Episode 215 — Better Student Experiences


Episode 215 — Better Student Experiences

Hi, everyone! This is Allan McKay. Welcome to Episode 215! We’re going to be talking about setting yourself up for success in courses: How to get the most out of your studies. This is a round table with Mitch Bowler of Pencil Kings and Evolve and Sergio Paez, Storyboard Designer and Founder of Storyboard Art. Sergio has also worked for Lucasfilm.

Both Mitch and Sergio have been on the Podcast before (www.allanmckay.com/189). This time around, we talk about the better student experience. We all teach online courses. I’ve mentored tens of thousands of students. The three of us talk about this a lot: How to get messages to land with certain people who may be struggling. I think this will be valuable for all of us.

Let’s dive in!


[00:45] Have you ever sent in your reel and wondered why you didn’t get the callback or what the reason was you didn’t get the job? Over the past 20 years of working for studios like ILM, Blur Studio, Ubisoft, I’ve built hundreds of teams and hired hundreds of artists — and reviewed thousands of reels! That’s why I decided to write The Ultimate Demo Reel Guide from the perspective of someone who actually does the hiring. You can get this book for free right now at www.allanmckay.com/myreel!

[03:27] I have a new VFX Training Course on City Destruction. If you want to access this free training, visit www.VFXCourse.com. This is a massive Course and you can download all the assets!

[1:25:27] One of the biggest problems we face as artists is figuring out how much we’re worth. I’ve put together a website. Check it out: www.VFXRates.com! This is a chance for you to put in your level of experience, your discipline, your location — and it will give you an accurate idea what you and everyone else in your discipline should be charging. Check it out: www.VFXRates.com!


Sergio Paez is a Director and Story Designer who got his start working at companies such as Pixar, Lucasfilm, and Sony. He is also a founding member of Storyboard Art, an online visual story community, with both a content creation and educational focus to further techniques in visual storytelling. In 2012, Sergio authored the book Professional Storyboarding: Rules of Thumb which has become the go-to reference for story artists looking to enter the entertainment business.

Mitch Bowler is the Founder of Pencil Kings and Evolve, an online community that provides world class art education for artists, whether they’re trying to get back into art or are working professionals. Founded in 2010, Pencil Kings has established a library of courses on illustration, comics, digital media, entertainment art.

In this Podcast, Allan, Sergio and Mitch do a live stream about the mindset of successful artists and give tips on how to overcome challenges and resistances in your learning and evolution.

Sergio Paez on IMDb: https://www.imdb.com/name/nm2876339/
Storyboard Art: https://storyboardart.org/
Professional Storyboarding: Rules of Thumb by Sergio Paez: https://www.amazon.com/Professional-Storyboarding-Rules-Sergio-Paez/dp/0240817702
Mitch Bowler on Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/user5523877
Pencil Kings: https://www.pencilkings.com/
Evolve Artist: https://evolveartist.com/


[04:01] Allan: We’re just going to do a Live Stream for fun with Mitch Bowler and Sergio Paez. I thought it would be fun! We are all working in this creative industry and I thought it would be fun to share the mindset and internal battles that we have. We all have those demons we have to fight along the way. I thought this would be a great chance for us to align us all for the best result. I think that not only do we teach course, but we tend to spend a lot on training. We can really sympathize with everyone else going through courses. Do you, guys, want to quickly introduce yourselves?

Mitch: Sure! My name is Mitch Bowler. I worked in VFX and video games. In the last 8 years, I’ve been helping artists find their footing, working exclusively online. My websites are: www.pencilkings.com and www.evolveartist.com.

[01:40] Allan: Awesome! What about you, Story Artist?

Sergio: I’m Sergio Paez. I’m a Story Artist. I’m worked at Pixar and Lucasfilm, most recently. I also run an online training platform called www.StoryBoardArt.org. Our mutual relationship here is that we all got into this educational realm, trying to help people. The cool thing is I’ve seen really awesome growth in our students. Seeing the path and the growth (I’ve known some of these guys from 10 years ago) — that’s really cool to see!

[06:28] Allan: I’m going to introduce myself; I’m Allan McKay. I work in visual effects. I’ve worked at some of the same places as these guys, as well. I’ve got a Mentorship [that I teach] as well. Why did you, guys, start your courses? I think there are certain types of people who want to build their brand and get their name out there by building courses. Then, there are those who want to help others. I know what your reasons behind teaching are. How did you get into it?

Mitch: For me, it was a new challenge. I’d worked in video games. I did that for long enough and thought about what the next thing to do would be. I wanted more control over my life. It was about making that change. Also, it was really fun working with people and different artists.

