Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
PauloBlob

10 years on the road. Now what?

Recommended Posts

Hello guys,

 

I have been battling with myself over where to keep working on motion graphics or not. I have 10 years on the road, not as much as you may think but enough to raise some questions.

I've lived in Los Angeles for few years and after that I thought I had enough from it. The city was huuge, egos also inflated and for some reason when I was at my best at the time I decided to move back to my hometown. I was burnt, tired and I had a weird feeling that all I was doing was makeup for products/tvshows and not been productive as human being. I know, sounds really weird but that was my thought.

I started to wonder how to find energy to keep pushing myself. The idea of becoming a mograph demi-god sounds awesome, doing great work with other great artists it is awesome but still not enough to keep me motivated. In my head things are a bit confusing right now. I decided to write about this because maybe someone else have been through the same situation.

 

After doing the same thing for a long time you forget why you are doing it.

 

Last year I decided that before leaving the mograph field I was going to teach everything that I've learned. It worked for a while, I trained about 20 people and I'm about to start a new training for a tv station in-house team. Teaching is a humble experience and I'm really glad I made that decision. But right now I have fears of becoming a teacher only and disconnecting from the creative realm. I once heard that a teacher is someone who failed at a professional life. I know it is a harsh statement but this is haunting me.

 

Have anyone experienced something like that? or I'm just lil crazy?

Sorry to bug you guys with some personal thoughts but as artists we go through some of this shit once in a while.

 

Paulo

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A teacher is someone who failed only if their charging money for it.

 

So go buy a mic, set up a wordpress blog and start making video tutorials =)

 

I havent been in mograph for 10 years, arguably im not even in it. Im more into animation. But i love this field, coz there is soooooooo much different stuff to do. You get bored of one thing, go for the next.

 

When i started i LOVED lighting, materials, rendering, i knew all the gi settings, i could set up AR, FR2 and VRAY like a pro.

 

Now i do pre-viz. just blocks moving around =)

 

Grab a 550D and start filming shit, get a pencil start drawing plants. Learn biology. I dunno, this shit is infinite. And just a matter of finding people who need your skills when you aquire them and with the speed this industry is develping its becoming easier and easier.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i'm not a 10 year veteran, so my input may not matter.

 

but when i start feeling the burn, i just remind myself of how far i've come from when i first started. if you're doing this for the love of it, just revive the romance, buy yourself a bouquet of flowers, so to speak. i just try to continue learning, continue creating, and hope people will see it in my work. this is probably the best way to stay employable since it seems like broadcast budgets are getting squeezed and there's an increasing amount of competition. it's worked for me so far.

 

it sounds like you just need to get away from the paid jobs and really get behind something you care about. perhaps some pro-bono work or just something personal.

 

as for the instructors who are washouts, i'd say it's 80-20 pros to washouts. i know a handful of dudes who teach after their shifts just to earn some extra cash. and they are capital L legit. the other 80 percent consists of people who want to be inspired (steal their students' ideas), can't compete in the industry, or are total hackjobs who just reiterate tutorials and books verbatim. i didn't go to art school, but this is what a lot of my friends who did, say about it so i may be wrong.

 

your portfolio has some good work in it so i'd assume you're not a washout. but 10 years and still a senior animator? i'd think you'd be in a director type of position. maybe an animation director or something along those lines.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
it sounds like you just need to get away from the paid jobs and really get behind something you care about. perhaps some pro-bono work or just something personal.

 

This worked wonders for me. I'm not ten years in but was getting burned out/bored "selling toothpaste", so this year I directed my own short. I was totally reminded about what I got into this business for and the fact I was able to use all the experience and techniques I had learned doing some of the bullshit commercial gigs to make my own film better re-energized me and made all the slog seem worthwhile. It's also led to the chance to do a bit more directing and less straight up animating.

 

I once heard that a teacher is someone who failed at a professional life.</div>

Of course that is true of some people, but in general it is total crap. My wife is smart and capable and chose to change careers to be a teacher because she wanted to do something that mattered. Sure when we go to parties maybe people think I have the cooler job but really what's that worth. Who cares what anyone else might think do what makes you happy. Maybe being be a top dog in LA impresses people but if you find it more fulfilling to make small art films while teaching to support yourself, that's no less valid of a career choice.</div>

Edited by firemind

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A teacher is someone who failed only if their charging money for it.

