Why Being Multi-Passionate Makes Me Happy

multi passionate illustration

I wasn’t always a multi-passionate creative. Ever since I was little, all I wanted to be was an English teacher. So that’s what I did for a few years after graduating from college. If you’ve been following me for a while, you probably know how the story goes. In 2012, I fell in love with a Dutch man, and in 2015, I moved to the Netherlands. At that time, I took a break from teaching and created this blog. And shortly after, I started to call myself a writer. I also started my own clothing business. And not so long ago, I went down the exciting path of illustration.

Mexican clothing photo shooting
First professional photo shoot for my clothing brand Dressaraz.
launching my creative business
Launch of my illustration shop.

I have to admit that having to split my focus into so many creative endeavors made me flustered at first. I have always thought that it is better to put all your effort and focus on one thing, rather than on a hundred things. But I also think that we can be more than one thing in life. In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average worker will hold 10 to 15 different jobs in their lifetime.

When we were little, we were told we could become doctors, lawyers, or teachers, and we were encouraged to pick one thing. Choosing a career path generally starts with this simple question: What do you want to be when you grow up? I wish this question was juicer. Something like, What are you curious about? What skills would you like to develop? What strengths? These would have led many of us to think that the possibilities are infinite and that we can pick more than one thing.

If you’re wondering how I manage to juggle many things at once, well, I schedule blocks of time during the week to work on each activity. I try to get my writing done in the mornings, Monday to Friday. And I draw at least two times a week. As for my online shop, I work on it per season. Spring, summer, and Christmas time are usually the times of the year when I make the most sales. However, this schedule is constantly changing, and my priorities change from month to month.

I am aware that splitting my time into many areas means it will probably take me longer to master my craft and to see results. But I am ok with that. I believe that as long as we are consistent, each one of our passions will continue to evolve.

As long as we are consistent, each one of our passions will continue to evolve. Click To Tweet

Something that helped me figure out if I was meant to pursue multiple jobs/careers was my last client work. A month ago, someone reached out to me to help her with an illustration project. It was my first big project of the year, so I gladly accepted. I had to create 25 illustrations and paint them digitally. I thought I could do this in less than a month, but the project ended up taking me longer.

So, I dedicated my days to work only on that, putting aside everything else. After a few weeks, I started to feel burned out. Doing two illustrations per day felt like a burden. It was in those moments that it hit me: maybe that’s what it would feel like if I had to dedicate 100% of my time to illustration. In the past, I thought nothing would make me happier than landing a whole bunch of illustrations projects. But now I know that drawing day and night is not what I want.

I’ve also come to realize that I cannot not write. I get cranky when I don’t write for days (same goes for my other creative endeavors). I’m simply someone who enjoys switching hats throughout the day. So, after meditating about it for some time, I realized I wanted to pursue all my passions (including teaching).

Also, switching from one job to another keeps things spiced up and makes me feel happy. And the best part? I can choose to put my energy into whatever I feel more pulled to. What’s more, having multiple jobs prevents you from putting all your eggs in one basket. I don’t rely solely on one stream of income. For instance, the times when I don’t have illustration work, I land writing gigs or sell a few items of clothes from my shop.

Switching from one job to another keeps things spiced up. Click To Tweet

In this information age, it is easier than ever to be whatever/whoever you want to be. If you want to be a videographer, you can make videos with your phone and share them on YouTube. Social media has made it easy to reach millions of people, and the advantage of living in these times is that we have the opportunity to explore more.

Education is changing as well. More and more universities are offering online programs. And you don’t have to move across the globe to seek a new career. You can learn from top universities in the comfort of your home. If this idea excites you, check out the post “The Shirt Method: How to Learn a New Skill.” In it, I have a list of some of my favorite online learning platforms.

Lastly, I’d like to share with you this quote by St. Augustine. It perfectly illustrates the message I’m trying to convey here. I just had to make one small change to it.
multipotentialite quoteIf you, like me, have refused to choose just one path in life, then let me know in the comments how this decision has changed your life. Do you lead a happier lifestyle because of this?

And if you’re thinking of becoming a multi-passionate creative and need some inspiration, I invite you to watch this amazing TED Talk by Emily Wapnick.


live your dream life in 2020


Disclosure: Jessica Araus is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

Author: Jessica Araus

My name is Jessica. I’m a writer and illustrator living in the Netherlands. I write stories based on my life experiences and I also create colorful illustrations that entertain and inspire many. It’s my hope that this blog serves you as a simple reminder of the power you have to choose, create, and live a life that you love.

19 Replies to “Why Being Multi-Passionate Makes Me Happy

  1. What a brilliant question for kids. “What are you curious about?” or how about, “What makes you happy?” Instead of “what do you want to be when you grow up?”. It is always changing and who could possibly know at a young age? There is so much to discover about ourselves!

    1. You’re right Laurie. Times are changing! And there’s nothing wrong with picking/sticking to one career path. But we should encourage kids and young adults to go after what makes them happy, and remind them that they can make changes later in life if they’re not satisfied with what they picked. Thanks so much for taking the time to read this post.

