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.