When I was in 5th grade I had a very influential teacher that use to tease us students about the idea that one day we would end up at Burger King or McDonalds flipping burgers and wishing for a better life. I thought to myself, " Well that will never be me. I will never be that burger flipping struggling uneducated person that he described." Now a days I think differently. I feel like I been chasing this animation and art career thing for just way to damn long. It is frustrating and most months I am lucky just to get enough money in my pocket to pay car insurance and my phone bill and by some food. I have to say Burger King ain't looking to bad as a career some days. I have to be honest.
Sometimes I think about giving up art.
There, I said out outload for the world to hear. I think about it long and hard and man I say to myself if I didn't make my living doing art, things would be so much more relieving. No more pressure from the voice in my head telling me my work isn't good enough and that is why after being in and out of school for like 12 years i still am not much farther from where I started.
Not saying though that I haven't had some amazing opportunities though because i really have had some great adventures. Meeting pros in the industry like Joe and Adam Kubert and meeting my mentor Dan Haskett and his wife Karen. I mean what amazing people. Getting to work at Mada Design for a year and meeting Afua at her house for Thanksgiving dinner. Visiting animation studios and walking the streets of NYC everyday. Hanging out With Tiana up at the SVA Campus and doing some animating while I was there. Working caricature parties, Now that was a real blast and hanging with caricature artists and their families.
A couple of firsts, First trip to NYC with friends and Pic at the Carriage House not long after moving in. My hair was in the process of growing out from a relaxer and I didn't know what to do with it.
Then of course there is the joy of going to comic book shows and really getting so much feed back from the public about what I do. Interning at Bazillion pictures in Kansas City Missouri. Man so many wonderful things and great experiences.
Then there was the 2 hour rides to and from work on the commuter bus and meeting all types of amazing people that were heading to work and they see you reading a comic and can't help but pull you into an interesting conversation.
Then there was the time I when to Chicago Comic con and Sean Galloway let me hang out with him at his table all day. And going to NYCC and seeing Khary Randolph and talking him into selling me one of his sketch book for half price. There was the day that Sean Gordan Murphy spoke at my school but I had to work and when I got home me and Sherry went up tp the school but it turns out him and the students were all hanging out in a bar so we went to the bar and they left to go home but we got to talk to him on the phone and he promised at the next convention he would give us both a portfolio review. Then when he reviewed my portfolio he kind sneared at me and told me " there is no reason why you shouldn't be working."
Then there was the time I got a portfolio review from Neal Adams and we heard he was really hard on people so I gave my portfolio to my really Beautiful friend and she walked up and he looked through the book thinking it was her and the first thing he said was you are so beautiful I guess I have to give you a nice critique. Then he proceeded to say I was a lazy artist in a very Nice way!! HA HA!
Spending days with my friends and schoolmates Sherry, Ashley, Mike, Britney, Juan, Asher, Suz, Victor, Barry, and like hanging out at parties with them and just having a great time. Having Rock Band Parties all weekend.
Graduating class at the Kubert School. I am not in this pick cause though I was at graduation I did not graduate.
Listening to stories around the lunch table with John and Savark and ben and andy and God the list goes on. '
Art has taken me a lot of places seeing and meeting amazing people and then suddenly they are just gone out of your life and you come down to the reality of it all. You are broke and you spend most of your days alone sitting at a drawing desk cranking out as many illustrations as you can a day for someone else to enjoy or make money from. Lately I just feel very unfulfilled.
Folks hanging out in front of the school building.
It is a whole I seem to sink deeper and deeper into these days. Working my ass off in isolation all the time is getting hard for me to deal with. I start to question why I spend more time with my computer and drawing desk than I do with my family and friends.
I feel like I am often under constant pressure to perform but I am lacking that youthful drive these days that i had when I was 18. I feel the pressure of needing steady work and a living as an artist and then still wanting to be an animator stomping all that passion out of me sometimes. I continue to ask myself. "What am i doing wrong?"
I wonder to myself, once you get the dream job, then what. Is there really fulfillment in having a dream come true. What comes next? I was reading a journal That Khary randolph wrote about suddenly having to be a freelance artist again. Even With all his amazing talent. Lesean posted a journal the other day about how there are no more animation jobs these days. It is all slim pickings cause now all the story boards and layouts and character designs are done in korean All they do hear these days is the writing and then they get a few famous people to do the voices. Of course there are still a few small studios around but it is mostly flash and you have to compete with the young elite coming out of animation school by the thousands and ready to work for a lot less that you or those that are just happy to get an unpaid internship.
And don't get me started on 3d. I would have to go back to school another 2 years to even begin to know how to do 3d. THAT MEANS SPENDING MORE MONEY I DON'T HAVE!
At the old house in NJ. That was a crazy year.
It come down to one question for me these days. What do I have to give up keep on chasing the dream? When I went away to school l walked away from my whole life in KC to finally get the chance to go out there and get that mediocre animation education so I could finally get the chance to go work in some fancy studio as an animator. Yeah I improved as an artist but even in my first year at Kuberts I was offered a job to work at Hallmark cards and I passed it over to finish school. I stop and I wander GOD WHat was I thinking sometimes. I am going to school to get a job and I pass up a job. I wonder now where my life would be had I just come back to KC and worked at Hallmark like 4 years ago.
I think I have had a warped since of what life is all these years. Chasing the dream of what I think it means to be an artist foe a living. It has been a fun ride and a very hard ride and now a days I feel like life is smacking me upside the head telling me to wake the Fuck Up! Stop living in LA LA LAND!
So what happens next? I will take it a day at a time and see I guess.
I haven't been doing a lot of color because I had been tied up with other things but Since I am getting ready for a convention I wanted to make some time this weekend and do a few new color things to auction so I can make sure i have enough to cover the Trip to St. Louis.
Anyway I hope you enjoy them.
It feels nice to get to paint again. I had been trying to learn a technique that bill pressing had showed how to do on his blog where all the shading is done as an under painting and I was worried cause I felt like I might have forgotten how to do it. I don't think these turned out to bad. Hope you enjoy them.