As an artist, I've been very retrospective of the life I've led and the life that I am continually living. Before I studied art and animation I had always been a writer. I had always kept a journal of my day to day living for as long as I can remember. The writing was my solace and a time to gather my thoughts and to make sense of the world around me. Mainly I was interested in people, relationships, observing the details that made people who they were. My love of reading books also allowed me to escape and to get lost in these stories, my imagination would then fill in the blanks.
I was thinking about where I was a year ago today, still struggling to finish my thesis project for grad school and doing freelance jobs that I wasn't too fond of. I worked different odd jobs here and there in LA like sales jobs, small design jobs, one children's book project gig, some press junkets BS gig and I tutored one student part time at Otis College. I HUSTLED to get my bills paid.
Last July and August of 2014 through the first week of September that I dedicated finishing my thesis project for grad school and dedicated those two and a half months working on it day in and out on a small 10.5 screen tablet fujitsu that I found on craigslist that I drew on and I went and worked at a different cafe everyday. I was up early everyday, I was restless, I couldn't sleep. I had an internal clock that wouldn't leave me alone. I HAD to finish... there was no other way. Diligence paid off. And soon I was done and as soon as I declared being done... many companies I had applied to started calling me back. I started getting a ton of interviews with different companies.
By October I started freelancing again. Then I had a medical condition I had to take care of through surgery and I spent the next 9 weeks recuperating on my grandparent's couch in San Diego through November. I was lucky enough that I found a start-up gig in November that allowed me to work from home on my laptop while I got better. It was no cakewalk, I had never felt so crappy with my health as I did then. During the 3rd week I was recuperating, I had low blood pressure and almost passed out. I hid my crappy health from everyone except my family. I had never spent so much sleeping in those 2.5 months as I did. And I'm not the kind of person who sleeps early and neither sleeps in too late, I'm comfortable with 5 or 6 hours a night. But by November I had gotten a gig at WME in Beverly Hills for a few days to do some in house character illustration work that I completely enjoyed and it helped bring my spirits up when I needed it. It reminded me of what I love doing the most. Looking back at this last year, I'm thankful for what I've learned, the experiences I've had, and the people I met colored this landscape.
And I think about this year... I'm sort of in a similar but different boat. I'm still freelancing - but getting better gigs. I've learned that summer is the slowest time in LA to freelance - companies are on hiatus or out having some kind of summer vacation. I'm in a similar boat this year like last because I am working on what was once my thesis project and now an Animation project that I'm trying to pitch to different studios. I'm so glad I stuck with finishing it last year--that no matter what I persevered and I finished it. And I know I will somehow see this project through, I've already committed to seeing this through no matter what the outcome-- at least I can say I tried. I'm not the type of person to ever give up especially when i am completely passionate about a project.
I am a gypsy-- because I have no permanent home and I am constantly on the move, I've moved out of the house that I used to rent a room in since last year in West LA. And quite recently, I packed up all my stuff into storage-- To once again be a gypsy. To save money I am living with my family in SD and traveling up to LA once a week to freelance with a company that I have freelanced with since December of 2014. Half the week I am working on my animation project "Northstar Warrior" in San Diego.
Excited because the project is moving... I have a few friends and people I know that I went to school with, are helping out for free and wanting to be a part of something. The collaboration has been the key thing to push this project further along. Any smart person knows that one person can't do it alone-- not without a team of amazing artists and creatives who are willing and able to provide support and encouragement. Having my core group of friends and colleagues to provide this support has been so beneficial and I am so grateful-- and it's a testament that this project has the potential to be something. It could be something amazing.
I think about all the things I've sacrificed the last two years working on this project. One: sacrificing raising my kid and allowing my ex-husband to take on the responsibility. Two: My time, energy, effort... spending lots of time alone to work on this... was never the life I wanted to have. Three: Not having much of a social and dating life, I haven't kept in touch with a lot of friends through this process. Its been hard. But sacrificing myself for the love and passion for a project is the most beautiful thing in the world.
At the end of the day you have to do what you're passionate about even if it means sacrificing a piece of yourself for the bigger picture. Otherwise you can live a very unhappy life.