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Author   Topic : "Career change"
Lunatique
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PostPosted: Thu May 22, 2008 10:42 pm     Reply with quote
I've just quit my job as a studio art director for games to pursue my life-long passion--music. I've done professional work as a musician off and on in the last 17 years, but now I'd like to make it stick. Holding down a non-musical day job only made me miss music every minute I'm away from making music. It just got more and more unbearable over the years. I'm now 35--not getting any younger. If I don't follow my heart now I'll end up old and full of regrets. Luckily, our investments in China can sustain us so I probably don't need to try to match my income in CG with music, but if our investments don't do well, then I'll have to get back to doing things I don't quite love for the money. But for now, I'm looking forward to fully immersing myself in the world of music--composing scores for games, film, TV, and also more personal solo works and also collaborating with others in the form of bands, producing others...etc.

Along with music, I also love film, writing, and photography, and I'll keep on doing them in my "freetime." I don't know if I'll be doing any more art for a while--after 17 years of working as a professional artist, I think I'm pretty much burnt out. Maybe I'll do some personal works once the charred soul heals a bit.
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Jimmyjimjim
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PostPosted: Thu May 22, 2008 10:56 pm     Reply with quote
Hey, Lun-

They hiring someone to replace you? Very Happy

Sorry, had to. lol

Seriously, you're living the dream, man. Congratulations and good luck!
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Max
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PostPosted: Fri May 23, 2008 1:12 am     Reply with quote
You can't do anything wrong if you follow your dreams Rob. By everything you have said so far and I have seen from you I am sure you will make it. Passions are very strong. I guess it might be hard at the beginning however try not to get conducted by money too soon. Sure, it's important to keep a standart. What is it worth tho, if your daily life suffers from the feeling that there is seomthing else you would like to do, but can't because you have to afford a house, car, etc. All things that are important, just not as important as being fullfilled. Keep it up. And keep us updated. Enjoy your life - Good luck ;D
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Lunatique
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PostPosted: Fri May 23, 2008 2:42 am     Reply with quote
Jimmyjimjim wrote:
Hey, Lun-

They hiring someone to replace you? Very Happy

Sorry, had to. lol

Seriously, you're living the dream, man. Congratulations and good luck!


Heh, I tried to help them find someone to fill the position, but so far no one's really fit the shoes yet. My feet ain't even that big--just really odd in shape, so it'll take a pretty strange sort of fellow to fill them. They've posted job ads in all the usual industry places, so the position is open to anyone with the right chops/experience/personality.

I'm not quite living the dream yet. It's still too early to tell if this plan will work at all. Our investments will have to do well, otherwise it's back to doing something for the money. Ideally music will end up paying well, but money certainly isn't the motivation, and I really don't like the idea of taking on projects I have no interest in just for the money. I did that at times in my art career and it takes a toll eventually. I sometimes wonder if my entire art career consisted of only projects I really loved, maybe I wouldn't feel so burnt out. But I kinda doubt it--I've known that art had dropped to the lowest rank among the creative things I love many years ago, and the only reason I couldn't get out of it as a career was because it was the one that I already invested years in and thus paid the best.

Max wrote:
You can't do anything wrong if you follow your dreams Rob. By everything you have said so far and I have seen from you I am sure you will make it. Passions are very strong. I guess it might be hard at the beginning however try not to get conducted by money too soon. Sure, it's important to keep a standart. What is it worth tho, if your daily life suffers from the feeling that there is seomthing else you would like to do, but can't because you have to afford a house, car, etc. All things that are important, just not as important as being fullfilled. Keep it up. And keep us updated. Enjoy your life - Good luck ;D


Thanks man. We're now in the middle of finishing our place, so we're still knee-deep in the interior construction. I'm pretty excited because I've designed a recording studio into the second floor, and although it's not very big, it's enough to house my recording gear, 7 guitars/basses, drumset, mic's, computers, keyboards...etc. It'll have the full-works--soundproofing, acoustic treatment, computer isolation box..etc. This will be the first time in my life where I can go apeshit in my own home without the neighbors getting pissed off (and vice versa--no crying babies, barking dogs, buses, trains, airplanes...etc will interfere with my recording sessions).

