I have some overachieving friends and relatives who think you should do crazy things like set goals for yourself, and make plans for your future. My cousin Alaina recently flat out asked me what my goals for the next year were, and I found myself floundering to find an answer. I’m not really sure where my career is headed, and I think there are a few reasons why I’m having trouble with this.
One has to do with available time. I work in vfx (clearly), which often times has an intense and erratic schedule. I regularly work 10-12 hour days, and that can make it difficult to do anything other than simply work and take care of immediate issues like laundry, dishes and diapers. There are plenty of days that I will only work for 8 hours, but it’s hard to plan ahead when next week I will find myself without any free time again. It’s difficult to start a new project or push my career in any direction, which is something that would require a time commitment, whatever the direction may be.
I also am in a fairly high up position. I’m no longer a junior artist, rotoscoping day in and day out until my eyes fall out. Ok, I never had to do quite that much roto, but still, the point is I’m in a pretty senior position and don’t see a TON of room to go up the ladder as they say. I can certainly shift the ladder over to a slightly different window. I could work for different companies, supervise a few more people, even lean away from compositing and do more 3D work, but we’re talking essentially the same thing.
On top of this, I have a family. A wife and toddler to be exact, so when I’m not working, I like to spend time with them. It’s really important to have a work/life balance, and to realize that there is more to life than your career. I get just as much, if not more pleasure out of running around with my toddler as I do working on some cool movie.
I guess the big problem is trying to decide what I want. Do I want to keep on keeping on with what I’m doing? Do I want to direct? If so, how badly? Do I still want to work at Pixar like I did when I first got out of school? The answer to that one is no, btw. Do I want to supervise for tv or films? Teach? Write? Blog professionally? Do something completely non-art related? The possibilities are endless, and it’s a life-long project trying to figure out…well, life.