After graduation, before starting Bloop Animation, I had a few goals.
- I wanted to get into Pixar
- I wanted to get hired as a director
- I wanted to have a book published
- I wanted to make more animated shorts
These are all nice goals to have. The problem with those goals is that they all require someone else’s approval.
No matter how much I wanted to work for Pixar, if they didn’t “allow” me to work there, there’s little I can do about it. Same goes for getting hired as a director straight out of school. Why would anyone hire me as a director? I just graduated! It’s unheard of. Not to mention getting a book published, one of the hardest things to accomplish. But what could I do? These were my goals.
If I had waited for all the external factors to work in my favor I would have probably waited a very long time, and gotten nothing in the end. That is called “waiting to get picked.”
It’s something every freelance struggle with. Especially when they’re just getting started. After emailing all those studios and companies, applying for jobs, you’re basically just waiting for someone to deem you worthy of work, and there’s nothing you can do about it in the meantime.
I hated that feeling.
I hated feeling like I have no control of my life, my destiny, or my financial situation. I knew I had to figure something out or I’d go crazy. I decided to go for something that does not require anyone else’s approval. While no studio would hire me as a director, no one could stop me from hiring myself as a director. So that’s what I did.
Making an animated short
I decided to make a new animated short film, but not just that. To get as much exposure as possible for the film I decided to document the whole process in the form of video tutorials and articles. I did it in the hope of building an audience who’ll watch my film when it’s done. It worked, and when LIFT UP came out in 2014 it was well received by my audience, as well as numerous festivals around the world.
So I directed a short film. Nobody said I could, I just did it. Had I waited for that approval, no film would have been made.
Writing a book
After writing a lot about the making of animation, I noticed that I have gathered a large amount of written content. I also realized that my audience wasn’t made out of animation beginners only, but also of people who haven’t even got into animation yet, but are considering it. High-school students, or even college students who are looking for a change in focus. People who were clueless as to what’s it like working in the animation industry.
While I was no animation expert by any means, I knew I had enough experience to talk to those people. The people who want to start their path into becoming animators. The ‘me’ of 4-5 years ago.
So I wrote a book for them.
I didn’t use a publisher, of course. Who would publish me? I was a year out of school. So I wrote the book myself, and sold it independently on my website and on Amazon. That book later became an Amazon #1 best seller under Animation.
Again, I did not wait for permission. I did not wait to get picked. I did what I wanted to do by picking myself.
Fast forward a year or two
Nowadays Bloop Animation is a fully fledged business with all kinds of different products, and multiple people working on them.
Today, my goals are different. I don’t set goals for myself that require someone else’s approval. My goals now revolve around my own work. I set the terms, I approve myself, and I will never do things the other way again.