I'm going to be scoring a sci-fi short film soon--kinda Matix-y action film, so that should be fun. I'm probably going to be scoring some casual games too, but until I've signed on the dotted line I'm not going to count on it yet--it's just a verbal handshake with the game company I used to art direct at. Either way, without or without clients, I'm just going to go on making music non-stop.
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Tzan
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PostPosted: Fri May 23, 2008 5:13 am     Reply with quote
When you left work for the last time did you get a feeling of a great weight being lifted and a stupid smile on your face?

I left a job once that I really hated and had been there 2 years. It was a very amazing feeling on the way out.
----

I have 2 years worth of money in the bank and a desire to make a small game based on that minifig design I have in WIP area. But I feel trapped in this architecture career for the same reason you mentioned. Its where I've spent the most time and can make the most money.

The 70 year old architect I do contract work for may retire soonish, then he will be refering people to me. So I might get a mid 6 figure income. Its hard to walk away from that possibility.


Good Luck.
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Jabo
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PostPosted: Fri May 23, 2008 5:19 am     Reply with quote
Good luck on this! Pursuing your dreams is important and you sound really eased that you made the move. Hope it all goes well for you!
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Andromeda
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PostPosted: Fri May 23, 2008 8:19 am     Reply with quote
good luck Luna ....
=]
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Lunatique
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PostPosted: Fri May 23, 2008 4:53 pm     Reply with quote
Thanks guys!

Tzan wrote:
When you left work for the last time did you get a feeling of a great weight being lifted and a stupid smile on your face?

I left a job once that I really hated and had been there 2 years. It was a very amazing feeling on the way out.
----

I have 2 years worth of money in the bank and a desire to make a small game based on that minifig design I have in WIP area. But I feel trapped in this architecture career for the same reason you mentioned. Its where I've spent the most time and can make the most money.

The 70 year old architect I do contract work for may retire soonish, then he will be refering people to me. So I might get a mid 6 figure income. Its hard to walk away from that possibility.


Well, the relief I felt was a mixture of different things. I definitely liked the fact that I walked out on my own terms, as opposed to being escorted out. Very Happy

Originally I was going to help the company I worked for open up a China branch, with me heading that branch (Elena and I were moving back to China to watch over our investments anyway), but they pulled the plug last minute due to funding concerns. I was certainly relieved about that. I knew if I do the China branch, that'll be a major stress-inducing element in my life, as I'd have to personally recruit, interview, and train a whole team of artists, and also be involved during every step of every little detail regarding the new branch--from legal papers, location, personnel, salary/benefits, translation, training, art direction...etc, and still remain the studio art director for the San Francisco headquarters. I think I would've worn myself out eventually taking all that on, and music would disappear from my life completely. But it felt like the right thing to do in terms of ambition and career path. Now that I'm not going to have to worry about all that, it's probably the single most prominent sense of relief I felt leaving my last job.

It's been a pretty crazy ride for me this last several years. Some of you probably still remember all the drama I went through during my early days at sijun--climbing up from a lowly texture artist to art director, moving across the country, company going under in 2 months, moving back to California, losing a job in 2 weeks, visiting China, meeting my wife, staying in China, working on my short film, taking a job in Malaysia to write/direct/art direct for Steven Stahlberg, moving back to China, moving back to the States to art direct, and now moved back to China again to concentrate on music. With each thing that happens in my life, I try to gain some wisdom and insight, and try not to lose anything I value in myself along the way. And the older I get, the more I try to live my life and conduct myself in ways that will cause no regret down the line. I even learned to become a tolerable human being--I think. Very Happy

I can totally understand how hard it is to say no to a mid-6 figure income. I never made that much money in my life so it's a lot easier for me to say no to a much lower salary as a studio art director. Our investments don't exactly make us rich either, but it can sustain us indefinitely unless something goes wrong (and Murphy tends to be right most of the time). We are expanding our investmens with the intention of making sure nothing will go wrong, and even if one investment goes south, we won't feel the impact since we'd already have other ones holding up the tent.

