I quit my job to follow my dreams... Part IX

I am in my ninth month of 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.

Josh Funk-Award Winning Director


July quickly became my most stressful month yet but I kept reminding myself that this kind of stress is so much better than having the general public yell at me on a daily basis for things I can’t control. The cause of my stress came from my inability to say no to projects and for the first time in my career I overbooked.

In order to meet all of my deadlines I worked longer hours and created a production schedule from July through December to stay on track. I also decided not to take on any new work unless I can finish these early.


My ultimate goal is to start an animation studio and I took the first big step in this direction last month by hiring two freelancers to help me build sets, and puppet clothing for a new Michelin Embers stop-motion music video. I love collaborating with talented artists with skills that I don’t have and thought this was a great opportunity to test out their talents. When you work with people who are passionate about what they do, it brings the production to a whole other level. I will post behind the scenes images from this video very soon.


I also finished editing the rough draft of the feature film Dolly Deadly, organized my upcoming animation festival Animation Chico and found most of our judges (I’ll be announcing them soon). I booked a small stop-motion animation job in a music video for director Morgan Barajas and continued to maintain my graphic design jobs on the side.

My short film The Spaceman was mentioned at best-horror-movies.com and won the Honorable Mention Award at the One Reeler Short Film Competition. It was also accepted in the Village of Brewster Film Festival (Brewster, NY) and will be screened there on September 5th.

There are only 3 more posts in this series and then I will write a yearly reflection of my jump into self-employment. If you have any questions, suggestions, or specific things you’d like me to talk about, write them in the comments below.






I am in my eighth month of 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.

Animation Chico Josh Funk Director


I think I’m finally settling into my new occupation and no longer look at this as an experiment but a lifestyle. Is it better to have a part-time job or be a full-time artist? I think the answer is really somewhere in between. The job I left paid well, had benefits, 401K, and the trappings up a comfortable life… but since it didn’t fit my skill set or align with my goals it was dragging me down. I stopped growing as an artist because how I spent my day wasn’t feeding me creatively.

It seems that everyday I am coming across something I don’t know. It might be a feature in Photoshop, or a new editing technique for a commercial. I now have the luxury of making the time to learn and enhance my skills because my job requires it. All of these small lessons are adding up and turning into knowledge that is at my disposal for future projects.


June was a great learning experience for me both professionally and personally as I struggled to find enough time in my day to be a father and also meet my many deadlines. Some days felt like I barely accomplished anything at all but I adjusted my expectations, learned how to manage my time differently and I’m now back on track. Every free second counts so I’m spending less time looking at my phone and more time appreciating my family and career.

Most of June was spent editing a feature horror film called Dolly Deadly. I have been involved with this project as an animator for a couple of years but just recently took over the editing responsibilities. My film The Spaceman won another award in The Accolade Global Film Competition, and I started an animation film festival called Animation Chico, to be held on December 12th at the El Rey Theatre in Chico, CA.

The highlight of the month (and year) was flying out to Salt Lake City with my brother Jordan to attend a huge Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Horror festival we were accepted into called FilmQuest. We met amazing filmmakers from around the world, did interviews with magazines and movie websites, and watched our creation in front of a new audience. My biggest take away from the festival was in understanding that there is a real future for me in film. I still have a lot to learn but I’m doing what I need to be doing. 


I am in my seventh month of 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.

Josh Funk Filmmaker Award Winner


I’m finally feeling the momentum of all my hard work and promotion and its fun, exhilarating, and exhausting. I scaled back on my graphic design jobs and focused on getting my name out as a freelance stop-motion animator and filmmaker. I won my second film competition award in The IndieFest Film Competition and was accepted into a big sci-fi/fantasy/horror festival in Salt Lake City called FilmQuest happening the week of June 18th (more on that next month).


May was also significant because it was the first month I matched my income from my previous retail job.  One of the biggest hurdles with leaving that day job was the comfortable paycheck and I know it will be a while before this is a common occurrence but it was so cool to get there so soon.


Probably the biggest event in May was being awarded the Art at the Matador scholarship room in Chico, CA. This is an event that happens every summer in a Chico motel. The scholarship gave me my own room to set up puppets, props, and sets, sell merchandise, and talk to the hundreds of guests that strolled through. Along with the room came the opportunity to promote my work through a radio interview, TV appearance, and newspaper article.

