Today’s comic, “That Time I Died” by Aimée Pijpers, is about working in a shoe store.
This comic was originally published in As You Were, Vol. 5: This Job Sucks, featuring 44 new comics about crappy jobs.
Interview with Aimée Pijpers by Natalye Childress for Silver Sprocket
Can you tell us more about the job you share in the comic?
I ended up working at a shoe store because I was fresh out of art school and desperate for money. I applied to a million different places and they were the only ones who called back. I hated it immediately. Despite that, I was there for almost four years. I stayed so long because I was stuck in a routine and had no idea what else to do.
I learned a lot while I was there, however. I discovered that I am a very task-oriented person. It made me cleaner and more organized in my personal life. I learned that I love to arrange and organize things. It amplified my love for symmetry. It fueled a thirst for living life and creating things. It made me appreciate all the people who work in customer service.
What is the BEST job you’ve had?
The job I have now is probably the best job I’ve ever had. I work in a bakery. I decorate cakes and make fruit tarts and shit. And despite having celiac disease and type 1 diabetes and virtually not being able to eat anything I create, it’s really great to work with my hands. It’s another medium for me. Ideally, I’d be a children’s book illustrator. Regardless, I have it pretty good now.
What is the value or purpose in making art? Are there any downsides?
Creating art is my way of coping with my existence and the world around me. It means absolutely everything to me. It is my livelihood. I honestly think I would be very, very dead if I had never discovered this positive, multi-faceted creative outlet.
The downsides people experience in art seem like very privileged issues to have. Like, “Oh no, I have writer’s block,” or “Oh no, I have all these parts for a song/comic/idea and don’t know what to do with them,” or “Oh no, only two people liked that on social media.” For me, there are no downsides. Creativity is a constant struggle, and I’ve accepted that as a part of the lifestyle.
Do you think artists have a social responsibility?
Yes and no. Everyone has a social responsibility, not just artists. Artists just have easier access to social responsibility because we can express ourselves through a visual representation or through a song or whatever.
Everyone needs to practice being mindful, however. We all share this planet together. We all need to look out for each other and figure out how to deal with existing on this rock. So if you want to bring social issues into light through your art, go for it. Scream at the top of your lungs. If you want to make comics about butts, do that — as long as you care about what you’re doing and you’re not being an asshole.
What are you working on now?
These days I’m focusing a lot of my attention on musical endeavors. My band, Pretty Still, just released an EP. I did all the artwork and made the lyric zine insert for the cassette tape. It had been a while since I had made a zine, so it was nice to revisit the format.
There’s a zinefest in MPLS in a few months, so I’m probably going to dive into that pool again soon. I took a break from it last year. I think breaks are very healthy. I still love making flyers, so those always excite me.
If someone liked your comic in As You Were, what would you recommend they check out next?
I would strongly suggest they check out all the work of the contributors to AYW, whether it’s this volume or previous ones. If they want to check out more of my work, my books/stuff are available for purchase, and my blog is where I post my most recent work.