 

So go buy a mic, set up a wordpress blog and start making video tutorials =)

 

 

Speaking as someone with an MFA and the desire and skill to work in the real world as well as teach (and get paid for it)

let me be the first to tell you this statement is ignorant and ill communicated.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, I'm a twenty plus year (15 in mograph this year) veteran and I understand how you feel. There's a fundamental and harsh truth here that is always the elephant in the room when designers are discussing their worth to society, and that is that the majority of what we do is simply contributing to the barrage of visual clutter that bombards us on a daily basis; a continual sensory battering selling tat we don't need or lifestyles for those longing for meaning to aspire to.

 

That's not to say there aren't good designers, that graphics (in the broadest sense) don't have a function in society, it's just that most of what we do is irrelevant at worst and superficial at best. The jobs I get most satisfaction from is the scientific work I do, but then I like science as well as art. Yeah . . . some of the stuff we do is fun, but the technology is driven less by small innovative firms these days and more by the commercial behemoths that are less interested in their customers than ever before. The days when it felt we were driving the frontier through have passed and with them the feeling we were blazing new ground.

 

Our industry has for the most part become dismissive of craftsmanship and the trade us oldies learnt as graphic designers is pretty much dead and gone; people calling themselves designers can't even draw any more for feck's sake - how do they see? It's ever been thus though, and just because any tithead with Powerpoint thinks they can write and understand animation doesn't mean that the whole industry is kaput, just that the sun has gone below the horizon and it's too much effort to keep up anymore. If that's how you feel, then it's time for a change.

 

If you want to do a more satisfying job, then be a teacher (a massively valuable contribution to the greater good) or retrain to become something that will enable you to contribute to society in a positive way. At the end of the day, this will come sooner or later anyway. How many 65 year-old designers do you know still working?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, I'm a twenty plus year (15 in mograph this year) veteran and I understand how you feel. There's a fundamental and harsh truth here that is always the elephant in the room when designers are discussing their worth to society, and that is that the majority of what we do is simply contributing to the barrage of visual clutter that bombards us on a daily basis; a continual sensory battering selling tat we don't need or lifestyles for those longing for meaning to aspire to.

 

That's not to say there aren't good designers, that graphics (in the broadest sense) don't have a function in society, it's just that most of what we do is irrelevant at worst and superficial at best. The jobs I get most satisfaction from is the scientific work I do, but then I like science as well as art. Yeah . . . some of the stuff we do is fun, but the technology is driven less by small innovative firms these days and more by the commercial behemoths that are less interested in their customers than ever before. The days when it felt we were driving the frontier through have passed and with them the feeling we were blazing new ground.

 

Our industry has for the most part become dismissive of craftsmanship and the trade us oldies learnt as graphic designers is pretty much dead and gone; people calling themselves designers can't even draw any more for feck's sake - how do they see? It's ever been thus though, and just because any tithead with Powerpoint thinks they can write and understand animation doesn't mean that the whole industry is kaput, just that the sun has gone below the horizon and it's too much effort to keep up anymore. If that's how you feel, then it's time for a change.

 

I love all of what you said!

 

Mylenium

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great topic.

 

Sounds like you have found teaching to be something you really enjoy, and as such run with it man. Don't mind the BS about teachers being washouts. Sure there are some, but I think you need to check your ego at the door at don't worry about that crap. Do what makes you happy!

 

I got burned out on graphic design (print/interactive) after 6 years or so, and got into 3d almost by accident about 8 years ago. Was a huge new direction for me, and i feel there is never enough time in the day to learn more. I am not motion designer, but maybe another thing you could do is try to get more into a 3d package and utilize some of those skills to make things fresh/new.

 

I've been doing 3d for 8 years now, and I sometimes even get burned out on the types of projects I have tended to focus on, so i try and switch it up often.

 

I also moved out of the city. I live in a ski/mountain town now and its amazing. Get to mountain bike and ski all the time.

 

Once i decided I didn't need to make a huge name for myself (which is truly pointless), I was content to make a living and spend my free time doing other stuff. Hiking, biking, spending time with the family, etc.

 

Keep us posted on what works bro! Sounds to me you are on the right track, but your ego is getting in the way of true happiness.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Paulo, buddy, you're clearly not alone in this. You can see from all of the response that this is something people come up against often.

