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Quietstorm627

Am I wrong

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Just keep in mind that even though your girl might be showing you her best, most supportive side, she might still be feeling a bit neglected. Make sure you show her that she's more important to you than finishing up that project that's still going to be there tomorrow. You don't want to lose someone as great as she sounds.

 

damnit firebetty, you've just made me make a dinner reservation and finish washing the dishes b4 she comes home. lol :H

 

and your definition of nagging is spot on. because I definitely had lost the ability to listen when my ex was talking. :blink:

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Plenty of good personal accounts already here, but I'll say this: sounds to me like there are two things going on, and the combo's not terribly beneficial for you. Firstly, yeah you're pretty obsessive about this whole thing, which is kind of okay on a certain level, but you need to balance that obsession with occasional reality checks. Second, you sound emotionally agitated, like you're high strung or... something, and you might want to do the counseling thing again. I have to think that if you sought counseling the first time, it's because you've noticed that there's something amiss up in that braincase.

 

The obsession is something that, as you may notice from the responses, a lot of people go through when getting into this stuff. Through my entire schooling I played the "every hour I sleep is an hour I can't work" game where you're trying to squeeze your body for as much productive waking time as possible in an effort to get better quicker. There's a competitiveness, and there's also that feeling where you're kind of overflowing with creative desire that you just can't execute as well as you want, and you just want to be brilliantly capable RIGHT NOW so you can let it all pour out effortlessly. There's a bitter catch-22, though, and it's that in maintaining that level of intensity to improve, you're burning yourself out. You won't feel it for a while. But at some point, you'll start getting tired. You'll be physically tired, you'll tire mentally and emotionally, but more distressingly, you'll lose your interest and the drive that excites you so much right now. I couldn't have been convinced of that myself when I was deep in the obsession, but it's pretty inevitable at that level of intensity. And it sucks hard. You're basically living for one thing, and one thing only, and then in pursuit of that thing, you start killing it. And when it's dead, you're really in the shitter.

 

The bitchy sister to that catch-22 is what happens to your work when all you do is practice and learn about your work. Creativity is an engine that seems to run effortlessly and without maintenance, but in reality it needs a constant refuelling of daily experiences to keep running properly. To crank out new ideas, you have to put plenty of experiential input in the tank. If all you're feeding it is the experience of doing graphic design, or sitting in front of the computer, your engine is going to start spitting out some pretty shitty products, and generally choking on its own sooty fumes. You can shut yourself in for a while and burn through most of your life's experiential fuel, but at some point your brain starts turning out really boring played-out shit. I couldn't convince myself of that in the first five years either, but goddam if it hasn't proven true a million times over as I've learned to take real breaks (several weeks/months at a time) and come back to make the best stuff in my portfolio. Not everyone needs that kind of space, but they're probably better at distancing themselves in their time off than I am.

 

So maybe talk with another counsellor about your distress. And in the meantime, do what you can to relieve your own anxieties about taking time off. It's a bitch, but they're going to put a real limit on your eventual success, not to mention your emotional well-being.

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Dude... rest. Very important. Stamina slowly goes away with age... if you can't manage your time now, that you're young, then you're not going to be successful.

 

Remember, take things 1 step at a time. Don't look at the big picture... what you need right now is to take a serious timeout for yourself. Forget work, forget your usual routine of doing tutorials and projects into the long hours of the night. Leave that all behind for now and spend some quality time with yourself and chill out.

 

Do it this weekend. Forget your plans and just go out to the park or just sleep in all day.

 

After you've spend a day or two away from your computer then ease back into it slowly. Don't look at the big picture, take things nice and slow. It's more imporant right now that you find that balance that you clearly need between work and personal life. Especially now that you're young.

 

My dad is a doctor, 68 years old, about to retire. He always amazed me at how he could go long hours of work with little or no rest. His stamina was always very good because he kept healthy, worked out every day and had a great diet and balanced his work and home life fairly. Now, this same man is struggling to make it through a work day without getting sleepy. He still is healthy but... age creaps up on you. If you don't manage your stamina properly, you won't make it to 40 years old.

