There was a young motorcycle road racer in the late 1990's. He raced 250GP TZ's on AMA. I think he was champ one year too. His name is Roland Sands. Turns out he is an artist like you. Plus his Dad built a mondo custom Harley parts mfg called Precision Machine. Mostly wheels for choppers.
Roland walked away from all that to start a custom bike fab shop of his own. His work is unlike anything anybody else builds. They are working sculptures. They are a unique mix of performance and classic elements. His racing roots are clearly on display in all of his masterpieces. He's in LA. You should reach out and see if you could work in his studio for a few months. You probably have skills he could take advantage of, and you might learn something special about yourself.
Yeah, your teaching pays terribly. You'll never keep a decent woman happy on that, let alone be happy yourself. You are doing the right thing in trying to find a good way to move on. Don't give up. You'll find your groove if you keep trying.
Originally Posted by spaced_ghost
Thanks. Teaching pays terribly. The going rate for the type of schools I teach at, and the kind of classes I teach, is about $3k a semester. if you teach 3 classes a semester, you're making $18k a year before taxes. FT and tenured jobs are extremely scarce and getting rarer, so insurance and benefits are nowhere to be had. Staff jobs in education are a little better, I just quit a job as a shop tech at a "top" school here in NYC. The students were paying $45k/year for their degrees, and I was getting $37k with union mandated 3% raises (inflexible rate). Benefits were good, but it was the most stressful, soul crushing job I've ever had, and in the end it wasn't worth it. after taxes, I was making around $500 a week for basically running the entire sculpture department. and living in NY, my rent is around $900/mo for one bedroom, not to mention transit, food, etc. Was ending up with about $500/mo after living expenses.
Fabrication pays better, in large urban markets like NYC or LA, I can make around $55k. However, it's very difficult to find jobs that have any benefits at all, most of them are long term 1099 freelance gigs. and the hours are long and physically very demanding. Part of the reason I'm trying to get out of it is that continued exposure to particulates and vapors over the last decade has given me some health issues.
As I alluded to before, I've decided to go back to school to be an engineer/designer. That way I can still use the skills and knowledge I've acquired over the last 15 years, but move forward and not have to be in the grit in the shop all day everyday, and hopefully make a bit more money. It is a passion of mine, and I know what to expect as far as the ups and downs, and I know I can manage those. I'll do motos on the side for fun and maybe a little profit.