 

You're a creatively-oriented person and it's likely that you'll always be such. So you'll probably always be inclined toward creative endeavors of some sort. But there's no reason to worry if the mediums that you're interested in evolve over time. Whatever medium or industry you're working in, you're advancing your understanding of art in many senses and you will always bring that broadened understanding to whatever mediums you choose. For example, I've been getting interested in concept illustration for the last few months. A 15 yr old kid would have nothing to go on when getting into something like that, but I already bring into it a knowledge of composition, perspective drawing, storytelling, lighting, anatomy, engineering, drama, and on and on. If you wanted to become a music producer, you already have a sense of pacing, rhythm, storytelling, texture, etc. Your color knowledge could translate well into interior design. Your understanding of 3d forms might do you well as a product stylist. But more fundamentally, your general understanding of how to appeal abstractly to the human mind, to emotion, to peoples' aspirations, tastes, needs... that's infinitely useful to anything you might want to do, inside the arts or not. You may be surprised to find out just how much of an advantage being legitimately creative is in the world at large, and how legitimately uncreative most people are. You will be valuable whereever you go, in whatever you choose to do.

 

That said, the most important thing you can do for yourself now is decide what makes you happy and go for it. Nothing else matters much. You'll never make anyone else happy if you're not happy. So go for it. Do you like fishing? Do that. Do you like cooking? Do that. People who are content in their lives and happy doing whatever they do are more energizing and inspiring to everyone else. And misplaced admiration won't affect this. If you're NOT happy doing what you've been doing, you won't be happier being seen as the king almighty of whatever that is. I wouldn't care if I were somehow the best mortgage securities analyst in the world and went to global conferences where everyone wanted to shake my hand. Would you? Would you be content in your life if you got the award for Best McDonald's Franchise Contractor? Probably not. You can only do what makes you happy, and accept the respect and appreciation of those whom your work touches. And as a bonus, doing what makes you happy typically makes you better at whatever that is. Kind of a win-win.

 

Careers don't mean what they used to mean. They're fluid now. You don't have to plough the same field your whole life. Don't be afraid to move on. You can always come back to whatever you left behind.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

the beauty of our field is that it leads to many roads , the experience in the different 3D Softwares and the boom of opportunities in the field mean you can take a left here or there and expand your knowledge in a different field . This might be what you need .

Try animating characters , Try Modeling just for the sake of modeling , Try writing plugins , Try writing programs , releasing your work for the public and like many said you can draw , dance , make music , being in the creative field for so long will definetly have prepared you for that

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

Speaking as someone with an MFA and the desire and skill to work in the real world as well as teach (and get paid for it)

let me be the first to tell you this statement is ignorant and ill communicated.

 

I dont have a problem with getting paid for it, i have a problem with charging for it. I get paid for most of my tutorials, but they are freely available to the people learning. ( just faultered on one tutorial recently, it went into premium, still kicking myself, but they where insistent that it go premium).

 

 

 

And im sorry, but the fact that the first thing you did was state your degree, kinda makes your opinion irelevant, if that's all you have to back it up with.

 

 

 

@Binky: damn man, talking about doing what you love, have you considered being an inspirational speaker? :D

 

@Sketchbook: Sounds awesome! skiing and stuff. Can I ask where this is? What's the broadband there like? I miss skiing/snowbaording, maybe my next move should be to somewhere like that. (right now in Budapest, party party party).

 

 

Rant on education: Somehow filtering out the people you teach based on weather they can pay you for the education does not feel like something that would bring you fullfilment. I personally enjoy teaching people. I enjoy helping people. And people who have been on this forum for more than 7 months know this (ive been kinda preoccupied last 6 months, so not much helping, but im getting back into it). I dunno how fulfilling in general it is to teach people what we do from a "greater cause" kinda perspective, but i hope that someone can learn from the stuff i teach, and make something that will make the world a better place. It's a long shot, but hey im all about long shots.

 

/end rant.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

<div>

I dont have a problem with getting paid for it, i have a problem with charging for it. I get paid for most of my tutorials, but they are freely available to the people learning. ( just faultered on one tutorial recently, it went into premium, still kicking myself, but they where insistent that it go premium).<br />

</div>

<div> </div>

<div>That's one model and it works well for you great, but that's not a model that is going to work well for everyone. Is that way of teaching really more valid than being paid by a company to come onsite and do small workshops or charging people for online courses (like FXPHD), or getting paid to teach in the public, or private school system, or university. There is also a big difference in the ammount of work and time involved in designing one off tutorials versus designing a curiculum that gets rolled out over a semester or multiple semesters. People learn in different ways and people teach in different ways and that's all fine....</div>

<div> </div>

<div>BUT if you are getting paid for teaching you are charging for it one way or another AND why should any profession be expected to work for free (or without charging), I just don't get the logic you seem to be saying if Motion Designers want to charge for their services that's great but for some reason it's wrong for teachers to do this...really?!</div>

<div> </div>

<div>

<div>

Somehow filtering out the people you teach based on weather they can pay you for the education does not feel like something that would bring you fullfilment.
</div>

<div>You could get into a capitalism versus socialism debate on this one that I wouldn't want to touch but it's a bit unfair to put that on the shoulders of a teacher just trying to get paid, we all decide that question when we vote.</div>

</div>

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I dont see as teach as "Working for free" It has a large amount of benefits outside the monetary return.

