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PauloBlob

10 years on the road. Now what?

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A folder full of free AE Presets?

 

or AE Templates.Things are changing. For sure. Everyone just needs to accept and adapt. One thing is for sure, people want things faster and cheaper. If this causes you stress and you don't like staying after 6pm to get the keframes just right. Then maybe this industry is not for you.

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It hasn't. I have one mate who's ten years older than I am and is still designing in his mid-fifties. His experience is unparalleled and his understanding of the areas he specialises in is absolute . . . but he's an exception. Why has this happened?

 

I was in the last year at my art school to be taught without using computers as a major part of the creative/production process and at that time ad agencies (about which I wholeheartedly agree with the monkey) and small design studios were full of older designers. Part of the education was leaving art school and being taught by these guys whom all had years of experience. I can remember being ripped to shreds by a 60-something typographer over some typography I'd designed for a brochure I was designing; I was mortified at the time but I came to realise how right he was, and I see work every day that must make him spit.

 

I can remember studios full of typographers, illustrators, visualizers, typesetters, finished artists, proof readers and graphic designers . . . and that was just a graphics studio. All of these skills were taught individually and valued, and all of them were far more involved than many today would ever believe they were.

 

When I left art school graphic design was a valued profession, and although you didn't have to get a qualification it helped if you went to an art school which was highly regarded locally. Leaving art school feeling like a fully-fledged designer many of us were thrown into a sort of second education, learning the ropes from the bottom up and starting (at least it felt like at the time) from scratch.

 

 

This whole structure seems to have disappeared as the technology has taken over. In many ways old scrotes like me hang on because of our extensive experience in a variety of disciplines. The people I know of my age who are still doing this tend to be highly experienced in a couple of specific areas and are regarded as a safe pair of hands. We've learnt not to bullshit, consider integrity as a designer fundamental and take an interest in developments in the field. So what? So do many newbies. Perhaps, but art schools now turn out kids who want to jump straight and not put the time in learning their craft. Did I say craft?

 

There is little craft left, and little respect for the craft such as it is from clients, project teams and those who commission the work, at least out here in the world of jobbing designers. The world has changed, spun a few more times around the sun. I mentioned Powerpoint before, but this genital wart of a programme is slowly destroying motion graphics as clients ignore pleas not to use it to structure storyboards, with them insisting on "doing it their way" despite the fact their way imposes all sorts of subtle and insidious subconscious limits on how animations and mograph projects are structured and developed. It's everywhere. It's foul, the antitheses of the creative process and the ability to think abstractly. It's a poor tool that's being used in tasks it was never designed for and is incapable of doing.

 

In many cases graphic designers are called in not for their creative input at the start of a project but to realise some bubble headed project assistant's or egocentric client's idea of how a video works. Eventually, the years of resisting the tide of mediocrity and indifference wears you down. I've seen it wear many down before me and like the OP it's wearing me too. I still love doing good design, good mograph and animation but many clients and their staff do not and are simply box-ticking (at best) and reflecting in your talent when it all works at worst. They're not interested in your opinion - just do the job for less, quicker and how I stay it should be done.

 

At the end of the day there are scores of young wannabes and hacks snapping at all our heels, competing for the same jobs (often undercutting to a ridiculous degree) and brimming with enthusiasm and not afraid of the brave new world. They care not for the craftsmanship or are cowed by working long hours week after week after week, they don't want to learn about the designers who went before them and created new movements and new ways of looking at the world . . . and it shows in the vast middens of visual shite we wade through on a daily basis. Good luck them I say. Hand the torch over, watch as they chuck it over the hedge where the stella cans lie and run off onto the smog of electrons that has taken over the world. No worries, we're all full of shit too.

 

I don't hanker after some golden age of graphic design, that was long gone before I was at art school, but I do wish we had kept some of the skills our chosen career (it's not a profession any more) once had. That we still valued the things about design and animation that transcend the mere technology and made good commercial art what it was . . . in all it's varied and wonderful forms.

 

It's all transient. It doesn't matter in the great scheme. It's a distraction. There are far more important things. When you've had enough, go and do them.

 

Great post. I can't agree more. It may even give you some good "internet reputation". It all comes down to the accessibility of technology and information. As it becomes available to everybody, even VOZZZ can learn animation "coz" it pays his rent, his drinking, etc.

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i agree zook just dunked it there

 

i was thinking about this falling asleep last night - am living in japan at the moment while the wife helps a sick fam member cause shes a nurse and thats what she wanted to do. working at a japanese company, which btw they dont pay what we're used to. much more in the 30-45k range for staff even at a company doing national spots heavy on CG. and you should see the hours these dudes put in. thats been partially effecting my thoughts about my future. they also push back way less, so there is tons of time spent running laps for the clients in the last 40% of finishing the job. it now feels to me the US still has more of a "work/life" culture than here, so its all relative.