Sergio: I started this because the road to my own personal career was really hard. It was a really pain in the ass to learn anything. I hung onto any nugget of information anyone would give me, any mentor or Supervisor! Anytime anyone tried to help me get where I wanted to be — I was all ears! I was a really good student. It was hard to find this information. When I started training other people, I knew how hard it was. I didn’t expect to get into online training. When we first started out, I was focused on people in the studio. And then I had to figure out how to do it online. It’s the education part that I’m really excited about. It’s fun to see people get good at what they’re doing.

[09:30] Allan: For me, in the 90s, no one had figured out how to do 3D. I was just talking about this in a Live Stream recently, how I was talking to a girl about how difficult clouds were difficult to make in 3D (www.allanmckay.com/211). I’m sure I didn’t score any points in the romance department. That was just it! A lot of the effects haven’t been figured out yet. For me, it was a journey to figure it all out. Because I spent weeks doing it, I would shared it with others so they wouldn’t go through such painstaking experience. It wasn’t until later in my career that I started to meet people and talk about how they got there, I noticed how protective people were: “Why would I tell you my secrets?” I thought that was so naive! My first tutorial was in 1997.

[10:53] So for me, it was always about giving back. More recently, I’ve become very comfortable where I am in my career. It’s been easy to turn it around and help people see that success. It’s been really rewarding see my students work at places like ILM and have their careers 10X! That’s a shift for me. But it was amazing to see my students get jobs, but also to have bigger studios recognize the course I’m putting out. We all have our own demons. We think we’re alone, but when we start to meet other people, we realize we share the same story. You, guys, have different courses. Can you describe the type of courses that you do?

Mitch: For me, it’s all over the place: drawing digital painting. And oil painting.

Sergio: Our website focuses specifically on visual storytelling. It focuses on pre-production which is like comic style images for movies. We teach student the technical portion and the filmmaking portion.

[13:28] Allan: For me, it’s a 50/50 split. I’ve taught visual effects, explosions and fire, stuff like that. I met my wife because she was doing a 3D course and she Googled “fire tutorials”. Then she decided to move the U.S. I teach artists to embrace their career. One of the things I’m working on right now is How to Build Your Brand: how to build your following, find jobs. So I teach hard skill and soft skills.

Let’s treat this like conversation. I want this to be a chance to pull back the curtain and talk about the winds and the struggles. I want to talk about how to give our students a better experience. I do find that I’m proud that we focus on the results rather than making a quick buck. We fight the battle agains ourselves: “I’m not good enough”, “I’m not skilled enough,” etc. For you, guys, what are the most common challenges you have when you sign up for any course. I’ve gotten some emails that tell me how much the students are excited. That’s the ultimate goal: to be all in! What are the common things you find people struggling with?

Sergio: [13:08] You’re touching on a very important factor: The mindset part is so key. You have to be all in. You have to love it! If you think about anything you’ve been successful at: You were probably super passionate about it. It’s a vocation and you have to love it, otherwise it will be hard work and you’re going to give it up. It’s the same thing with people going to the gym and realizing that the first set of crunches — to get the abs they want — is really painful. You have to get into that mindset: To progress from day one and to get to be a successful artist, you have to put in the work and really enjoy that process.

Mitch: I think that’s the number one thing: People don’t give themselves enough opportunities to find the thing that they love. If people say they want to be a concept artist, but they aren’t doing any drawing — because they hate it. Have you considered sculpture? When you look at the credits at the end of any movie, they just keep rolling. All those jobs you could investigate! You may not do concept art, or whatever the thing you thought you were going to do. I don’t even know how many jobs there are out there.

Sergio: There is enough for everybody!

Mitch: That’s why I love what you, Sergio, do: Storyboarding is so accessible; and you’re right there, in the action! And you get to influence what the movie looks like. You get to touch the movie. I think it’s about finding that thing that you love — and it may take 5 or 6 tries to get it.

[19:44] Allan: I always talk about total immersion. If I’m doing something (like going to the gym), in that time, I’m listening to a podcast or reading something. The times when I’ve been in the best shape of my life it was because I was doing it from every single angle. You need to immerse yourself fully: you need to live and breathe it. If you don’t give a shit, you’re going to taper off. If you’re going to work every day, if you’re going home and working on your art instead — it’s a sign that you aren’t getting that release, that passion at work. What would it be like to have that fulfillment in your job?

Sergio: We touched on habits, which is really important topic. For people getting excited from getting into a new course, or going to a new school, or [working on] a new project, they don’t know what to expect; what to do when they get there. What I try to instill in my students is a bit of positivity and encouragement because I know how hard it is. One of the habits I wanted to point out is having a positive outlook on where you want to be and sticking to it, when it’s hard.