  2. Or you can do careers serially: In 1966, I got an M.S. in Zoology, then got married, which caused the university to cancel my teaching assistantship and PhD path. While my husband finished his degree, I worked in a medical research lab just long enough to lose my excitement about doing pure science. By the time my husband got a postdoc based in an Argentine village, we had two very small children. I had always loved fiber arts so was happy to get acquainted with some weavers in that village, one of whom set me up with a drop spindle and some llama fleece. During a summer in Seattle, I bought a portable loom and learned to weave. My husband got a job at a small liberal arts college which went bankrupt. He and others decided to keep the college going, but I needed to work and became an adjunct teacher at the community college, teaching macrame (It was the mid-seventies!), then spinning, dyeing (chemistry!), and weaving. I took many art classes so I could guide my students artistically as well as technically. By the time my children were in middle school, I needed more significant income so got a teaching credential and taught 8th grade earth science and 7th grade math for a few years, then high school math and physical science, getting an M.S. in Astronomy along the way. After my children were grown, I got a PhD (finally) in Educational Measurement, which would have been my original choice if I’d known the field existed. My last few years at the high school, I also taught evening university classes in statistics and educational research. “Retiring” at 60, I taught Biology at the community college and Naked Eye Astronomy at my husband’s college. At 70, eligible for maximum Social Security, I quit the classroom but continued to tutor homebound students for the school district.

    I’ve always loved music; as a child sang in church, at school, in the car; in college got a guitar and played chords for singers; when my children were learning their wind instruments, got a flute and played in community band; after the classroom, played guitar and sang oldies with a friend at nursing homes; played guitar chords at folk jams…always wanted to play fiddle, bought one many years ago but didn’t take the time to learn properly. Last year I made a nice violin with a luthier. Now I’m taking regular lessons and playing in the college orchestra… Forgot to mention that my husband and I spent about ten years writing a book: a guide to the woody plants of our region and “botany companion.” It was published in November and has already sold over 200 copies.

    My path was very different from yours, also very satisfying and suited to my temperament and skills. I don’t think of myself as especially creative, but I do love learning and sharing. Thanks for reading. Maybe my story will encourage someone who is just beginning such a path or is stuck along the way.

    1. Dear Joan,

      Wow, thank you so much for sharing your beautiful story. It is such a gift.
      It sounds like you have lived a life true to yourself. Not so many people have the courage to go after their passions, so you should be proud of what you’ve achieved.

      Also, I admire your resilience and adaptability. Our stories aren’t that different actually! I’m also in the process of getting teaching credentials, so I’m able to teach in my new country and abroad. Your story inspired me and I’m sure others will find inspiration and encouragement in it too.

      Congratulations to you and your husband on the publication of your book. Sending lots of love your way.


      1. Thank you, Jessica. It’s a story that could not have been predicted but has been interesting and satisfying. Congratulations on getting teaching credentials … you never know where they might lead.

        Love and good wishes to you,


  3. I am ALL ABOUT this topic, being a big believer in creative cross-pollination. Your writing enriches your illustration work, which enriches your apparel design, which enriches your translation and teaching work, etc.—often in the most surprising ways. I understand a multi-passionate creative’s concern that they might be putting their apples in too many baskets, and there are creative outlets I’ve had to let go of (like my guitar lessons; I just didn’t love making music enough to continue). But if there are three or five disciplines or activities that absolutely light you up, and you couldn’t dispense with any of them without feeling somehow diminished? Keep doing *all* of it, I say!

    1. I know you’re all about this topic! I love how you share a few of your passions on your site as well – knitting, veganism, recipes, your beautiful writing, and more.
      And yes, writing is my superpower. It helps my other passions flourish. Thanks for coming over Camille! <3 Your comment lights me up.

  4. I am all about this. I really think that having multiple passions benefits you in all areas of your life. And when you are expressing your creativity so thoroughly you will feel so fulfilled. Loved reading this!

    1. I agree with you, Chelsea. I believe all (or most) of our passions are connected and that a creative life is a fulfilled life. I’m happy to hear you loved this post. Thanks for stopping by!

  5. I so agree with you! I’m a makeupartist, photographer, graphic and furniture designer, marketing expert, blogger and actually I’m just everything that catches my attention. People aren’t just one thing! So happy to see someone who feels like I do.

    1. Thank you for reading and leaving a comment, Gretchen! Regarding writing tips, this quote says it all:
      “Just write every day of your life. Read intensely. Then see what happens. Most of my friends who are put on that diet have very pleasant careers. ” Ray Bradbury

      Two of my favorite books on the writing craft are On Writing by Stephen King and Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg. I highly recommend them. My favorite writing tool is Grammarly. It checks for spelling, grammar and punctuation errors. And it’s FREE!

      And if you’re looking to break into freelance writing, join the Facebook group Successful Freelance Writing Moms (it’s aimed for moms but anyone can join). You’ll find lots of tips in there. I hope this helps!

  6. Great post. I definitely love to explore my creativity by trying new things. I also recently started a new job, and I’ve been building my blog site. It’s a much different dynamic from what I did with my previous job, but that’s what I like about it. I like to push myself out of my comfort zone to develop new skills. It not only builds character, but your abilities and diligence within your work ethic ❤️

  7. I love this, I feel the same way, and it’s so inspiring to hear you talk about it. I have so many passions and creative pursuits I want to dedicate my life to; I can’t pick one.

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