So how would you balance making that 6-figure income and pursuing your passion? Game dev is certainly very time-consuming.
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neff
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PostPosted: Fri May 23, 2008 5:15 pm     Reply with quote
I really hope u get the job, who's fits for your music interests. You are such a great artist in every direction.
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Tzan
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PostPosted: Sat May 24, 2008 9:42 am     Reply with quote
Lunatique wrote:

So how would you balance making that 6-figure income and pursuing your passion? Game dev is certainly very time-consuming.


Yeah Game dev takes massive time. In 1990-92 I dropped out of life to do design/program/art on an Atari-ST strategy game. I was teaching myself C at the same time so it took even longer. By the time I had a decent demo Atari collapsed and there was really no market. I lived with my bother for a year, then moved in with the parents for a while. But eventually had to get a job with the game not finished. So yeah I understand the commitment required. This is the main reason I havent done it since.

I did learn Java back in 1999, it makes things much easier. I did join a volunteer group making an MMO in 2001-2003. Awesome top quality programmers involved. I did game system design, art and wrangled a handfull of other artists.

Worked at Turbine 2003-2004 as a tester for 3 months then content creator on LOTRO. The lead tester said he never saw anyone get out of the testing dept. faster.
------------------

So back to your question. The only way to do the game is just quit and live off the bank money. Which is crazy, but its just me no family. The other way is continue with the contract work which keeps me busy 6-7 days a week then hopefully when he retires I can get referrals from him and get the same level of income. Then just dont work as hard at it. Instead of 20-30 jobs a year just take 10-15 and use the remaining time to develop.

The only problem with this is that the new jobs come from the signs you have up in front of the houses under construction. So fewer signs might mean less new work.

I really havent made any decisions yet. If I decided to just quit I would have a full design document first and some art made. The most I've ever made was 72k last year, the big money is only just a possibility. Thats how much he makes but its not sure that people will take me seriously as his replacement.
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Joe84
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PostPosted: Sat May 24, 2008 8:18 pm     Reply with quote
wow thats huge news. good luck lun, honestly the best way is follow which ever way that makes you happy. not many people get the privilege to do so. i hope that passion continues to grow as you get deeper into it
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Mikko K
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PostPosted: Sat May 24, 2008 9:01 pm     Reply with quote
Good luck man, hope things turn out fine! It must have been a difficult decision, different from switching a McJob to a games art job.
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Tzan
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 09, 2008 2:16 pm     Reply with quote
Some musical inspiration for you.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1R828rFd2aI&feature=related
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Lunatique
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 09, 2008 10:12 pm     Reply with quote
Joe84 - I just hope I don't end up getting burnt out on music like I did with art. That would be tragic.

Mikko - Definitely different. The big career changes I've made in the past have always been to a better paying industry/job. For example, when I quit comics I was making pathetic money, so going back to a regular job (sales) I actually had more financial stability. Then going from that to the video game industry as an artist, my income instantly doubled, and over the years it's double again as I made my way up the ranks in game production. Now switching to music, I'm pretty much starting from scratch again, having to build a client list from ground up. It's like having to get my foot in the door all over again. Ideally I wouldn't have to care if our investments continue to do well and music just remains a passion instead of a form of income.

Luckily this time I don't have to hold down a day job for the time being so I can at least do it without fear of starving or scraping together enough free time to do it. One of the smartest things anyone can do is to invest the money they make wisely, because that's the only way you can do something like this. Simply saving up your money so you can live off of it for a year or two while you try something new is fine, but if you invest that money wisely, it'll generate more continuous income for you so your savings don't just run out after a year or two.

But seriously, I'm making huge sacrifices to do this. Most of you know how much I dislike living in China when I did it years ago, and how happy I was to be back in the States. Now I'm back in China again because it's the only way we can afford to live a comfortable life off of our investments, as it's far too expensive to live in the States (especially for us in the Bay Area). Being in China, I have no friends or family, with my wife as the only person I talk to. I cannot make friends here because it's next to impossible to find others with similar mentality, values, lifestyle, passions...etc. I have tried in the 5 years I last lived here and even in the creative circle, people have already been affected too much by this corrupt society that I have very little in common with them. When I really try hard to make friends, it always eventually become an exercise in anthropological study instead of a real connection and genuine friendship, and it's very obvious they see me in the same way. I'll keep trying though, because living solely on the internet can get a bit weird after a while. I've sort of gotten used to it though from the last time I lived in China.