 

what makes sense to me though, is you kind of have to get out of this job like you got into it (unless you got in the very traditional way.) and by that i mean first develop other interests. maybe work less, but enough to kind of stipend yourself to experiment and toy around with other pursuits until you find something that grabs you. we all know people generally cant just jump into making a living at mograph, so the same goes with the next step. unless its imposed on you, self directed career changes might be better with slightly rounded corners... easing into the next phase by developing that skill as an interest first. coffee roasting, car repair, who knows. then when youve gotten your head around it, then you can consider getting paid in some capacity to do it. of course, what we all debate about, formal schooling, is always there to do this for you, but thats really a money/time issue

 

but the thing is how mentally prepared are you to make less money? if so, then you can probably ease off sooner, if not then take a month vacation and plan on updating your reel.

 

in a way we're like the dentists who make bucks, but have to keep doing that one skill over and over. aside from probably better finances if theyve covered their huge loans, they cant just become something new without some kind of transition, and huge balls to give up the more sure thing.

 

to me teaching has always seemed kind of a cool way to do it, because you still can keep up on tools, work in a creative environment, maybe freelance a little on side jobs, but avoid some of the full blown rat in a cage stuff. the hours also seem decent. but the thing is, its hard to know. its easy to guess and project what other career paths are like. look at all the idiots coming into mograph and how they seem to see things. what micro dot said about the kids covered in cheetos was hilariously on point in a way. the repitition and lack of originality is unreal in that world - was looking at spline mask stuff yesterday, almost the same trick replicated by every dumbass with a copy of c4d. i can see how a youngin like vozz might see teaching along those lines (not sure what lines actually, that might have just been talking out of his ass like i am doing)

 

work is work. if i was fully wealthy, im not sure what i'd do, but i'm not sure it'd be running around in circles to make a corporate client happy by adding to visual clutter. in my case it would probably be something involving surfing, coffee or music...

 

in the meantime, your skills are probably primed to still make some nice beautiful lucrative shit while you decide

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Great post. I can't agree more. It may even give you some good "internet reputation". It all comes down to the accessibility of technology and information. As it becomes available to everybody, even VOZZZ can learn animation "coz" it pays his rent, his drinking, etc.

 

:D

 

Id like to point out that im not one of those guys undercutting the pro's or nipping at heels. I just do engineering type work when the artists can't figure out how to do something in c4d.

 

but thnks anyway =(

 

[edit]: i dunno how to clarify this any further. I didnt learn any of what i know from cheetoh covered web cams. I started learning this stuff back in 2004-2005, and i learnt all my c4d stuff by converting maya and max tutorials into c4d as best i could and reading the manuals. There was no GSG back then.

 

Is there anything in my reel that resembles tutorials in any way?

 

I have no art background, and i don't claim to be a designer. I like the direction of design and im learning it as best as i can. But im not getting paid for it at the moment. Unless its cute bouncy cartoonish stuff, i seem to have a nack for that stuff.

When i do design stuff i can see that its not pro. And i try to improve it as best I can, but i ussually run out of patience.

 

I dont see any educational institutions that are pumping out nice showreels except vfs. But they cost ridiculous amounts, especially if you don't qualify for a loan

 

Right now i feel this debate is starting to move into the same direction as the stuff about programmers and photographers, as technology becomes more accessible and barriers of entry fall, the market is flooded with workers, and you are forced to differentiate yourself. yeah it sucks if suddenly you loose the security you had from having a degree, but that's the way the modern world is. More importantly i don't think this as what this thread was about.

 

It was more about this field as a career path into your old age. ( i have little opinion on this, as i haven't been here for long enough). Personally no intention of just sticking here. I want to move into movie production, car/boat design, run a hostel. =) That's probably coz i have serious problems with focusing on one thing...

Edited by vozzz

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no man, i think part of this debate is about looking at a future of more time in front of a screen for what, props over a cool fluid sim for fucking budweiser?

 

or doing another meaningless but beautiful video on vimeo, there seem to be plenty of those. not exactly a need to fill

 

so yeah, obviously when any of us get good ideas we should make those into shorts or frames or beats or whatever, but short of that, as you age, you kind of can get to a point of burn out of keeping up your skills when with a negative mindset about its value and deeper meaning, that time can seem to be going to waste

 

as for me, im feeling super inspired these days, but maybe its been the change of scenery and language. good luck to you paulo, def teaching is one way to go. the tric there is politics and then the wave of the rest of the mograph burning out in secession, coming after that teach dollar like they are after the mograph dollar right now. (are there really that many new kids in the industry? when i was back in the states, i still felt like i only met good peeps from SCAD and VFS and they were more rare than later 20s badasses)

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the repitition and lack of originality is unreal in that world - was looking at spline mask stuff yesterday, almost the same trick replicated by every dumbass with a copy of c4d.