I sold DVDs & t-shirts, gave out postcards with my animation services, and got over 50 people to signup for my mailing list. I talked to four different guests about potential commercial and music video work, as well as two teachers who want me to talk to their students. One of the best parts of the two day event was teaching kids how to animate at the animation station I created using a metal armature and dragonframe software. A week after the event there was a positive review of my DVD in our local Chico Enterprise Record. I’m so thankful for all the great people I met and hope to do something like this again soon.


DAY 3: "The Spaceman"

I just received the first look at the alien monster puppet being built for "The Spaceman" by the amazing artist Richard Whillock  based on my concept illustration as seen below. I've also included two stills from the second day of production. More details are coming soon. Enjoy!

The alien monster puppet being built by Richard Whillock based on my concept drawings.

The alien monster puppet being built by Richard Whillock based on my concept drawings.

Concept artwork for the alien monster.

Concept artwork for the alien monster.

Movie Still for "The Spaceman"

Movie Still for "The Spaceman"

Movie Still of Jordan Funk in "The Spaceman"

Movie Still of Jordan Funk in "The Spaceman"

A Busy Year

I spent this last week planning out my projects for 2014 and I wanted to share them with everyone. I have a tendency to take on way too many projects at once which causes delays and the feeling that nothing is getting accomplished but this year I am focussing on four big projects.


I have already begun filming my next short film which is inspired by the film makers Michel Gondry and Tim Burton. It is about a man that builds a cardboard spaceship and goes to a distant planet. Right now I am having an excellent stop-motion puppet maker named Richard Whillock create a monster from some of my sketches that will fight the main character. I'm hoping to release this black and white sci-fi adventure right before Halloween. It is being produced by Heavy Signal. 


I am just wrapping up a series of 40 poems for my first children's book. After they are completed I will begin illustrating each poem and expect to publish them in June. They will be a bit absurd and centered around invention, mischief, and imagination from a child's perspective. [More details soon]


I am producing and scoring director Joe Batt's next film The Last Foxhole as well as helping in the design of set pieces being built right now. Production should start in early 2014. [More details soon]


I spent the last few months tracking most of my next album. I hope to finish this by December of 2014. It includes two songs that have been floating around in live shows for the last fourteen years, "Princess Pennyway" and "In the End" as well as a Beach Boys cover of "Don't Talk Put Your Head on My Shoulder." The album will have a more upbeat feel and even includes my first ukulele song.

That is all for now. I'm excited to share these new projects with everyone! Keep checking this site for updates throughout the year.

Dragonframe Review of "Wormholes"

Cinematic smorgasbord! Multi talented artist Josh Funk spent a year putting together this almost painfully fun and quite beautiful film. It is a very impressive first-time run at animation. If Tim Burton, Mr. Bill, David Lynch, Freddy Mercury and the Phantom of the Opera all got together…. this would be their love child. Read on to hear from Josh about the production.
“Wormholes started out as an experiment in Stop Motion and storytelling. I had always wanted to create a stop motion film but never knew how to start. I stumbled upon Dragonframe software, saw the online videos and realized all my crazy visions could actually come to life with Dragonframe. If you watch Wormholes you will see that the animation gets better as I go along because I was animating each shot in chronological order as I learned how to animate. It took me about a year to complete and I would only come up with two scenes at a time; the scene I was animating and the scene it would run into. I used a Nikon D5100, a tripod, borrowed a dolly from a friend, and spent a lot of money on discounted Halloween and party lights. For certain shots I even put my camera on a skateboard and slowly moved it along.”
-Josh Funk

Source: http://www.dragonframe.com/blog/tag/josh-f...

Wormholes Behind the Scenes

This is a behind the scenes shot from the middle section of “Wormholes” where the main character wakes up in the stomach of the worm that swallowed him only to find a circus tent/disco looking environment. In this scene he is trying to escape through a door from the rope lights that come to life and attack him. I used dragonframe software and used these plain white tables purchased at IKEA that worked really well for reflections. I later added fire to the door in Motion. Party lights were used and adjusted during each frame to keep the environment alive. This was a fun way to work because in 2 days I was able to capture multiple shots by slightly adjusting the camera angles, lights, and backdrops.