Other than social life, other things like lack of professional or high-end equipment, unreasonable laws and corrupt government, very dangerous traffic (just search for "crazy driving in China" on youtube), unsafe food and water, fake and unsafe products, limited access to information (internet is censored here)...etc are also a huge step backwards from the States. If you want quality brands it's even more expensive than the States, and many models you can't even order here. Certain types of products can't even be found here (for example, they only started selling floss here a few years ago, and we had to buy them from the States). Although China is changing very fast and trying to catch up with the rest of the world, they are always many steps behind (for example, a product you couldn't find now will be introduced into the China market a couple of years later, but some never make it here). The best I can do is to make my home my sanctuary--my fortress of sanity and comfort. Whatever I can't find in China I'll import from the States (and suffer the expensive shipping fee and import tax), such as a reliable whole-house water filtration system.

So, yeah, this all comes with a price. But music has been a life-long dream and it's now or never.

Tzan - Dude, that's some weird shit. How did that come about?
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Tzan
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 10, 2008 7:13 am     Reply with quote
I have no idea.
In the comments area it says it was in the ending credits of the movie. I havent seen the movie yet so I dont know.

A guy on a different forum found this, thought you might like it Smile
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Mikko K
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 10, 2008 7:20 am     Reply with quote
Interesting! I thought that due to your ethnic background you'd find yourself comfortable in China, and it's strange that's it's actually the other way around.

It makes sense though. Living in the UK seemed to me like it was 80's all over again in many ways. Canada feels much more "European", when it comes to how things work here (you don't have to spend a day in a bank to open a freakin' chequing account). It's been so easy, very similar to Scandinavia.

Very interesting to read about these experiences. Thanks and good luck!
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Duracel
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 28, 2008 1:25 am     Reply with quote
To make this really big change with all those living compromises ... you seem to be really burnt out or music is really your love.
But life is change, isn't it? So big decisions always make you feel the pulse of life, and thats what we are searching for. From time to time its hard to realize that you can't have all the good and that you have to left things behind.
But if you're still with your love, than its a win and it will always feel lik a right decision. Congratulations!
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nova
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 02, 2008 2:11 am     Reply with quote
Hey Lunatique!

It's awesome that you're making such a big decision based on your passions.. i think a lot of people in this world want to do pursure something else (whatever that may be) but make enough excuses, like being stuck in a cushy income that they end up moving nowhere, especially after they're married, etc. but they're never truly happy. BUt knowing you you're not like most people, very passionate about your dreams.. I can't imagine you'd be happy ending up somewhere that's mediocre. You encouraged me when i was just starting out! (here i should take my own advice since i just turned 25 and am wondering about what the future holds.. even though my job is awesome right now)

have you read the Alchemist? someone, one of my mentors, told me to read it when i was thinking about what i should do with myself. I won't give the plot away, but it's a relatively short story about a boy who goes on a journey in search of something. Very simple plot but so beautiful and wise.. check it out if you haven't read it (you can get it pretty cheap on amazon!)

anyway, good luck.. i know whatever you end up doing will take you in the right direction.. always up

~ laura
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Lunatique
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 02, 2008 7:48 am     Reply with quote
Laura!

Man, if I worked at Valve I'd stay put and not go anywhere! Very Happy It was always a dream of mine to work at Valve and it never happened. Guess some dreams just don't come true.

Do you find that at 25, your priorities in life has changed? If you don't want to talk about it openly, PM/email me and we'll chat in private.

I actually have read The Alchemist years ago, and I liked it, even though it didn't rock my world like it did others. I think it's because I had already read a book that carried a similar message many years ago and it remains my favorite book in the world. In comparison, it's much more emotional and moving book than The Alchemist, and it's based in reality, not in fantasy/legend.