 

1 step at a time. And remember that you're number 1. If you treat yourself as number 1 over everything else, then you'll outlast much of your "competition" and you'll go a long way in this career.

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Wow, I am ever so grateful to all that posted. I was already expecting quality responses but I was amazed at how many others have been where I am.

Thanks to every one who reached out to me personally,its a really good feeling to be new to a place but embraced like an old friend.

If possible I really hope the mods will consider making this thread a sticky,because it feels like this is a serious matter that flies under the radar but affects

many. I would love for others to be able to use this as a resource on surviving this career and the right way to go about it,because it has helped/changed my

mind for the better. Thanks again!

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Quietstorm: there's some good advice available on this thread, but I hope you're willing to take on a bit more from a chap nearly twice your age. Some of these have been said before by my learned peers.

 

1) Motivation = good, obsession = bad

 

2) You need to learn and improve, but that will come when you start working commercially. Don't spend too many hours learning the software - go and find some work.

 

3) Don't sweat about your place in the overall scheme of things. There are always people better that you or worse that you and that's the way it is. You're a member of a broad church, and there's still a hell of a lot of room available for all comers.

 

4) Find your voice - experiment with pure concepts and don't try to fit into what you think someone else's idea of a mographer is. Revel in your uniqueness! This will give you the competitive edge you crave.

 

5) It's design, not life and death. You're not a brain surgeon and no-one's life is in your hands, so don't spend too much time agonising over the importance of this stuff. Of course it's important to those of us that do it but it isn't the be all and end all, which brings me on to:

 

6) Balance. Think of it like this - if some pulls the plug on us all tomorrow and our computers don't work, would it really matter? Nope - we'd use the telephone, write letters and meet our mates. We'd learn an instrument, go for a cycle or to the pub and connect with the people we love most in the world, our family and friends. Don't spend all your time at the computer - it's a little reality distortion field that brainwashes us into thinking it is the world. Well it ain't. If you have to design, turn off the computer and do some of it with pen and paper. Better still, don't design just draw, or look, or go to a gallery etc - you'll be a better designer for it.

 

7) Your health is far more important than any job in the world. Look after yourself and keep your perspective. Life's way too short to get hung up on besting yourself in your career 24/7. Try turning in early for a change - it'll still be there in the morning.

 

I'm 42 this year, and believe me, if you're still doing this at my age and still haven't been swallowed into the complete bullshit of corporate life you'll realise there's far more to life than work.

 

So I'm off for a beer.

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Imagine watching a basketball game that was a free-for-all, with no passing, just all the players trying to get the ball and score their own goals.

 

 

Then you would be watching the Denver Nuggets my friend. :)

 

Sorry had to go there.

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Great thread, and great responses. Lately I have been thinking about the work life balance thing and it was interesting to read what everyone's had to say so far.

 

One recommendation I have is to read the great painter Ben Shahn's book The Shape of Content. It's the best book I have ever read on how to be an artist. There is a great chapter relating to this particular thread called on the education of an artist. One important caveat that he gives (I think he is actually quoting someone else and now I am going to paraphrase and further butcher the quote but anyhow...) Is "A man with a fiery passion in him will urge restraint, and he will be right. A man with an iceberg inside him will urge a fiery passion, and he will be right."

 

So besides being patient with all the mograph stuff it's also important to be patient and try things and see what works for you in terms of how you work/learn best (a lesson I am still trying to learn everyday:) Sounds cheesy to say but for sure the fact that you recognize you have workaholic tendencies is a step in the right direction to figuring out what you need to do to be successful given your personality, it's amazing how many people take years and years to even get that far.

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Wow Zook, you're 42? I turn the big 40 this year and feel like I go through a mid-life crisis monthly. I was supposed to be getting my Oscar by now. I wonder how many other mid-lifers are on this forum.

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Quietstorm, thanks for asking this question. I have just recently graduated as well. And have often thought many of the things that you wrote about. The school that I went to was very intense. One of the things that I learned there while I was also doing motion design in my spare time was that I simply couldn't just work on design for every waking hour of the day. Initially, I was working on class projects when I had to and doing personal motion projects when I had the time, doing nothinig but tutorials during the break, and pretty much being hyper obsessive. Personally I feel that that kind of drive is good. It means that you want it, and that you're willing to do almost anything to "get there". But............ it is ultimately self destructive. I learned that sleep and relaxation are just as important if not MORE important than constantly "being on the grind".

