Angel Hill's comments in the discussion box of the last post got me thinking.
(Btw, thanks to everybody for their posts. It keeps me thinking about stuff and lets me know how you guys are thinking, too.)
Here's one of the things that occurs to me all the time:
Why are you spending so much money on a degree if you're thinking so small potatoes in terms of income with the projects you take on?
I regret that the best money seems to be just in the mainstream. I wish that we had a system more like the European Market where the creators make decent money and are revered like gods. I could stand that.
That said, the realities of the system as it stands is that most of you probably won't make much money in this field UNLESS ... you help to create the change.
What is the change?
I don't know, but I see it in my head as a morphing or transformation of both the material we produce and the public's perception of it to a point that helps us earn what we really are worth for the skillset that we possess as sequential artists.
That puts the pressure on us (I know I'm not you guys' age, but I am still trying to make myself happy as a sequential arts creator, too) to create better material. Not deeper. Just better.
That's why I keep harping on how low the lowest common denominator aspect of most material that I see being created is. I had a very long discussion with a student yesterday about the validity of a zombie blood fest just for the sake of it versus a story with some characters that I give a crap about and scenarios that maybe I haven't totally seen before.
There may be a place for the zombie thrill ride of superficiality, but I think to fall to that option as your first choice (I hear all your ideas as a professor and I must say that most of you have superficial tastes at this point - as I tried to point out in my previous post, so did I at that point) is a mistake. Please shoot higher.
How do you enhance your taste and be more relevant as a creator?
Live life. Read a lot (read more than just what you're used to.) Talk to others with an open mind. Keep your options open, but give a crap about stuff. (That is - BE PASSIONATE.) Know that we all have a place here and that what we do matters - and it does influence others, so be aware of what you put out there. Study all the time. Never get lazy about your talent - it can leave you (or at the very least - deteriorate) if you let it atrophy through not pushing to get better all the time. Celebrate every accomplishment, no matter how small. Read more. Think about stuff. Think about others. Watch others. Help others.
Wow. I sound really New Age here, don't I?
Look. I'm just pushing for us all to get the most out of our lives that we can. Be part of the change, please. Go out and create stuff. Be willing to change. Be willing to grow. We never have all the answers.
Well, enough of this for now. Later, folks.
(Btw, the image above is a "tight thumbnail" that I did for the Chickasaw Adventures people for a book called JUSTICE CASE FILES. I have been brought in as a storytelling specialist for their project. They were having camera angle difficulties. This art was created digitally using the Cintiq. Interesting way to work for roughs and thumbs. Try it out some time. Take note that I allowed space for the word balloons. Do you see them in the blue line art? )