Working full time and building an animation studio based on the experience of 25 years in the industry is not easy. But the rewards and satisfaction of the enterprise is great. At present time, I contract 2 individuals regularly and have 5 other artists to whom I reach out when I need more help. I am hoping that soon I will be able to hire the 2 artists that I contact the most frequently, on a full time basis. Clients are happy, and coming back with more projects. The projects are still small enough to not be able to hire full time employees. On the other hand, I am full time now. But that does put a strain on my own abilities to advertise the company. It is a vicious circle. Work on projects or work on marketing.
I finally identified two lawyers, a CPA and a Bookkeeper for future business. They told me the likelihood of hiring them (or any other bookkeeper, CPA or Lawyer) full time soon is small. Makes sense. But at lease I can contract their services as needed.
What the animation studio is all about.
Over the last 20 plus years I witness and experienced the cruelty of the visual arts industry. I would go on a limb and say all industries do this, but unfortunately, USA society has been brainwashed into accepting this as the norm. This is the issue. Art education in colleges is ridiculously expensive. Many great artists end bachelor degrees with such a financial burden in the form of student loan debt that they are at the mercy of employers from the get-go. To that, add that many think art is a hobby and not a career. Which is insane when you realized that all, absolutely all is done by some sort of artist. Vehicles? Industrial Designers. Buildings? Architects and Civil Engineers (yes, they are artists!). Clothing? Fashion Designers. The list is huge.
But mostly, communications. Everything you see, and is used for marketing is art based. How can such a vast number of art based industries be disconnected from the professional status is beyond this post. But that background is meant to explain the following.
An animation studio is a place where a very diverse group of artists are united into a common goal, usually a film. But it can be a TV Commercial, an explainer video for marketing, a training for employees, etc. Now, let’s concentrated in the type of animation studio I am building now. Film production studios, the big 6 (search for them, you will find them) make small and big animation studios that specialize on FX and VFX compete with each other. There are literally hundreds of animation studios competing for these 6 big film production studios’ contracts.
To clarify, we won’t get on that market!
But the studios that do participate find themselves bidding each other out of business on a regular basis. Most recently “known” casualty? BlueSky studios. But, the point is, many of these studios use animators that are just out of college or still in college and pay them sub-standard salaries to do the job. Once the job is done, and sometimes as soon as the job is “secured” they are “laid-off” which is vague way to fire without consequences.
Now those artists that spent a fortune (college) to become professional artist are in need of the first job they can find to pay back those bills.
You can see the vicious circle, right?
How are we different?
We are going to concentrated on content creation and no bidding. We will actually “bid” on TV Commercials, corporate communications, trainings and such, but not Film or any of those other “entertainment” markets. We are going to hire based on skills and art experience, not employment “references.”
The animation studio is going to be based on film production from the start. Meaning that any film you see from us, is FROM US! We made it. We wrote it. We staffed it. All else, like the Ethernet cables I made for a client, will be more like marketing, explainers, educational and other types of video animation presentations and demonstrations.
So stay tuned. And let’s see how this adventure develops.