She ditched her day job to pursue her art with a basic income grant from Ireland

NBC News

Artist Elinor O’Donovan draws, sculpts and creates installations, and said she feels lucky that her passion is also her profession. 

“I can’t imagine not doing it,” O’Donovan, 27, told NBC News earlier this month at her studio here in the southern city of Cork. “But it’s also a job for me.”

Until September, O’Donovan said she had to work part time as a receptionist to fund her artistic endeavors.

But then she was among 2,000 artists and cultural workers selected to participate in a basic income pilot program launched by the Irish government to receive €325 ($326) a week for three years without any constraints on how the money is spent.

Grant recipients, including visual artists, musicians, filmmakers, writers, actors and dancers, were chosen at random from a pool of more than 8,000 eligible applicants, the government said in a news release; 13 circus artists and 10 architects were also selected for the income grants. 

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