In a pickle

I haven’t mentioned the whole moving scenario in a while. After not being comfortable, so to speak, with Enid real estate I decided to pursue a job at John Brown University, more specifically their Soderquist Center for Business and Ethics. A friend had recommended me for the position, a part-time design job which would allow me to continue working for M-DAT through the end of the year as I hope to do.

It seemed like I had a good shot at getting the position. I was qualified — based on the draft of a job description I was sent — and my own design aesthetic fit well with the Center’s intentions. Further, despite figuring there would be competition in an economy like this, it didn’t seem like there were many other candidates. If any. And of course my friend, a JBU professor who helped create the position, gave them my name. Regardless, I learned yesterday afternoon that I was “not selected for this position.”

Upon reading the rejection in my inbox yesterday afternoon, my gut conjured up one of those sinking sensations. Thankfully it didn’t last long, but to say the near future looks comfortable would be quite absurd. A year ago we would have been more comfortable in this kind of situation, but a slew of unexpected expenses over the past six months or so have damaged the savings account.

My wife and I really don’t know where to go from here (although we have some ideas). Two quite promising part-time jobs have not panned out in the past four months, a building we hoped to turn into living/retail seems out of range financially (thanks to mandatory fire sprinklers) and the doors to Enid, Oklahoma — where the in-laws live — seem to have all closed. In all likelihood we’ll have to put the house on the market and hope it sells very quickly.

Moving map

I’ll conclude this little rant by posting links to my portfolio and resume. While I may not be featured in PRINT magazine any time soon (which isn’t necessarily a bad thing), I am a good designer with a fairly broad level of experience in print media, and a good knowledge of the internet even though I’m not a programmer.

Adding: I’ve published the portfolio and resume. When I posted this entry they were not yet public.


About pcNielsen
Paul Nielsen founded The Aesthetic Elevator late in 2005. He owns a piece of paper, located somewhere in his house (not on the wall), stating that he earned a B.F.A. from the University of Nebraska around about 2001. While there, he studied studied architecture, graphic design and ceramics, graduating with a degree in studio art. Paul presently serves as communications manager for a small non-profit doing their print design and marketing. He spends as much time sculpting in his studio as possible — which is not nearly enough. Visit his website at

8 Responses to In a pickle

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  2. april h l says:

    I know this is kind of a weird suggestion, esp. as I’ll be moving out myself in a few months–but have you considered Huntsville, AL, or roundabouts? not that there are a ton of jobs here for the arts anyway–but it’s cheap living (used to be the cheapest in the country for income vs. costs, up until very recently) and it’s not being hit as bad by the big ol’ recession wolf as most places.

    the area’s beautiful, and it’s easy to find a house/rent. We’re having an influx of people due to BRAC, so housing prices have gone up a lot, but it’s still pretty cheap compared to most of the country. I can see a faith-based art retreat up and running here, even if most of the jobs around here are taken by rocket scientists and military engineers, there’s still a fair amount of people who have creative joneses. 🙂

    it’s not exactly asheville, NC, but we have had a handful of art/design small businesses get up and running in the last 2-3 years and they’re doing alright.
    the art department on the UAHuntsville campus is the fastest growing department on campus–so even though it’s small (less than a dozen faculty members), they’re getting a new building in the upcoming school year and are working on a BFA program.

    just a thought.

    • pcNielsen says:

      Thanks for the thought!

      We’re trying not to move further south, though; the wife doesn’t do well in the heat/humidity and my allergies make the dryer and less tree-ified plains more appealing than the south. We did consider moving to Atlanta a few years ago, despite this, but all in all weren’t really keen on the idea.

      • april h l says:

        that’s one of the reasons I’m leaving–well, I’m leaving for grad school, but I didn’t apply to any southern schools (with the exception of UGA)–I *hate* the heat and the humidity. I totally feel you there.

  3. hehe… I’ll make a plug for Grove City, PA. It’s not hot. And I need some artist comrades here. 😛

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