I talked to my older brother the other day, and in his opinion, simply living life doing what one enjoys is not enough--he must have power and fame, otherwise it's all a waste to him. I can understand where he's coming from, since a lot of creative people want more than just being able to do what they love--they want to become very good at it, respected by peers, critical acclaim, win awards, have financial success, go down in history books...etc. guess it's different for everyone how far they think they could reach to pluck a star out of the sky. I used to be very ambitious, but over the years I realized the most important thing is the love you feel for the things you are passionate about. Everything else is secondary. I think how you can tell if you really love doing something is if you win the lottery and never have to work again, or you are poor and only scrape by every month, you'd still want to do what you love, even if you're sure you'd never become famous for it--that's how you know.
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Jabo
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 02, 2008 8:16 am     Reply with quote
That whole "do great things sometime in the future" kind of living and working is something I just can't get out of my head. I tried to get that thought/goal out of the way, because I think it really hinders me at just doing things in a great way or become better. Everything I do, every "career change" (being 23, that sounds funny to me, but I think it's true no matter how old you are), at the end had me constantly thinking "some day, my time will come", and then nothing happened. Respect didn't increase, it was rather lost in the everyday obstacles you run into.

So when you say it's different for everyone, I tend to agree. Or rather, I think it changes over time. Personally, I'd get totally lost if there wasn't that glimpse of hope, for example to work for the companies you respect most nowadays (here, I can totally understand your wish to work for Valve, heh), or to own the kind of apartment in the city some day, and house in the mountains later. If I didn't have that… goal, my whole motivation would be lost instantly.

On the other side, I think you get pretty burnt out doing "what you want to do" all day long, but not to the degree you always wished to do. That's where people usually stand up and change their whole career. Both my sisters have started their own businesses lately. Seeing that they are 37, it's both a logical decision, speaking of how you don't get a job in this fucking country once you've turned 35. On the other hand, I think they've just seen what they always wanted to see and have now decided that it didn't make them as happy as they thought once. And that's no problem at all I think, it's just that once a dream becomes reality, it quickly becomes a job afterwards.
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Lunatique
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 02, 2008 10:33 pm     Reply with quote
I think it's probably both personal and an age thing. For myself, I noticed certain things over the years and that's how I came to the conclusion I did. I guess if I had to break it down, it'd be something like:

-I realized at some point that the most fun I have is when I'm actually in the middle of the creative process. That is the drug, the real reason why I do the things I do. If others like what I do, that's great, but it doesn't thrill me nearly as much as when I turn out something that "I" love. There are times when others really like something I did that I personally feel indifferent about, or I really like something I did but no one else seems to like it. In both cases, I just feel like something's out of sync, like a cognitive dissonance, and to me, that's not really helpful in making one happy in life. When I do something that I personally am proud of, and everyone else likes it too, that's a nice feeling, but the important factor still falls on whether "I" like what I did, otherwise it's back to that out of sync feeling.

-Over the years, there are often times when I felt like the fans of creative works seem to have all the fun but none of the stress or struggle that
"artistes" have to deal with. There are so many creative works being made constantly--fine art, films, photography, games, music, comic books, television, and so on. You can spend an entire lifetime just being happy as a fan of creative works, and you'd never run out of works to admire, immerse yourself in, collect, critique, share with other fans, or attend concerts, showings...etc. For many people, that is when they are the happiest--being immersed in the great works of others.

-Most "artistes" are also fans, and the inspiration they get from the works of others become part of the motivation to strive for greatness, so they can share the same arena and also inspire others. But, there are also those who seem to not care about the works of others (we see people say this sometimes in interviews)--they don't watch other people's films or TV shows, they don't listen to other people's music, and they don't look at other people's artwork--they are only concerned about their own creative works and prefer to stay in their insulated world. I would assume people like that are the minority, since most people I know became creative because they started out as fans and remained fans. I'm not sure if there's correlation between the desire to "make it" and whether you are a lone island or a fan.

