Uncertainty. It Can Challenge You, But Don’t Let it Break You.
” Ambiguity. Uncertainty. Volatility. They’re part of the free agent life. Projects collapse. Money evaporates. Customers go wiggy. Get over it. That’s the way it works.” - Daniel Pink
Yes, an artists life is not for the weak at heart. In fact it’s all heart where you find the strength. But I’d much rather choose an adventure in this life over sedentary predictability.
Since the age of 20, I’ve been an independent. But independence means flowing with the current. Accepting change where none was planned. Knowing that the plug could be pulled at any time. Not always by clients. Could be by changing tastes. Trends in commerce. Whats selling. How art is being distributed. Media changes. Even when I had Rocko and Lazlo, they were still owned by a conglomerate who could pull the plug at any time. It wasn’t in my plans when Lazlo got cancelled. In fact, it messed me up good. But that was my poor planning. Cartoon Network is running a business. There were many factors that went into that decision that are too numerous to mention here.
The fact is: We move on. I have a screenwriter friend who plans on it taking 10 pitches or meetings to get a bite on something. That’s not “selling” something. That’s a bite. He says it helps manage his expectations when he thinks that way. There is always something around the bend. Around the corner.And he’s a happy writer with a million kids.
And change that we fight, can sometimes prove our saving. Or opening you up for a new opportunity. It’s happened to me too many times to discount it. As Mick says, “You can’t always get what you want, but you get what you need.” In the fall of 1989, my grandfather , who was my mentor, died. The earthquake hit my house ( the bay area quake) and the SF Giants lost the world series in 4 games. ( Ok the Giants losing was not high on the list). But as a result of the earthquake, 5 large lucrative illustration and design jobs I had lined up, all cancelled or postponed. I didn’t know how I was going to pay my bills in the next months. After moping for a day, I decided to focus on the film I had been working on about a brain dead dog. I forgot all about my troubles, and really enjoyed myself. That film turned out to be “My Dog Zero” which led to “Rocko” and a new direction in animation.
Sometimes we have to let go of the life we planned to make room for the life that is waiting for us.
I don’t feel like sitting in the shire. I like the adventure.