re: artists working themselves to death and why the HECK is this the standard
the entire thing about the death of an animator in japan due to overwork is exactly why i am completing chapter 1 of 1989nk in months, not weeks.
this has been one of my biggest fears getting this project off the ground. the standard for work output by artists is set so fucking high nowadays. we’re ALL expected to perform at the level of the outlier. (This was apparent to me as early as in Art School, when we were all treated like we were absolutely fucking useless for not being able to do an entire 5 minute 3D animated film all by ourselves like that one guy in our program.) Artists who overwork themselves and overachieve (whether by perceived necessity or choice) unfortunately create an illusion to consumers and employers that their level of performance should be the standard. It creates a nasty cycle, because more artists start trying to adhere to that standard and it gets passed on and on and on.
i’m honestly fully expecting my deadline for chapter one to be too long of a wait for some people. “This other artist got their 30-40 page comic done in 6-8 weeks, why is yours going to take 6-8 months?”
listen, its because i don’t want to not be able to draw for the rest of my life at 30. I dont want to destroy my wrist and make myself ill and make the quality of the comic suffer because i have to live up to the vicious overwork cycle that’s completely blanketed the digital art/media/comics scene. If another artist takes only a few weeks to do their comic? Fine, but you know, theyre most likely suffering BADLY for it, and even THEY shouldn’t have to do that. They really, really shouldn’t. Overwork and over achievement frankly needs to stop being praised and heralded, because its not only extremely damaging to the artist themselves, but it also creates that cycle i mentioned.
Trying to keep up with the immense production quantity and speed that other artists seem to be doing has never, ever been possible for me and I’ve occasionally tried, only to seriously break myself. Even the amount of work I do is considered a lot by some, so then how is it that to me, it always feels like chicken scratch? It feels like i’m STILL not doing enough, ever. Even with the amount of work I do, I still feel like a lazy sack of shit and feel crippling guilt when I’m taking a break to do anything else but draw. I constantly feel like I’m losing the race. That isn’t right. That isn’t fair.
i just really, really hope that people don’t see my production time for 1989nk and go “that’s too long, artists don’t take THAT long to do work” because. well. honestly, they should.
A huge thank you to all of our friends and family that have supported us for the past 4 years at Ringling, and the past year and a half especially while working on this film. We’re happy to finally share with all of you our graduation film:
A young dyslexic child falls into a world made entirely out of books. Alone in the environment he is forced to climb a mountain representing the education system.
For the past year I’ve been assistant directing on I AM DYSLEXIC. Here we expresses what it feels like to have a learning difference in our current school system. Those with learning differences should be proud of who they are and should never be made to feel alone. The film uses strong metaphors to portray these emotions, as we follow a little boy in his journey to climb a mountain in a world made of books.
Share it to the world! We’ll be starting our festival circuit soon.