- There's a Chinese saying that goes "The bigger the tree, the more wind it has to endure." When someone "makes it," they also become the bigger and more obvious target. People who don't like you or your work will write scathing articles about you, and often your "box-office worth" becomes the point of discussion, and critical acclaim becomes an after-thought. How is a film director supposed to feel if the commercial crap he directed is making bank and breaking records, but every personal and "serious" film he's made end up losing money? Or if a musician released a new album that he feels is a real metamorphasis and a testament to his growth as a musician, but all the fans hate it, and the critics say "He's lost the magic. Maybe he's a one-hit wonder afterall." We experience similar issues when we nobodies post our works in forums and note the reactions of our peers, but when someone makes it big, they have to endure it at a much more intense level. So in the end, the only way to go on is to simply try to please yourself only, because you just can't please everyone else. I'm sure there are people out there who are lucky enough to have always had the critics on their side, and their works had always been financial successes while following their heart and doing what they want to do. Maybe for people like that, they never had to stop and think about whether "trying to make it" is a good or bad thing--they just do what they do and the rest happens automatically.

-Whether critical acclaim and financial success will find us depends on so many factors, some of which we have no control over anyway. It's also a personality issue. Some people get a kick out of sharing their work with others and being part of the community, while some people can't be bothered to even make a website or join a forum. I would have to assume that if two people are identical in personality, talent, and style, but one is a sharing type and the other is a recluse, it'll be the sharing that one will more likely "make it," simply due to more exposure. Then there's also the level of aggression in which you are "sharing" yourself." Some people will enter every creative contest under the sun to try to win something, or actively seek out agents, publishers, employers, plaster their work everywhere...etc, while some will draw the line at making a website or joining a forum.

At the age of 35, I know that what I love the most fall into three parts:
1) Being a fan and enjoying the creeative work of others.
2) The act of creating something, and enjoying the process/result.
3) Interacting and sharing with like-minded folks, whether they are other fans or other creative people.

My state of mind right now is to just enjoy myself, doing what I love. If I have works that I feel are good enough to share with the world, I will, otherwise they stay on my hard drive. If I feel something I've done should be shared with a wider audience, then I'll approach the proper channels to get the work out there, and the level of aggression I do it with will depend on how badly I want the work out there. I will refrain from doing projects just for money or credit, and I'll only do something if I feel I will enjoy the process (of course this will change when our financial stability changes). I think if I just follow this guideline, I should be fine.
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Max
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2008 3:01 am     Reply with quote
Wise and inspiring words Luna!
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 17, 2008 12:22 am     Reply with quote
Interesting thoughts there Luna.

Here's a good link I saw on CA, it's Alan Moore discussing success and doing art for the right reasons. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fGq-9X3ho7U

I loved this part especially:
"you can be famous and moderately wealthy by just going on Big Brother... Especially these days, fame means nothing, and increasingly money doesn't mean that much either"

It certainly makes you think.

Another good part was:
"If you're doing what you love, even if you're not making any money out of it, you're still better off than 99% of people who are not doing what they love.. They're doing something that just gets them by".
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Max
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 17, 2008 1:59 am     Reply with quote
Jabo wrote:
it's just that once a dream becomes reality, it quickly becomes a job afterwards.


Awww, don't say that, hehehe,...
I know what you mean tho. And I think, at some degree you are right.
I recently had an interesting though:

I think things loose their magic, their quality when you get used to them. For example. I kind of (like many people) like fast cars. A Lamborghini is just an eye catcher, nice car, nice sound, damn, wanna have!!
However, if you can afford it and drive around with it for a year, you'll become used to it, and the magic goes away. The Lamborghini turns into a ghostless shell. Beauty gone. Now you have a car. What you have lost is the dream about having a Lamborghini.

You can play that game with nearly everything (sometimes even with human beings, at least something changes over time). And I think it's true in most cases. Therefore I believe it's important to accept your life the way it is. And learn to love the things that are around you. Smile because it's a pretty day,...there isn't more to it. I always seems to forget that in daily life,...however I always remeber from time to time, that nothing really matters, as long as I am here and have a smile on my face.

...did I say that? No wait, forget everything. Gimme that Lamborghini, NOW!!! Very Happy
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Jimmyjimjim
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 17, 2008 10:18 am     Reply with quote
Mikko K wrote:
"If you're doing what you love, even if you're not making any money out of it, you're still better off than 99% of people who are not doing what they love.. They're doing something that just gets them by".


I appreciate that philosophy, but it means a lot more when it comes from someone that isn't so successful. Hearing Alan Moore say this comes off as a little patronizing.