 

 

people need to eat. just look at samwelker's stuff. seems like yesterday he knew nothing about c4d. now he's publishing rehashed tutorials in his own name. and how is anyone supposed to know how much of it is truly him versus someone else's sweat and tears struggling with the software? but the kid needs to eat right? so who's going to call him out on it?

 

http:// vimeo.com/ samwelkertv

 

there are really solid grads coming out of, not just SCAD and VFS (seriously, are those your definitions of the "it" schools?), but a shitload of other schools on both coasts, south america, europe, etc. with the growing competition for work, motion graphics may be becoming more on how you market yourself versus the quality of your portfolio.

 

experience is one thing to consider when hiring. but of equal importance is speed, creativity, and how much abuse you're willing to take from directors and clients, and abuse to your paycheck. the old versus the new guard. adapt or die, or lead the revolution.

Edited by killkillakillyo

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experience is one thing to consider when hiring. but of equal importance is speed, creativity, and how much abuse you're willing to take from directors and clients, and abuse to your paycheck. the old versus the new guard. adapt or die, or lead the revolution.

 

im too lazy to lead, but i'll happily join :D

 

viva la revolution!

 

as far as sam welker.... am i being compared to him?

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no man, i think part of this debate is about looking at a future of more time in front of a screen for what, props over a cool fluid sim for fucking budweiser?

 

I think about this a great deal. I am very new to the scene but already find myself wondering how long am I going to want to be making fucking Tide commercials? Don't get me wrong, I love design and animating but I think it gets to the point were one day we all realize we are essentially just polluting the world with more visual garbabe. I'm not say that is all our industry procduces, there are great studios out there really leading the way. Hell look at Psyops Fage spot . Fucking beautiful. I would love to work on a piece like this but unfortunately this seems to be a rarity. We all have bills to pay and families to support (or at least one day will) and as of right now this is how the industry is so we need to run with it. I think it is up to us to come together and make projects for us as an outlet for us all to rediscover why it is we got into this in the first place. The Twenty120 is a perfect example. I would love to see more of these type events popping up. I think it would help to do a lot for the industry and as a healthy outlet for all of us.

 

The most rewarding job I have had was working for the local news in my previous city. Granted it was not very creatively stimulating and the deadlines were a nightmare but at the end of the night I felt good about what I was doing. It was a smaller city and we were the only news station there so it felt good to produce good work for the community to tune in and see. I absolutely loved it. I think it is just about finding a happy medium between the commercial and advertising world and projects you can really get behind and be proud of at the end of the day.

 

I think Sam Welker is more interested in being "famous on the internet" than anything else.

 

This made me lawl. Welker liked a video of mine on vimeo and it brought back all the great memories of the SamWelkerTv days of mograph. I seriously think that might have been this forums highlight of 2010/whenever the hell it happened.

Edited by joedonaldson

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If this causes you stress and you don't like staying after 6pm to get the keframes just right. Then maybe this industry is not for you.

After almost 15 years, i'm pretty confident that i get my keyframes right till 6pm...

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i think part of it too is the forum. we only see out shit on tv, when its for big often creepy national corporations, or when we're sitting on our asses watching vimeo links

 

i wonder if creative commons and some kind of i dont know, partnership with movie distributors or something to have dope shorts or experimental animations play in theatres or some other scheme of getting non commercial visuals into the public space. because i feel without the evil twist of a corporate pitch, our stuff becomes a little cooler. still maybe a bit brightly colored and ADD-ish compared to other art forms but still cooler than it can feel in the forums it lives in now

 

i hate to be harsh on vimeo, but its been a blessing and a curse. some beautiful stuff on there ( i still think most of even the really beautiful stuff lacks humanism and meaning) but it has added to this feeling us doing our work for props and advancement as opposed to i dont know, some other artistic ideal, which it def has as well... but still, something about the way the internet makes us experience art. like "what can i get out of this." i'm comparing this to having had a few, and being in the public space, and being way more open to beauty and ideas when its away from my work desk

 

i think the thing to longevity (as if it matters, or is better or worse to last long or change it up) is the mental state and expectations management, and even expectations management of the result of spots. needing them to be liked, or just needing them to be as good as we imagined them to be, and just being satisfied that we realized an idea we had (not always easy, as we know). seems like the latter is a more sustainable. drawing just to draw because its fun.

 

i bet years ago, maybe now, some pro jazz players had similar problems losing passion and their reason for doing it, when they would think about it away from doing work, but once they got into it, they would again lose themselves in the creative process and forget they were thinking about quitting

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