 

It's not capitalism vs socialism. In France education is free. All education. And they aren't really socialists.

 

My problem with educating for money is that people start producing educational materials that makes them money rather than stuff that teaches people.

 

It's not wrong for anyone to charge for anything, You live in a free country you can do whatever you want.

 

Logic plays no part in this discussion. Logically money should motivate you enough to do your work, that's why its there. But it doesnt. Logic fails, now we try to figure what we can with what we have left.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
My problem with educating for money is that people start producing educational materials that makes them money rather than stuff that teaches people.

 

I don't think that this is really a problem. There are commercial courses that are quite good a Gnomon or FXPHD or other sites. Just the same, there is an awful lot of really rubbish "free" tutorials everywhere. So in the end how much you learn from them, is very much up to you and your ability to understand it all and extract the really useful parts. You won't be able to do that on "bad" materials and people will notice after a while. So IMO just producing tutorials to talk people's ears off with simplistic stuff is not something that will work for very long and make you wealthy...

 

Mylenium

Edited by Mylenium

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

free market capitalism is what drives competition which ultimately makes for a better product.

 

however the general consensus among my peers who've paid for their degrees is that their education was bullshit and could've been had for free through the internet. hopefully we all know how much of a fraud our current higher education system is. kickbacks on textbook sales, seniority based on tenure and not output, and so on.

 

this is especially true in today's economy where a bachelor degree is no longer the mark of competency. i'm assuming that has a lot to do with the level of instruction students are getting.

 

but there's no reason why teachers shouldn't be paid. however wholly privatizing education would resolve a lot of the aforementioned issues.

 

"i'm ron paul and i approve this message."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

This worked wonders for me. I'm not ten years in but was getting burned out/bored "selling toothpaste", so this year I directed my own short. I was totally reminded about what I got into this business for and the fact I was able to use all the experience and techniques I had learned doing some of the bullshit commercial gigs to make my own film better re-energized me and made all the slog seem worthwhile. It's also led to the chance to do a bit more directing and less straight up animating.

 

 

Of course that is true of some people, but in general it is total crap. My wife is smart and capable and chose to change careers to be a teacher because she wanted to do something that mattered. Sure when we go to parties maybe people think I have the cooler job but really what's that worth. Who cares what anyone else might think do what makes you happy. Maybe being be a top dog in LA impresses people but if you find it more fulfilling to make small art films while teaching to support yourself, that's no less valid of a career choice.</div>

Thanks for the words man! It really enlighted me regarding teaching.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

I don't think that this is really a problem. There are commercial courses that are quite good a Gnomon or FXPHD or other sites. Just the same, there is an awful lot of really rubbish "free" tutorials everywhere. So in the end how much you learn from them, is very much up to you and your ability to understand it all and extract the really useful parts. You won't be able to do that on "bad" materials and people will notice after a while. So IMO just producing tutorials to talk people's ears off with simplistic stuff is not something that will work for very long and make you wealthy...

 

Mylenium

 

 

Im not trying to be wealthy. (not sure if you're refering to my tutorials being simplistic)

 

@sketchbook: yeah, none of my work is local either, which is why im thinking, maybe some skiing/snowboarding would be sweet.

Although since its in USA, gotta keep waiting on my visa to process... they are really taking their sweet time with it...

 

Need to find something here in Europe i guess.

 

@Paulo: Hi, was just about to point out that you seemed to have dissapeared :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, I'm a twenty plus year (15 in mograph this year) veteran and I understand how you feel. There's a fundamental and harsh truth here that is always the elephant in the room when designers are discussing their worth to society, and that is that the majority of what we do is simply contributing to the barrage of visual clutter that bombards us on a daily basis; a continual sensory battering selling tat we don't need or lifestyles for those longing for meaning to aspire to.