Something similar happened to me the other day. I was over at a friends house, and we were talking about general stuff. I told him, "Man, I really hope I can own a house like this someday." He then launched into a diatribe about, "Oh, people always think that owning a house is so great. Most people don't NEED to own a house. It's a pain, you have to fix stuff yourself when it breaks, you have property taxes, it can be a nightmare."

I had to remind him that he's saying this as we're enjoying beers in privacy outside on his patio while his kids are playing in the yard. I don't even have a patio. I live in a studio apartment that feels like a hotel.

Point is, if you have it, it's easy to say you don't need it. I'd love to hear someone say, just once, "yeah, you know what? I did it. I'm successful, I have money, I don't live hand to mouth, and it feels GREAT."
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The Insane Lemur
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 17, 2008 6:15 pm     Reply with quote
Jimmyjimjim wrote:

Point is, if you have it, it's easy to say you don't need it. I'd love to hear someone say, just once, "yeah, you know what? I did it. I'm successful, I have money, I don't live hand to mouth, and it feels GREAT."


Thing is the person who's going to say that is the person who thinks his/her life being poor was pretty great too... Razz
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 17, 2008 6:46 pm     Reply with quote
The Insane Lemur wrote:
Thing is the person who's going to say that is the person who thinks his/her life being poor was pretty great too... Razz


So.... in other words... a person with a positive attitude? Smile
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Lunatique
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 17, 2008 7:57 pm     Reply with quote
Wasn't there some survey where they discovered that people who had won the lottery mostly said they were a lot happier before they got rich? Very Happy

In the 8 years I starved in the comic book industry, I was always behind on rent, couldn't afford to buy food, and never knew how I was going to make it through another month. If the car broke down, I had no money to get it fixed. Although I was calling my own shots and writing/illustrating my own stories, it eventually got very tiring. It also got discouraging too to see so many really crappy mainstream comics making it big that had horrible art and writing, and were obviously created for the sake of banking in on the collector's market (Rob Liefeld, anyone?), while you pour your heart and soul into your little indie title just to not even sell over 7,000 copies. It got to the point where even if the reviews were positive and there were fan mails, it just wasn't enough--I had to quit the comic book industry. I didn't want to go back to doing art-for-hire after I had already gotten my own creator's title, so I left altogether.

I never got into the industry to be some xxx-for-hire guy--I always knew I should be a creator and nothing else, and I still feel that way even after 10 years of working in games and animation, where almost all the projects I worked on were as some kind of xxx-for-hire. It was only when I worked at Optidigit/Android Blues that I got to be a creator again and was writing/directing my own visions. A big part of me knows that until I start telling my own stories again, I'll never be truly happy. Music may be the one thing that could compete with being a storyteller, and for now I'm glad to be able to concentrate on music, but in the back of my mind, I still often think about the stories I want to tell in the future. I've tried to get my stories out there by pitching them to company bosses, publishers...etc, and it's an extremely frustrating process because most of the time you are dealing with people who want to limit your vision and alter it in some way to fit what they consider a more bankable approach.

I'm now thinking that if I venture back into being a storyteller again, I'd do it all on my own terms, with zero compromise. The internet has made that possible for us, and there have been cases of success out there (web comics, indie animation titles...etc). I've been thinking about taking that kind of approach, and also taking my time doing it right, with no pressure from a publisher. It'll most likely be some kind of a multi-media approach where I get to write the story, illustrate/animate the art, compose the music, and maybe even record voice actors, although I'd prefer to not have to work anyone else if I could help it, since that always brings complication (if your main character's voice pulls out of the project you'd be screwed, for example). I'd probably put it out there for free, and play it by ear to see if it should become subscription based. If some commercial entity wants to buy it, then it'll have to be by my rules, with no compromises I can't live with, otherwise I'd rather remain indie. As long as our household income can remain from our business investments, I'd rather not be greedy with my creative works and just share it with the world for free--unless it becomes crazy popular and I'd have to start paying a lot of money for server traffic costs or something.

Heh, typing all that, a made-up sentence just popped into my head:

"You can shake people awake while they are dreaming, but they will always dream again and will go on dreaming until you kill them."

