4.18.2009

Update: In Retrospect


I apologize for not updating for awhile. After two months of unemployment, I started working again and it has been extremely busy. However, I would like to share my personal experiences of my walk in art and maybe it can help some of you out there who are going through the same thing at this tough economic time.


My journey as an artist is still very short and I still don't consider myself quite "there" yet. My art career started at Insomniac in 2003 and my experience there was great. But after 5 years, I left to look for something different and most importantly to expand my growth as a concept designer. It was a difficult decision leaving a great place, but it was a necessary one in order to grow. In September 2008, an opportunity came from Imagi to work on Gatchaman (G-Force). Since I was a big fan of the series, I couldn't pass up the opportunity. The short time I was there was amazing! I learned a lot by working with amazing artists Todd Uyeminami, Kevin Chen, Patrick Awa, and Yung-Lo Chang. This was a group of people you can come in and be content about going to work on a Monday morning. Going into 4 months, Imagi laid off the majority of the US staff and left only a small crew. I was out of a job, but I had no regrets on making that move over. Absolutely no regrets.

Two months passed since the layoff from Imagi. With the shaky economy, it seemed that alot of studios were( and still are) going through tough times which resulted in huge layoffs. The animation/film industry seemed to be affected more. During the downtime, I had some nice quality time with our daughter during the day and did small freelance jobs on the side. I also worked on some personal things which I did not have time to work on before. A few opportunities came shortly to interview and tour with some local and Bay Area studios and I met some amazing artists which I long admired since school.


However, a lot of thoughts were buzzing through my mind during the last two months. It was a very uncomfortable and scary feeling going from a busy everyday routine to having so much free time. You start to feel unproductive after some point. It also forced me to deal with what was going on in the world first hand after hearing thousands of people out of work. You never assume it can happen to you. It's ironic because I asked for a challenge and it came in a way that I least expected. Life plays you this way I find. I gained alot of perspective on things. Family and good health are more important than all the money you can make in the world. Being home gave me the opportunity to spend quality time with my daughter. She is a great baby, but it was definitely a challenge caring for her all by myself after my wife went back to work.


Despite the rough couple of months, I was really glad that things happened the way it did. Having two months off helped me reflect on life and look at things from a different perspective. As we all know, it takes a fall to stand taller. There will be a few of those ahead I'm sure.

I returned to the game industry recently. I joined the highly talented team at Naughty Dog as a concept artist under the direction of Robh Ruppel, who is a tremendous inspiration. It's a great blessing to be a part of that team. I'm currently helping to wrap up Uncharted 2. I was hoping to return to teaching at Concept Design Academy this summer, but with so many things going on now, I decided it's best to wait until things settle.

In the end, when things seems really bad, they eventually will work out one way or another if you let it. By sharing this, I hope to let people realize that we're all going through the same hard times together. Stay inspired friends and thanks again for the support on this blog throughout the years.



20 comments:

robin_chyo said...

nice inspiring read, brian! love your work and best of luck with your new gig and your family :]

m3ng said...

Brian,

Thanks for your insights. You're definitely talented, and Robh would be amazing to work for!

Johan Derycke said...

I've only recently discovered your work and I must say I'm glad that I did. Just like there are artists that are an inspiration to you, you inspire others. Your willingness to be open about your recent private situation is greatly appreciated.
I love reading such "stories" like yours because it's sort of a confirmation to me that when I keep setting my priorities and working towards my longterm goals, I will most likely succeed at some point.
Thanks for sharing your experiences and I hope to see more of your work soon!

Stuart Kim said...

Well said bro. I'm glad you are settling back into the workforce! I hope to see your work from Uncharted 2 when it's approved to do so.

Mark Taihei said...

hey brian.
sounds like you had a lot of life changing experiences at once. i was talking to angela and how we are glad you were our first environment teacher, both you and darren taught us so many important things that we still practice for each environment we do. but ya, best of luck to you and your family. hopefully we will be seeing you around again.

Gavin said...

Hi Brian,

It's really inspiring to hear some of your turn of events, not to mention that you've recently joined up with the Naughty Dog guys :) I often look back at the first Uncharted unlockables for incredible jungle concepts. I can't wait to see what you and the rest of the Naughty Dog guys come out with!

Best wishes to everything going on for you :)

Jason Scheier said...

adversity has affected us all on a universal level. your words reign true over the current situation. keep inspiring everyone around u, and i appreciate your wisdom for the future to come. -jason

echoform said...

thank you for this unique post. i hope you get all the artistic growth you desire at your new job.

Kevin said...

Hey Brian, it was great seeing you at the art show. Again congrats on the job and yes I agree we are all on the same boat one way or the other here. Hope and inspiration is definitely whats keeping me afloat.

Patrick Awa said...

Hey Brian,

It was a pleasure and exciting experience working with you at Imagi on Gatchman. It was a shame that things were not going as well as we hoped, but I believe things happen with reasons so we are supposed to draw some rewards at some point for what we came up together.
Hope you are well. I know I still haven't return your Resistance 2.

Tyler Endicott said...

Great post, I can relate with what you're saying there alot. It's definitely nerve wracking, grats on the job and thanks for speaking during James environment class.

Charles Lee said...

Hi Brian...congrats on Naughty dog. I totally feelya. My company had hard time for last couple months. We're getting better though. And I had almost a year of unemployment before beacuse of my status. But all those time only made me stronger and gave me a chance to be a better artist. Most importantly,I thank God for everything he taught me through hardships.^^ It was really touching reading your stories,Brian. You're such a blessed man~^^

cdeboda said...

Good read, Brian. Thanks for posting it.

Brian Yam said...

Thanks for sharing my experience with me.

Charles- yes, God has saved my butt many times also and I credit Him for everything I have in my life.

Ang said...

Brian! thank you for posting this. It was really helpful and motivating.

I hope you keep pushing your limits! I remember the recent posts! They always helped me a lot and I will never forget the things you taught me! Hope to see more awesome work from you!!! Talk to you soon! And btw, Alison is SUPER CUTE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Alfredo said...

I am glad things worked out for the better at the end Brian, not only job wise.. but for all the other good things that it allowed you to do.
I remember I was worry when i first starting reading the news about Imagi, as I knew you just started there.. but glad to hear you had a great time there and didn't regret the move.

Thanks for the post.. it is inspiring for me too!

Best wishes and I am glad to read that you are working for another Great Company!
cheers

Alfredo

Vaughan Ling said...

Thanks for sharing with us, and good luck at naughty dog!

Tony Mora said...

Wow man. I wish I could be more open about stuff like this. But its true about family, your health and friends are the best things when the rough patches hit.

Eugene Wu said...

I really liked this post. I thought it was very insightful and really paints a picture of the man behind the images. Thanks for sharing.

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