Comparing yourself to other designers is the worst thing that you could ever do in my personal opinion. I haven't totally broken myself from this yet either. But you have take a look at all of the people who you respect in this industry. Why do you like them? Probably because they bring something that is truly unique to the table. Wanna know how they go there? I would assume that it's probably because they believed in what they were doing or that they simply didn't give a fuck about what every else was up to? That's how you are going to differentiate yourself from the pack. By being you. Do not be afraid, as much as you can, learn to "walk blindly in the dark", and always remember that the journey is the destination.

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Great stuff.

 

I recently got out of that grind of constant working, pushing, etc. I stopped eating like crap, cut out caffeine, started running every day and sleeping at least 7 hours a night. I've never felt better, I have more energy, and overall working is a more positive place.

 

What Binky said about the experiential stuff is spot on. Once you get your head out of the computer and start listening to the world around you the good stuff starts coming in spades. And it's that good stuff that will bring you to the top.

Edited by a2visual

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Wow Zook, you're 42? I turn the big 40 this year and feel like I go through a mid-life crisis monthly.

 

Not quite 42 . . . but it's only a matter of months.

 

I was in the last year in our Art School to be taught graphic design without ever touching a Mac - I saw my first Mac Plus a few months after I left, and realised the industry was about to change forever. In truth, I can't believe I'm still doing it now after over 20 years in the business.

 

Age does bring it's benefits though, and my clients know they are getting a lot of experience to draw on when they hire me, across a range of disciplines. I have never been a ground-breaking designer, more of the old-school graphic artist with a love of the technology and what could be done. There's a fair few of us still plugging away out there though. The first time I tried After Effects I knew a whole new branch of my career beckoned!

 

It was interesting to read Quietstorm's post, as I suspect most of us here have felt the same way at some point in our careers. This sort of angst is so counterproductive and I'm pleased to see so many mographers pipe up to offer him support. It can be a very lonely, stressfull business and keeping a rational perspective can be difficult. As with all creatives when we put our work up for review we put a bit of ourselves up for criticism too, and you need to develop a tough hide to deal with the rejections. But this is part of the job and you mustn't take it to heart - keep doing your thing and remain true to yourself. Never compromise your integrity and never be afraid to walk away.

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oops...

 

Yes, martial arts can give you:

- physical exercise therefore energy to think and feel

- knowledge of balance - you can't kick (/create) properly without it

- mental and emotional strength

 

And learn to cook, it's very creative and it feels damn good...

Besides that in my experience Ladies Love a man who can cook ... :D;):D

 

And music, friends, etc...

 

Thanks to all for the great posts :wub:

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this is like AE anonymous.

 

i feel like ive been through therapy after reading this.

 

Only recently ive decided to chill out a bit more after working 15 hrs days 7 days a week, two jobs and panicking that im not doing enough personal work in between. Felt like i kind of burnt out a bit (im 24). looking back i feel like i was just a vessel being transported from computer to computer. Now i want to go back to learning and creating animations for me.

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Dude, don't freak out!!!

 

Here's a fact of life, and I'm sorry if I'm reiterating what has already been said, as I didn't read the whole thread: No matter what you choose to do in life, there will always be someone out there who's better than you. Or, someone who seems better than you. I say "seems" because at the end of the day, they're not you; you're not them; and there just may be a client or organization out there that sees something in your work that they don't find in the flashy, better, cooler guy's work. Who knows? There's millions of people out there making stuff, there's a ton of people buying stuff, and there's a niche for everyone. While I think inspiration is important, constantly looking at others' motion graphics work is going to cripple you – it seems it is already crippling you. I suggest taking a break from looking at any motion graphics. Go on a hike and take in the natural world, rent some great films, listen to some music, read a good book. I find that if I find inspiration in these things, things other than motion graphics, new ideas are born – fresh, original ideas, and I create work that isn't a replication of the newest trend or fad in the motion graphics field. At the end of the day, it is more important to be unique than it is to be as good as the next guy at A, B, or C faddish technique. So much motion work is technically proficient and eye-popping, but its shelf life is very limited.

