I am in my 12th month making a living in the Arts. The purpose of this blog is to keep myself motivated, on track and to provide knowledge for those looking to make a similar decision.
August and September left me feeling overwhelmed, and overworked. I realized I hadn’t posted in far too long so this will have to cover the last two months. I’m sorry for the delay but here we go…
Internal and External Struggles
August and September left me doubting myself for the first time all year. I brought in the least amount of money due to long term projects that pay out when finished, had to wait on slow payments from the University systems, and a few clients decided to take their time sending those checks. On top of that, unexpected car repairs came up, and I caught a cold for a week.
Despite these setbacks I have been working very hard. Having a month where I struggled financially was the kind of kick in the ass I needed. It helped me understand how I need to prepare in the future.
In a way I feel like the more I accomplish and the closer I get to achieve my goals, the more my internal resistance tries to hold me back. I found myself on multiple occasions thinking how ridiculous it was for me to leave a steady job to make art out of puppets (it sounds even worse when I type it). However, I am being true to myself, I am working every day, and people are taking notice of it.
I am so thankful that my film The Spaceman is still taking off and finding its audience. The puppets, sets, storyboards, and more were featured in the September issue of Videomaker Magazine. They have over 50,000 subscribers across North America and an amazing online following. It will be playing at the SciFi Festival in Australia on October 31st and screened last month at the Shortz Film Festival in Chico, CA. My participation in Shortz also brought in interviews from the Chico ER Newspaper, Weekend Showcase radio show, and KRCR TV.
In August I animated a short promotional video for Animation Chico, was hired to create a very stylized beating heart for Norwegian singer/songwriter Annie Woodward’s latest music video, and had a few great production shoots for the film The Last Foxhole which I am producing for director Joe Batt.
In September I finally made time to start writing the script for my next live-action film, found the actors, and started planning the budget.
My favorite moments over the last two months were spent working on the stop-motion music video for Michelin Embers, which required building a wagon, backdrops, and miniature bridges, a drive-in movie theatre, and more. I can’t wait to show everyone!
I’m finding that my graphic design work is getting smaller to make room for film projects but I’m still maintaining monthly retainers. In September I designed event flyers for The University of Alabama, Georgia Southern University, and Allegory Bellydance.
The End is Near…
Next Month will be my last post about my life after leaving my day job. I will recap the year’s highlights and explain the lessons I’ve learned in my first year as a self-employed artist. I’m not sure if anyone reads this but it really helps me process such a big decision and navigate through this crazy first year. Thank you for all your support!