I think it kind of sums things up for those of us who's been through ups and downs and still going at it. Smile
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 2:11 am     Reply with quote
Max wrote:
Jabo wrote:
it's just that once a dream becomes reality, it quickly becomes a job afterwards.


Awww, don't say that, hehehe,...
I know what you mean tho. And I think, at some degree you are right.
I recently had an interesting though:

I think things loose their magic, their quality when you get used to them. For example. I kind of (like many people) like fast cars. A Lamborghini is just an eye catcher, nice car, nice sound, damn, wanna have!!
However, if you can afford it and drive around with it for a year, you'll become used to it, and the magic goes away. The Lamborghini turns into a ghostless shell. Beauty gone. Now you have a car. What you have lost is the dream about having a Lamborghini.

You can play that game with nearly everything (sometimes even with human beings, at least something changes over time). And I think it's true in most cases. Therefore I believe it's important to accept your life the way it is. And learn to love the things that are around you. Smile because it's a pretty day,...there isn't more to it. I always seems to forget that in daily life,...however I always remeber from time to time, that nothing really matters, as long as I am here and have a smile on my face.

...did I say that? No wait, forget everything. Gimme that Lamborghini, NOW!!! Very Happy


That's the professional/material/achieving side of things, yes. I struggle with the thought of changing my interests again and going for film at the moment (not on the artsy side of things this time, but camera work) because I know the magic will be lost as soon as you get there. As terrible as it is, it really showed that it happens every time. As soon as you have some more insight into the whole thing, you'll get so used to it that the fun factor is going down strikingly.

Another thing got me thinking lately and I hope some of you can maybe help me out with thoughts about it. Having had a quite long and exhausting conversation with my younger brother some nights ago, it showed that I'm totally burnt out to the point where other people are worried about my state of mind. I've been in search of my professional dreams since I was 15, that's almost ten years of hard thinking now. I ran into a dead end on both my work and my private life. The latter has been completely absent for a long time, and now it shows that I've become reclusive without any payoff on any of the sides. I always thought that the worse my private life goes, the better I can work. Now I feel unable to deliver good work and at the same time people start making hints about how asocial I've become and how I'm apparently unable to express positive feelings about anything going on around me.

So the thought was to leave all that behind for a year or so and hit the road. Travel, seek some inner peace, and refresh the soul, you know what I mean Very Happy The problem is that a) I don't know where to start and b) I don't know anyone who's done that before, so I got no one to ask. Can it possibly help? How do you get by financially? Good places? Alone or with someone else? I know some of you have had some experience with trips like that and I'm eager to know if it's worth it. So if Luna doesn't mind that I hijack your thread here… Wink
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notic
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 3:49 am     Reply with quote
well, if you're having troubles to see anything from the positive side of life, you might be depressed, or getting there.

sometimes it's very hard to accept, but if people who care for you are telling you that they are concerned, it might be a good idea to talk with someone in the health care about therapy. Travelling the world is alot of fun, but it will probably just postpone your problems, or might even come back at worst when just trying to relax on a beach at the other side of the world.

i've myself gone in therapy for my social anxiety(aka social phobia), which was successfully treated with the help of a good psychologist and CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy = no drugs, just talk) which basically means you break bad thought patterns and replace them with good ones.

i had a really hard time figuring out what was wrong with me, i had panic attacks at work constantly to the point that i considererd quitting my job. and all of this was caused by alot of stress, with an underlying negative self image.

social phobia does not mean that you're asocial though, this is pretty important to remember. people see me as a social, funny and easy going guy. not anyone noticed that i felt the way i did.

today i feel alot better, panic attacks are almost gone and i try to think positively about everything, it's been quite a journey..



mental issues is something to take seriously. it's surprising how negative thought patterns can lead to severe depressions.

People are very afraid to talk about it, not wanting to come off as a goofball, but the truth is, it can happen to anyone, just the same as anyone might get in a car crash.

so i hope you're understading me right here Jabo, i'm not saying you're on the virge of becoming jack nicholson in The Shining Smile , just talk with someone and you might get a positive view on things.
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