The blog of a person....yeah that sounds good.

Saturday, January 02, 2016

I am no Borb.

Well 2015 has come to an end. I won't lie it was pretty awful. Possibly the worst year I've spent on this earth. An unending series of failures and great losses in my life savings. Almost all the animators I know now no longer animate because theres no money in it. And what few I know who still do are either now too important to speak to a lowly dredge such as myself, or are miserable in the career paths they have chosen and wish to get out as quick as possible. And I'm going to be joining them soon.

2015 ended with an interesting surprise. The creators of Studio Yotta and Newgrounds appear to be in some sort of cahoots. One of them recently contacted me, trying to offer me a deal so I can keep making animation. I don't like and certainly don't trust either of them anymore, which should be obvious to anyone who talks to me on a regular basis. That said, assuming I can't find work soon, I'm going to be unable to tell either of these two NO when the time comes to give them a definite answer.

But it's just been a terrible year in general. The only freelance I've gotten in the last few months is because my friend Avid Lebon cares enough about me to pretend she needs me on some projects that she could easily do entirely herself. She is a lifesaver, in many ways. And Lord knows she needs the money as badly as I do. Sadly I've been having to animate with a mouse again, due to my animation laptop finally refusing to work the way it should. I've animated the last 2 films I've done for Weebl entirely with a mouse. It has been agonizing but I've managed.

My father's pet parrot, an African Grey named Rosa, has fallen ill. With what I don't know for certain. One day she was fine, the next she was slumped over, and refused to use one of her legs for anything, preferring to stand perfectly still on one corner of her cage on only one foot. Rosa is older than I am. She is roughly 31 or 32 years of age, pretty old for a parrot. I've known her my entire life. To say her condition has been concerning me would be a vast understatement. This bird has been like a sibling to me. My father took her to the vet who claims that Rosa has arthritis. I find it odd that arthritis would suddenly pop up out of nowhere like this.

Simultaneously, searching for parrot foot problems on the internet brings up some absolutely horrific tales of parrot violence, parrot death, and wrongful veterinarians. Including a lovely story about a poor young lady who was informed her pet cockatiel merely had some gout on his foot. Three days after this the bird keeled over, never to rise again. I won't lie, these stories have been bouncing around my head, adding even more to the oppressive atmosphere of thoughts as this year comes to a close.

As this year hops into the shallow grave it belongs in, I have made in total roughly a sum of 1500 dollars. For an entire year. Most which has gone to paying loans and living expenses. Things are bad. Things have never been worse. I have applied at every place available to me both offline and online, desperately scraping for anything. My gmail address book has over 3000 entries that start with 'jobs@' on them. Nothing has turned up. Nothing has worked.

Why I was even informed charging a mere 50 dollars for a completed piece of fully painted art was TOO MUCH. And I was told this by a professional large company that sell products all over the world in highbrow liquor stores. Meanwhile every time I walk into Walmart and I see that poster. That Minecraft poster I made for Notch and the rest of the Mojang crew. What a fool I was. That poster is sold in every Walmart in the USA. It has adorned shirts, walls, even several Xbox cases. I have never seen a dime of that. Which is fine, I got roughly 500 for it when I made it for Mojang, some 4 or so years ago. But I was a fool. I should have asked for a percent. I should have found a way to advertise my website on it. I should have done something, ANYTHING, to make sure when people look at that piece, they know who its from.

But nobody does. Worst of all, after completing the piece the developers seemed to like it so much, they even said they'd get back to me, possibly wanting more pieces. And they never did. In fact instead they hired other artists to produce work in a similar vein to it.

I am a stupid, stupid man. I have fucked up every opportunity to succeed I have been given. I have spent my entire career allowing people to take advantage of my brief moments of trust and optimism. And now I have nothing to show for it. A demo reel that has never convinced a soul to hire me, and a portfolio that has impressed no one. And truly no year has proven this with more compounded ability than that of 2015. For some time my checking account has -723 dollars in it. Yes that is negative. That is not accounting for the student loans I have yet to pay. That is what working hard earns you. That is what art college earns you. That is what animation earns you. Looks of scorn from bank employees and letters from the government. Waiting for holidays in the hopes of undoing the damage with gifts of money given by family members.

2015, yes indeed, the year my luck finally ran out. The year that everything I built and worked for finally toppled over. There's a kind of majesty in the failure of it all. In the things I've had to do lately to wrench myself out of this debt.

And now I start 2016, fresh and anew and ready to indulge in more horrors. Ready to give even more of my time to Newgrounds and Yotta, places that have more faces than a shapeshifter. Places that have removed me and are now here again, offering me things I want, long long after I needed those things. Long long after I already paid dearly for not having those things, those people, around when I needed them.

The damage long done, now I sit wondering just how much worse can 2016 actually be? Can it be worse? I lost everything but my life in 2015. My passion, my savings, my equipment, and even my heroes are struggling to make it. People who should have the online world in the palm of their hands, struggling to make ends meet. This rickety boat made of time and work finally shuddering under the combined weight of failures and sinking into the turgid depths of 2015. How much deeper can this sea go? Outside of dying I don't think anything worse could really happen for 2016. But perhaps that opportunity will come regardless.

Whatever fates or deities control this cosmos, if such things are real, are clearly not through yet. We have another year of hell to muscle through. Another year of apathy, poverty, murder and death that we as a proud nation can gleefully slough into as we continue to tell ourselves in hushed tones "things will get better. as long as i work hard and believe in myself, things will get better!" as our worlds collapse around us and we are forgotten by the very people we trust and put our faiths in and continue to spew false positive horseshit to ourselves so we can pretend to have something to look forward to.

Left to rot until we're needed. Discarded until its convenient to be on beck and call again. Like toilet paper. And animation is the dribbling shit. And the internet is the pale butt. I'm ready to get wiping for 2016.

You know I think it's possible there may still be some people out there who discover my work. Ones who aren't tracking bots anyway. And maybe a few of them have felt inspired by my work to join this industry and carve their own happy little niche, smugly hoping the world will appreciate it if they sweat and toil enough.

It won't. I am telling you this now. If you somehow happened across this blog, hoping to be inspired by a wretched internet animator, then hear me now and TAKE HEED. Get out of this business. There is no money to be made here. There is no future in this. A very small lucky few make it and the rest are trashed, and forgotten. Don't make my mistake. Don't think this will be a stepping stone to a brighter or better future eventually. That is a lie those with money will tell you to keep you making stuff and not being rewarded for it. You enter this world and chances are you are going to wind up just like me. Here forever until you finally work up the balls to end it and walk away and never return.

There's nothing rewarding to be found here. There's nothing good. There's almost no good people and there's very nearly no good companies. Nobody needs you. Nobody wants you or your services. It does not matter what skill level you operate at. It does not matter what software you know. All that matters is that by some astronomical gamble you happened to be at the right place at the right time. Is that a bet you are willing to take? Is that a chance you really want to fuck around with? If so then yes, freelance art, animation, and graphic design on the internet will be perfect for you.

Enjoy it, chump. And have a very happy 2016.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hey Zekey. You can make some money on the side animating on Twitch. If you manage to get a crowd you can offer private tuition for a small fee.

Why not try alternative methods instead of the direct animate > cash.

Tutoring, selling lesson videos of Flash etc. on Steam etc.