frog raccoon strawberry

Just trying to get the pencil moving more often, this was just meant to be a quick sketch of Superkat. Which became a full color sketch of Superkat. And then I borrowed and edited a BG @aronjshay and I did for Frog Raccoon Strawberry a few years back.

oliverhoot  asked:

Regards to your "No Shame" post. Throughout your four years were you applying to all manner of jobs or were you selective about where you wanted to apply like job duties and if it was in your state or out of state. I've been in retail for 2 years now since college and the stress of wondering where I should take root or just get anything that "relates to creating" is real. Layer that with the job app process low esteem and not enough money. A recipe for woe indeed.

Hi! This was dynamic and changed with time– I was a little bit selective, but as time went on, what I was selective about– changed. I was really starting to stress at points, and It is indeed a recipe for woe, but the balance of ingredients can sometimes act as a catalyst.

Coming up on graduation from SCAD: I applied to many animation studios, big and small. I was even applying to computer graphics studios who did things like credits for films. This was late 2005/early 2006. Oddly, a few places I had applied to had gone out of business or moved and portfolios were returned. I applied to locations all over the country, with interest in Los Angeles area, Florida, New York, and Chicago areas.

Coming up on graduation from AiCA-SF: I applied to a wide variety of studios, large and small– but didn’t get any internship interest in the Bay Area. I did have something lined up in LA area, so I moved to Los Angeles and then the internship fell through. This was the same time the economy crapped out, and there was a huge influx of Computer Animation grads coming out. I spent the next two months applying to anything I could find in postings. At this point, I had friends in the LA Area and I enjoyed it a lot, and decided I was going to stick to Los Angeles/Burbank and surrounding areas. There’s a LOT of studios, big and small here. I applied to retail jobs because I was out of what little savings I had. I had an interview at a large bookstore in the Grove, and it was a huge group interview. It felt very awkward to me. I then had an interview with an art supply store. Way more up my alley, so when they offered me a job, I took that one. Discounts on art supplies is a win.

The thing about retail in Los Angeles is, it can really suck when you get bad customers. I’m not talking just plain rude– I’m talking flat-out asshats who purposely damage merchandise, try to get a discount on it, and pitch a wave of sass at me when they don’t get a discount because I watched them pick something like a very expensive sheet of handmade paper up, and crumple it just 5 feet away from my register, and turn going “this is damaged, whats the discount?”. This ate away at my soul. I would find hope in learning more skills and getting better at coloring and such– the things I did for fun.

I worked in that job for 4 years, the early part of that applying to anything within that general area that consisted of animation, texturing, and even modeling in Maya. What happened though, was that after a short while of rejections from CG related jobs, I started to teach myself illustration, coloring, and such. This is when my focus shifted. Maya costs a buttload of money so I couldn’t keep up with the rapidly changing software. Drawing, coloring, and illustration– that I can keep up on.

I still applied to studios who needed generalists and such but eventually that stopped. My best friend Kyle was doing a lot at this time. A web comic, storyboarding, and an animated short-pitch kinda thing. That was called Weird Eddie. I learned some flash animation (2d traditional frame-by-frame style) and I started doing the coloring for the backgrounds on his comic Frog Raccoon Strawberry. I developed a coloring style for that, and continued to teach myself stuff. Later I started learning storyboarding. I started applying to jobs looking for character designer, colorist, storyboarding, and such.

Early 2011 was an awful time. I was dealt an ultra-crappy hand of cards, and things just kept getting worse. Then something inside of me clicked. I don’t know what it was. Everything sucked, I was very unhappy being kicked around in retail, and something inside of me caught on fire and that’s when I dug my heels in more so than ever before. I focused on learning and becoming better at everything I could. Discouragement kinda left me because I think I had hit the bottom. I just focused on getting better at everything I had time to work on. I was applying to things that I had been learning, but then my friend told me about an opening at the place he was working at. I interviewed, and I got the job. I will never forget the moment I had finally gotten my foot in the door.

Granted that job lasted about 2 months, and I was out of work over the holidays– but that was EXPERIENCE! I had finally gotten some work experience! I kept applying and studying Storyboarding (Dudes and dudettes– Sherm Cohen is your guy for Storyboard learnings! His DVDs are hella amazing!). I was getting art tests for boards but nothing was catching– I was running out of unemployment, and then one night I was cleaning out my email junkbox and saw an email from Disney. Someone had emailed me asking if I was interested in a job.

And that started with freelance as a designer, and led to me being hired full time in Disney Publishing. It took what felt like forever– but it finally happened.

I noticed that the more I pushed myself to get better– the more art tests I got. Then more interviews. It finally built up enough to tip in my favor. That’s why I will always tell others– don’t ever give up. Don’t ever stop learning. Sometimes it hits just right an amazing happens.

If you’re worried about taking anything that involves creating– ask yourself: Will you be happier doing that? Also– take time out of the equation. I frigging hated being fed the old formula: Graduate High School. Do 4 years of college. Graduate college. Get standard job. Life.

The thing is– there’s no time limit to your dreams and wishes. They can change as you develop more as an artist and discover what you really like and enjoy doing. That’s what happened to me. There is a massive “life/art/learning/take your time” post somewhere here on tumblr (that I cannot find for the life of me find a link to) where an artist discusses how life happens and that you can shift focus, but there is no time limit on learning or pursuing your goals. Experience life.

It’s a lot of blabbering from me and I hope I didn’t go too far off subject, but I guess I want to make some points:

Take care of you. Make sure you’re keeping yourself healthy and your stress level down to a manageable level. If you’re stressed out by applications– try to think of them in a manner that releases you from the constant stress. I started to see it this way. Once I apply– it’s outta my hands. I did the best I could do. I make sure to write a follow up email/letter if need be, and I stopped babysitting the clock. Use that energy for doing something that makes you happy, like learning a new media. Something fun. You might stumble upon something. That’s what I did.

Set a list of priorities for yourself. Rent/bills, food. I reminded myself that those things had to be taken care of, and the rest of the time was a reward. I used it to learn new stuff. I used it to focus on going up. That way, I enjoyed my time making my skills better– even more. It was more satisfying to me.

If bills get tight, try taking commissions. I started doing this to supplement my income, and at the same time I got better and better.

But at the end of the day– you are still priority number 1. You take care of yourself. If you’re feeling burned out, take a break. A breather. I’ve found when I intend to just zone out for a day to stop burnout– that’s when the need to create hits, and I get that new energy. Make sure you drink plenty of water, take walks if you can, and find a way to de-stress yourself. Don’t beat yourself up about wasting a day or two taking a break. You gotta let yourself regroup sometimes. It happens to us all.

And don’t forget to look at how you’ve succeeded. How far you’ve come. It helps to put things in perspective and I found it gave me a great deal of pride. I was still in retail, but I was coloring comic backgrounds and cleaning up animation. I was so damned proud. I’m not doing what I went to school for, but I changed what my focus was, and I was so happy. I love doing my job, and I love being a part of of what I work on.

It’s never too late to learn. There is no end-date on you or your dreams. You’re always getting better. It can be tough, but you gotta keep at it. You’ll get there. You’re more rad than you think.

Whew! I really hope this helps! Feel free to ask me to focus on something if I missed anything :)