DIY : How She Left Law to Pursue Her True Passion for Art
“Passion for me is something I have to do no matter what. It is not a hobby that I do in my spare time when I have nothing better to do. It is something which makes me feel complete.” — Dominika Prinzova
In a world filled with so many options, why is it that so many of us find ourselves working at jobs we aren’t passionate about? Some people feel they aren’t capable of finding a better job. Others find that even after training for years to get a job, it’s not the right one. This is how Dominika Prinzova felt. With some courage, a plan, and undeniable passion, she switched careers to pursue art.
For this fourth instalment of our “I’ve Got Passion” series, we talked to Dominika Prinzova who studied law for years. And after moving to London from the Czech Republic, she realised that she wasn’t living her dream. She decided to leave the corporate world behind to do what she loves and pursue her passion full-time. Can you imagine doing something like this? Read on to hear from Dominika about her career switch and how her journey has been so far.
Tell us a bit about yourself
I am from the Czech Republic where I studied photography and law. Five years ago while still studying law, I moved to London and got a legal job in an International IT outsourcing company. I began painting just two and a half years ago, and though I hadn’t painted before, I found it came very naturally and spontaneously. Since I started painting, I took it seriously — almost like a mission. However, I’ve been shy about it for a long time.
Why were you shy about painting?
I think the reason was that I (had discovered painting quite late. Not having a formal art education and not being in “art circles” made me feel like an outsider for some time. I was painting a lot, but didn’t want to show my pictures to anyone except a few close friends. That slowly began to change; one of the first steps I took was to create my Instagram account to start sharing my pictures with other people. This helped me gain more confidence. It took me a while to reach the point where I am now as I am a shy person by nature. However, now I would like everyone to see what I do and to share my art and ideas with other people.
Why do you love painting?
Because painting makes sense to me. It might sound surprising, but since the beginning, I could see a connection between law and painting — thinking in logical terms and looking for structure within. Painting seems to be on a higher level, connecting all aspects to include my emotional side, as well as using my brain in a more complex way.
How did you decide to pursue your passion for painting?
The decision to pursue art as a career has been growing since I completed my first painting. I felt it would be more fulfilling to spend more time painting, so I decided to quit my office job and give it a chance. The last trigger was when I had an interview for another office job. I realized an office environment was not where I wanted to see myself in the future. Since then, I couldn’t shake the idea from my head and thus I resigned one week later.
How did you prepare yourself?
I had some savings, so I knew I would be able to live without an income for three months to see how things would unfold. In the meantime, I wanted to give myself some time to concentrate on painting, contact galleries and businesses, and start tutoring others in one-to-one sessions — as well as try to find a part-time job in a creative sector to help support myself. My plan was in place, so the question was, What exactly would come out of this?
Have there been any obstacles you’ve faced while pursuing your passion and if so, how did you overcome them?
I think the biggest obstacle for me was leaving my secure paying job for an uncertain future without a stable income, and getting used to the idea of standing on my own. If I didn’t push myself, I wouldn’t be able to get enough money to afford to live a life all about painting and concentrating on art. However, I believed that everything would work out and that I would find my way.
Has your law career influenced your art?
All my experiences, including law and life in general, has influenced my art. I find painting to be a complex reflection of one’s personality and life experiences, even though it is difficult, and sometimes almost impossible, to see the direct connection between them. If I were thinking about my legal experience or skills which I directly apply to painting, I would say it is about having an analytical approach to things and self-discipline.
Who has influenced you during this time?
My art teacher was a significant influence, and I learnt a lot from her. I was also fortunate with the people around me who have been supporting me since the beginning. It is a lovely feeling seeing people believe in me and my art.
“We all have a creative part inside and it is about not being afraid and letting go.”
– Dominika Prinzova
What does passion mean to you?
Passion for me is something I have to do no matter what. It is not a hobby that I do in my spare time when I have nothing better to do. It is something which makes me feel complete as an individual and which gives me fulfilment.
What do your friends and family think about your decision to leave law for art?
My mum’s first reaction was I’d studied for five years at a law school for nothing. Then she got used to the idea of me trying my luck as a painter. And now she sees that I am happy, even though she is a bit concerned about my future. Otherwise, I was surprised by the reactions of my friends and people around me because everybody seemed to expect something like this to happen sooner or later and it wasn’t a shock for them. I have to say that everyone has been very supportive, including colleagues from my previous job.
Can you tell us about when you handed in your resignation at the office?
The day I handed in my resignation, I felt excited and relieved; on my way home I was thinking: so now you are an artist! However, the following days I got a bit scared and nervous. I didn’t doubt the decision itself; I was just worried that I wouldn’t feel comfortable having anything to do; I imagined myself sitting on my bed, looking at the ceiling and being depressed because I would not have any income.
How did you feel following your resignation?
As time progressed I felt more comfortable with the idea and was looking forward to experiencing something new — whatever it was. The day after my last working day, the first day of my “new life” I just wanted to have a rest, so I stayed at home, met my friend and at 5 pm I was thinking: “Oh gosh, I have nothing to do and the day is so long!” However, I started going to the studio every day and got very busy with painting as I was finishing paintings for my exhibition the following week. I was delighted, thinking this was actually my life. After a few days, I couldn’t even remember working in an office which is quite funny after almost four years working for the company.
Have you ever felt like quitting art and going back to Law?
It hasn’t been too long, so I’m just enjoying my newfound freedom. I am settling down in my new lifestyle, meeting new people and thinking about all the options I have now. I want to use this time mainly for painting because that was the reason why I quit. I am thinking about new projects, promoting myself, getting commissions, contacting galleries, companies, etc.
What advice would you give to someone pursuing a passion?
I’m not sure if I’m the right person to advise other people with regards to this topic because, as I said, I literally just began pursuing my painting and have no idea where all this will lead or if I will be lucky enough to make a living from my art. However, if I were to give any advice, I would say not to rush things, not to have big expectations and pursue it for the right reasons — not to get something else out of it, but do it for the pleasure of the activity itself.
If you were to host a PassionDig experience, what would it be like?
I would start by showing people that drawing is very easy and natural. Anyone can start doing art and enjoy it. It shouldn’t be exclusive to a few people who “know how to draw”.
Change can be scary, and even if some people are brave enough to take the leap, often they’re unprepared. Dominika is an example of someone who has the courage needed to change the course of her life to reflect what brings her the most passion and joy. While Dominika’s path to art seems roundabout, it is important to note that all experiences in our lives contribute to who we are and who we are evolving towards. For Dominika, she was able to approach art with her structural and analytical perspectives from her previous career, as well as applying her deeply honed self-discipline to plan her transition to artist. You too, can integrate your past experiences and learnings when pursuing your passion in a new area. Everything you’ve done in the past can be a source of inspiration.
We spend a good portion of our life working, so take the time to see if what you are doing reflects your values and sense of fulfillment. You may discover things about yourself you never realized. Know that your sense of happiness and satisfaction is valuable and worthy. It will not only bring you more joy, but ultimately to those around you as well.
At PassionDig, we open doors to new possibilities. Whether you want to dig into a current passion or find a new one, PassionDig will be there to help you along as you grow. Visit us at PassionDig.com.
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