 

That's not to say there aren't good designers, that graphics (in the broadest sense) don't have a function in society, it's just that most of what we do is irrelevant at worst and superficial at best. The jobs I get most satisfaction from is the scientific work I do, but then I like science as well as art. Yeah . . . some of the stuff we do is fun, but the technology is driven less by small innovative firms these days and more by the commercial behemoths that are less interested in their customers than ever before. The days when it felt we were driving the frontier through have passed and with them the feeling we were blazing new ground.

 

Our industry has for the most part become dismissive of craftsmanship and the trade us oldies learnt as graphic designers is pretty much dead and gone; people calling themselves designers can't even draw any more for feck's sake - how do they see? It's ever been thus though, and just because any tithead with Powerpoint thinks they can write and understand animation doesn't mean that the whole industry is kaput, just that the sun has gone below the horizon and it's too much effort to keep up anymore. If that's how you feel, then it's time for a change.

 

If you want to do a more satisfying job, then be a teacher (a massively valuable contribution to the greater good) or retrain to become something that will enable you to contribute to society in a positive way. At the end of the day, this will come sooner or later anyway. How many 65 year-old designers do you know still working?

 

Thanks for your feedback. Your words are wise and I read carefully each sentence.

The idea of becoming a 65yrs old designer does not cross my mind, not for the lack of love for the art but because where the society in general is heading with consumism and bias media.

In the other hand, I have plans to develop digital books with 3D animations, working on short movies... The problem is i need to make a living and I'm really tired of advertising. This is why teaching became a win-win situation on this case. Monday I'm starting this new training at a Tv station and lets see how it goes. Reading the comments here made me think that there's no right or wrong on this case just me doing something that fullfills me as a person.

Thanks for your words man.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Keep us posted on what works bro! Sounds to me you are on the right track, but your ego is getting in the way of true happiness.

 

So true. I indeed didn't had look that my ego was getting hurt for not been the "superstar" kid anymore. This is really painful to admit but it is the truth. LA makes you feel that way, it seems like anything out of that city is worth a dime. It works like a drug addiction, once you experiment it it is hard to get way of this kind of thoughts. I'm gonna work on this ego x happiness dilema. Since I moved to my hometown I have not been able to work on great proejcts anymore but in the other hand, on my personal life I have been happy as motherfucker. Found an awesome girlfriend who supports me on everything, have spent time with my family( I have been away for almost 6 years) and this is the upside of my story.

I really heard what your said. Thanks for your input.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Careers don't mean what they used to mean. They're fluid now. You don't have to plough the same field your whole life. Don't be afraid to move on. You can always come back to whatever you left behind.

 

Hey Binky. This way to think about a career really made me feel more confortable to try something new. The idea of failing on another field was slowing me down to try something different in my life. Thanks a lot man for the time to write about this.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Reading the comments here made me think that there's no right or wrong on this case just me doing something that fullfills me as a person.

 

 

best sentence in whole thread :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello guys,

 

I have been battling with myself over where to keep working on motion graphics or not.

 

You and me both brother.

 

I have 10 years on the road, not as much as you may think but enough to raise some questions.

I've lived in Los Angeles for few years and after that I thought I had enough from it. The city was huuge, egos also inflated and for some reason when I was at my best at the time I decided to move back to my hometown. I was burnt, tired and I had a weird feeling that all I was doing was makeup for products/tvshows and not been productive as human being. I know, sounds really weird but that was my thought.

 

That doesn't sound weird at all. It tells me you have some substance as a human being. Los Angeles is a tasteless vapid cesspool of egotistical, selfish, self centered individuals and being the "entertainment capital", that's what it attracts from all over the world as well. Unfortunately, in the LA market, motion graphics is invariably a part of the entertainment industry.

 

I once heard that a teacher is someone who failed at a professional life. I know it is a harsh statement but this is haunting me.

 

The idea that a teacher is somehow someone who failed at professional life or "gave up" is the biggest load of crap. I've known plenty of teachers that are at the top of their respective fields and teach on the side to give something back. (Of course in LA, in Mograph, for some individuals who might be construed as falling into this category, it's more about head hunting for the next wave of graduates, than anything else.) That said, even if you're not at the top of your field and you teach that field on the side, that doesn't equate to being a failed professional.

 

Have anyone experienced something like that? or I'm just lil crazy?

Sorry to bug you guys with some personal thoughts but as artists we go through some of this shit once in a while.

 

Paulo

 

Yes to the first question and no, you're not crazy.

Edited by tvp

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...