Recently I have reorganized my studio. This isn’t unusual in itself because I rearrange things roughly once a year or so to keep my space feeling fresh.
I traveled a great deal as a child and over that time got rather addicted to constantly seeing my environment change. It wasn’t till I was an adult (ish) that I actually spent more than 6 months in the same place. So now, when I feel the need to make a change I usually just reconfigure my studio but, this time it was a little different.
About 7-8 months ago I started taking up woodworking, specifically woodturning, and acquired an inexpensive lathe. I really dove quite deep into the activity which is also nothing new as anyone with ADHD knows… we tend to hyper-focus on things that interest us.
That’s what I did… I was learning how to do something new and I was enjoying it immensely. One could say to the exclusion of my other interests which isn’t really an issue if it happens at the right time of the year, which it did. But, as I often do, I began to examine my underlying motivations. This didn’t feel like my typical hyper-focus deep dive, it felt… different.
Eventually I came to the conclusion that my interest in woodworking was genuine but was alluding to a deeper need. As it is with environment, I was looking for a change. Not a change that would lead me away from the artistic path and drawing but something that would inspire some sort of growth in me. A change of mind, so to speak. I had/have no aspirations to become a professional woodworker but I am the type to spend a great deal of time learning how to make things I can relatively easily acquire elsewhere. I like making my own tools. And as you may know from some of my previous posts I like rebuilding tools to better suit my specific needs.
This is true of my pencil sharpeners, extenders, easels etc.
And also my environment. Now back to the studio.
I really gutted my space and restructured it with the idea of giving myself more openness in my room. So that’s what I did. It took about a week and at the end I had what basically felt like a new studio. So, as I had with the woodworking I asked myself why I needed this to happen and it dawned on me that I felt a bigger change was coming. I didn’t know what it was yet but I could feel it bearing down on me not in an ominous way but certainly in a mysterious way.
Roughly two weeks later…
I received an email out of the blue from a recruiter titled “Going out on a limb” asking me if I’d be up for a call. I’m typically very, ah, hermetic by nature so it was kinda strange that after much deliberation I decided to take the call and find out what this was all about. But strange behavior seemed to be my norm recently so it proceeded.
As it turned out she was a recruiter for a game company and as luck (and fate?) would have it I had just, one week prior, stated to whomever was listening “Wouldn’t it be cool to work with a game company on a game and doing the kind of work I like to do for myself. That would be pretty cool I think”.
So after this initial call, which went better than I could have predicted, the recruiter set up an interview with the leads of this new project. I thought to myself “Hmph. More calls and google meetings (meaning video calls) at that”. I have never been one to be terribly comfortable making video conference calls. Only this time all my normal tension at such things was absent. I don’t know why, maybe it’s because of living the last few years in relative pandemic/endemic isolation and distancing but suddenly conference calls seemed like fun. They were fun and to be frank, if they weren’t I don’t know how I would have made it through the next week. The second meeting went so well I was asked to meet the rest of the people associated with the particular title that I was to/ might be working on. I had roughly 6-7 hours of various conference calls over that week and my feelings about the interactions were consistently great. I met a lot of people and talked about a little bit of everything.
The next week…
I was called by the recruiter and given a job offer. I won’t go into specifics but it was roughly what I generally make through my own work, film concept and illustration. After talking with Vicki, who was surprised as I was that I was interested in making such a turn (surprising, but not entirely off brand for me), it didn’t take long for me to accept the job offer. So, now I’ve been drawing for them for about 2 months and according to the numbers in my daily scan folder I’ve produced about 300 drawings of various degrees of finish (plus quite a few digital sketches).
It has been increasingly fun. I’m working fully remote as the whole company is remote. They do have an office in California but only about 10-15% of the company opts to go in to work. To be honest, I really had no idea what to expect as my only reference was having done work for a mobile game company.
I guess the reason why I’m posting about this is that I think it’s worth noting that there are so many ways to be an artist in the world today that sometimes, some people get very entrenched in being a very specific type of artist. If that’s your nature that’s great but if you’re like me, who will likely still be figuring this stuff out even if I could somehow live to be 200 yrs old, maybe it’s a good thing to occasionally make a left or right turn to see what you find out about yourself.
I’ve discovered that I really enjoy collaborating with other artists and working on a joint project. Not unlike working on location for a film with a group of artists sequestered in a room laughing and working and talking. I feel like I’d grown into a certain pace of creating for myself that, for me, was rather, shall we say, relaxed. And there’s nothing wrong with that but it is good to know that I’m capable of working at different speeds and in different ways than I’m used to. It’s all growth in the end and…
Now I have good insurance 😉