So remember when you though drawing for a living was going to be all fun and games? I bet you thought it was going to be the easiest thing right? Right? RIGHT? I bet you feel pretty silly now... Let me tell you a little bit about the good, the bad and the ugly of doing what you love for a living.
Even though I count myself among the luckiest people alive to do what I love for a living, there are days when... well... It gets a little hairy...
Have you ever tried drawing for 8 to 12 hours a day every day for a week? How about a year? How about it's your job and you have no choice even when you feel off, or sick or totally uninspired? Well welcome to this industry! There are going to be days were you don't want to draw, but you have no choice because it's what pays the bills. You don't even feel like working on your own stuff because by the end of the day all you want to do is chill without a cintiq pen glued to your hand.
So what is one to do? Well here's what I do, no guarantee this will be the same for you, but it works for me:
I used to work for a bank. It was the best and worst job I've ever had. I learned some of my most valuable life lessons from that job, but the work itself was hellish. Customers were rude, paperwork was ridiculous and God help you if you weren't "balanced" at the end of the day. I did this job to pay for my animation schooling. I worked every weekend and any time I could get extra hours when I wasn't at school over the summers. So not only was I killing myself in school, but I was killing myself over a job that I really did not enjoy.
So this is what I do if ever I start to take for granted how lucky I am. I remember the hell I went through to get myself through school, I remember all the hours and how hard I worked. I remember how miserable my life would be now if I hadn't and I remind myself that this is the only career I have ever wanted since I was a kid.
I then recall how long it took me to get into the industry (I'm saving this epic story for a future post) and all the other jobs I had to take between graduation and my first industry job.
I worked in retail, as a dog bather, again in retail and at one point I was working two jobs because neither paid well enough for me to survive on alone. In all of that time I had passbooks thrown at me, experience bank robberies, had customers yell at me, was bullied by coworkers, had dogs bite me and throw up on me, felt what it was like to almost run out of money and then finally FINALLY get the call... THE CALL. My art career was finally ready to start...
Now that's a pretty epic little tale right? When you feel lost or down on yourself, you need to take a pause and remember where you came from and how hard you worked to get to where you are now. Don't go comparing yourself to other people, just look at you now compared to you then.
This industry isn't for everyone. Drawing all day isn't easy (as many of our friends and family might think) but it is also extremely rewarding once you find that magical job that changes everything.
See you in my next post!
Hi! My name is Courtney and I am currently working as a character designer in the animation industry!
Artwork and Content is © Courtney Pearson 2016