I am in my fourth month of making a living in the Arts. February was largely consumed by the release of my new short film The Spaceman and a few graphic design jobs. I also set up animation and video production work for March. Here is an update of the things I’ve learned and accomplished since my last post. The purpose of this blog is to keep myself motivated and on track and to provide knowledge for those looking to make a similar decision.
Always Have A Passion Project Going
Even if you don’t have a project that is paying you it is important to keep yourself busy and to always learn new skills. For the past two years I was creating my short film The Spaceman. I wish I could have dedicated every waking hour to it but I had to pay the bills. What was important was that I worked on it every day even if only for an hour.
In February I gave two interviews in local papers, a radio interview on KCHO’s Weekend Showcase, and my first ever Podcast interview. I then set up a 2-Day premiere at our local theatre where I showed both of my films, had puppets and miniatures from the movie on display, gave a Q&A with people involved in the movie, and even sold some DVDs and Posters.
Getting these interviews and setting up the premiere didn’t happen overnight. All of this was slowly being planned over the last year. Every time I had an idea for how I’d like this project to end, I would write it down on a task list and revisit it to make sure I stayed focused. I set the premiere up before I was finished with the movie to give myself a deadline.
Finally seeing people’s reactions and talking to them about their experience with the movie was so fun. Putting yourself out there to the world can be painful sometimes but it’s worth it when you reach an audience. There were a lot of kids at my movie and hearing them say “awesome” during the movie meant I accomplished what I wanted to.
Always Do Your Best
There are always going to be projects that you aren’t thrilled about. They might seem boring or a waste of your time. I’m finding that it is my responsibility to always do my best in these situations. All of these years of working on projects I wasn’t vested in, have allowed me to become better visually and in turn allowed me to apply everything I’ve learned into my own projects.
By always doing your best you will be more satisfied (even if you fail), you will create a good reputation, and get return clients. Some days your best might be better than other days. For example if you’re sick, or there was a tragedy in your life, you couldn’t possibly do as well as other days when everything was great…but you need to try.
Learn How To Be Present And How To Daydream
I’ve been reading a lot lately about how to always be present. What this means is to not walk around asleep. To notice the world around you and be aware of where you are and how you are feeling. If you want to be an artist or designer this is crucial. By being present you will notice how the colors look on the trees, or how the shadows react at different times of the day. You can learn an enormous amount by being present.
You’ve got to let yourself daydream. Some of my best ideas come from walking around not noticing the world or spacing out on the couch after a long day. Let your mind wander but understand how to bring it back and focus.
That was my February. If any of you have feedback on daydreaming, being present, or anything else you feel is relevant, please leave them in the comments below.