadian public its film, digital art, music, and poetry.
Ken Hahn – 29
shy, meek, quiet. Talks with his hand behind his ear a lot – elbow out. Rarely shows a toothy grin.
I’m an “inspiration-based” writer. I’ve never really made a living at it but it’s something that I continue to do. Certain things are more competitive than others. Most of the stuff I have is poetry and you can’t sell that. If I don’t get anywhere with my ideas, like a steady, stable income in an area that I enjoy, then I might as well get a corporate job.
Antun Bosanac – 29
Centre of attention. Heard above all. Winks at times. Says “ballbuster” a lot. Sarcastic.
I’m a story board artist. If people don’t know what that is, I say I draw little pictures for film or tv or music videos. It’s okay. I don’t know if I like it. It’s not what I want to do for the rest of my life. I wouldn’t mind being in a band, writing lyrics. I get an idea and then it will either come with or without a vocal melody. Most people think I’m very lucky. That I do something that comes to me very easily. A lot of people might regard me as completely lazy.
Scott Petrie – 29
Tilts his head when he talks. Looks right at you. Seriously witty.
I’m a new media artist. I get to do art and get paid for it. If you caught me three weeks ago, I would have said something else. I always define myself by what I’m doing at the time. I went to school for everything else but this: history, English, theology, philosophy. For good or for bad, I’m definitely doing something on my own. My parents always told me, “That’s great. Do that, but you’ll be poor for the rest of your life.” I kind of feel like I’ve tricked them somehow. All I ask is that someone asks me to do something that I’ve never done before.
Roderick Zalameda – 34
Soft-spoken. Smiles a lot. Missing one upper molar.
I have a day job. I have a night job. I have a hobby that is connected to my work and I work because I love it. I usually don’t say, “I’m a musician” or “I’m a street vendor” but they’re both pretty much me. I’ve always found that I get the best results from myself when I’m able to just lay down my own rules which sometimes are no rules. I find it very difficult to be in a situation where I’m only doing it for the money. I’d like to be out of the workplace and to go back to being able to create again. It’s what gives me emotional and intellectual power.
Scott Ciniello – 27
I pretty much tell people “I fuck shit up” then I don’t say anything. I do design work. I’m pretty much head of the creative department for the Geek Boutique and Ghettoblaster lines of clothing. I have motives in what I do. One of them is throwing people off, making their heads spin. I spent more than half my life doing nothing, really. Then I realized that I gotta figure out something legit. ‘Cause you have no credentials when you do shit off the record. History books, man. I wanna be in the history books. I’ve started some other stuff on the side – a record label called Solid State System. I always like to keep myself open for change in the future ’cause I can’t necessarily say that I’m going to be doing this in five years.
Christine Buckell – 30
Colourful. Comes off ditzy but intelligent. Granola girl.
I make stuff. I’m a prop builder. You have a couple of weeks to make something and you actually see the end product and you can be proud of your work. I’d been a temp and a receptionist in the 80’s. That just wasn’t really interesting enough. I don’t think I will be doing this forever because it’s only using one half of my brain. There doesn’t seem to be quite enough work and you don’t seem to be able to make quite enough money so I might end up getting a more typical job in the future. I must say I really miss having a regular job and a regular amount of money and all that stuff. I think that people probably think that I’m a little scatterbrained, happy-go-lucky. I don’t know.