 

I, too, got in the habit of always checking Motionographer, and surfing sites, and work I was feeling good about would suddenly feel sub-par. I'd start beating myself up and worrying and losing confidence and this is not a state in which you can do good work. If it's personal work you're worrying about, just flush all of this out of your mind and approach the work from a different, dare I say more "spiritual" place. Have it be an expression of who you are as a person, what you find beautiful, or frightening, or angering, or haunting.

 

Really, it's like a modern-day artist walking into a painting studio knowing that he has to cope with Breugel, Michaelangelo, DaVinci, Rembrandt, and VanGogh. He'd never paint anything if he got hung up on the fact that he could paint from now until the end of time and not come up with "Starry Night". Sure, Van Gogh was competitive, and wanted to be successful, and was torn up that he wasn't in his lifetime, but at the end of the day he saw something in those sunflowers that stirred him to paint. And he painted.

Edited by Woodhouse

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oops...

 

Yes, martial arts can give you:

- physical exercise therefore energy to think and feel

- knowledge of balance - you can't kick (/create) properly without it

- mental and emotional strength

 

And learn to cook, it's very creative and it feels damn good...

Besides that in my experience Ladies Love a man who can cook ... :D;):D

 

And music, friends, etc...

 

Thanks to all for the great posts :wub:

 

on that note... I'd recommend rock climbing.

 

If you can find a gym with a bouldering wall you're set, but it's also good for getting you to explore new places. also a hell of a work out. that and GTA 4 are awesome for clearing your head.

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this is like AE anonymous.

 

i feel like ive been through therapy after reading this.

 

Only recently ive decided to chill out a bit more after working 15 hrs days 7 days a week, two jobs and panicking that im not doing enough personal work in between. Felt like i kind of burnt out a bit (im 24). looking back i feel like i was just a vessel being transported from computer to computer. Now i want to go back to learning and creating animations for me.

 

i hear that

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I agree with everything that was said prior, but I also think your talent will carry through. Concepts and good ideas. I know I don't know immediately how I will achieve a certain effect or motion but I come up with a concept first and once approved I figure out how to execute it. Because unless you want to be an operator pushing buttons all your life, to eventually get ahead you need creativity first. If you've got that and good ideas, you can relax a bit, recharge from learning the latest software/plugins. Usually employers can spot talent/creativity over boring tutorials.

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I was in the same boat a few years ago: 20 years old, spending ALL my time creating/studying motion graphics, and guess what: I was burned out at 21 - which is ridiculous in any line of work. I wound up taking LOTS of time off and in the end re-discovered my love for all things motion, and gained appreciation for other (more) important things in my life.

 

I know others have already said this, but the key with motion graphics, as with everything in life is to do it in moderation. Don't work so hard that you grow tired of the very thing you're working toward.

 

edit: and yes, you owe your girlfriend a few nights out on the town.

Edited by biggieboy

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on that note... I'd recommend rock climbing.

 

If you can find a gym with a bouldering wall you're set, but it's also good for getting you to explore new places. also a hell of a work out. that and GTA 4 are awesome for clearing your head.

 

 

I was gonna say exactly the same thing. Bouldering is spot on for clearing your head

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I went back to school at 28, was switching careers (was a professional dancer before). Felt the same way, worked my ass off. And 5 years later after night after night with no sleep and working for a design house that often required 48+ hours in a row found myself self flat on my back as my immune system crashed, had double pneumonia, an added lung virus, and some other fun issues...Needless to say, the body needs rest. It's good to have a strong work ethic, but if fear is pushing you, you've lost the point entirely. As mentioned before, this is a marathon, you may be at this for 10-15 YEARS, and you'll need your body and mind.

 

My advice to you is to set a clear structure (since you're already disciplined) 8 hours for rest a day, 8 hours for work a day. Outside of that, schedule things you enjoy and schedule time to work on your own stuff. Make sure you get outside, and exercise after all that sitting. If you can manage your time, you can get everything done and enjoy your life too. Balance is everything.

 

Good luck!

 

H

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