Mitch: I was a student in a painting program. I was a digital artist. I had to keep reminding myself that I’m a student and it’s okay to mess up. It’s not my job to do everything. [22:23] It’s my job to show up and do the work and not beat myself up in the process; to take feedback and get better. That’s it! That’s the agreement between the teacher and the student. It’s the responsibility of a teacher to get results. It’s the responsibility of a student to show up with a good attitude.

Sergio: I like this quote by Robert Henry who was a famous portrait painter: “You can be a good student in any school. But no school can teach you to be a good student.” [23:00] It’s the idea that you have to take it upon yourself to learn, along with finding quality instructors who are going to push you. There is a certain responsibility and ownership you have to take over your own outcome. No one is going to gift this to you and all of sudden, DING!, you’re a magical artist and people are going to pay you money to work on their movies. You have to earn that.

[23:34] Allan: I know, it’s like Kung Fu! Last week, we were closing down the Mentorship. One person emailed me saying, “I cannot join your course. But by the way, here is my Kickstarter Campaign. I’m trying to pay off my college tuition. Can you please give me money?” And this is someone from the U.S.! A lot of us go and do these courses thinking that you go to a university to learn. Story boarding and traditional art may still have a few reasons for which you should do that. There’s more history behind it. But the benefit of getting an online course, you’re most likely studying with people a college cannot afford to pay. You get access to people who are working in the industry now. On top of that, colleges cannot get industry people because they cannot afford it. The people teaching there will be teaching old curriculum.

The only reason I see value in going to college is the accountability factor. If you don’t show up, you might get kicked out. Because of that, some people might need that. With online courses, you can think, “I’ll log in later. There is Call of Duty to be played!” When you are stuck paying off 100K in student loans, it’s nuts! It’s prolonging them from starting in the first place. You could already be working now, instead of waiting for a piece of paper that no one is going to look at anyway.

Mitch: [26:21] I think that’s a big thing. The reason I worked in the industry is because I loved it. People who are excelling, that’s what they’re doing. They’re pushing and pushing themselves. As a student, if you aren’t loving it, you’re in a dicey territory. The competition is going to eat you alive. And even if you know someone who can get you in, you aren’t going to last that long.

Sergio: The price for value in formal education is so out of whack. The options are way more than what we had. I did go to a traditional art school. I came out of there with $80K in debt. I paid that off over 10 years. And it’s nothing in comparison to some of the places now. It’s up to the students to learn. I tell people, “You’re going to drop a 100K on this thing — you better be awesome!” You better get your money’s worth. I’ve seen some portfolios and they suck and these people can’t get a job. I think there is some way that the schools are dropping the ball as well. I think education lacks a bit. Let’s take it back to what we’re talking about. I think the idea is to promote students so they can succeed no matter what. Now you can do formal education, or online courses. But the idea is: What’s the end result? I always mention that it’s a marathon not a sprint. If you want to be Bruce Lee, you’ve got to put in the hours everyday. But Bruce Lee loved it! So that’s what you’ve got to do!

[29:14] Allan: Yeah! Touching on both those things: [29:19] My goals isn’t: “Here, I’m going to teach you some stuff?” My goals is, “I want you to get a job.” I get to say, “So-and-so just got a job at Weta.” Every Live Review that we do these days [in my Courses], it’s pretty much, like, “Can I show off your work?” And that’s awesome! I’m so excited about what we’re doing, I want others to see that. I get an email every two weeks about a person getting a job. Two weeks ago, I got an email, “Allan, I told you a year ago, my dream job would be at Scanline. And here I am, packing my boxes — to go work at Scanline!” I have students who also want to work at ILM in 3 months. It’s good to have a goal.

If you have a lot of resistance in the beginning, part of it is about forming that habit. There are times I get stuck managing shows. You have to kick your own ass. That’s the philosophy I practice in my courses: It’s on you to show up. If you come in with a mindset of not giving it all you’ve got, you aren’t going to get everything you want from it. I’m so excited for this year’s Mentorship! I [gave] people a welcome survey. One of the questions was, “On a scale of 1 to 10, how successful are you determined to be in this course?” I mentioned this to my wife. What would she say? 10! But there was one person who put down 4. I really wanted to reach out to that person this weekend…

Mitch: Allan, I think it’s legit! There is a lot of mind games going on.

[33:30] Allan: We’ve got a couple of 8’s. Which means people were being safe, self-conscious, and that’s fine!

Mitch: I’ve come across this a couple of times and I’ve learned to spot it: You’re discouraged against art by your parents, friends or classmates and that thought gets locked in your brain. I understand the psychology of this. You hold onto that for your entire life and fight against this. I’m always fighting against that invisible course. This lock is going to sabotage everything you do. Your brain has been coded with this stuff. Even if you’re successful, you’re going to feel like a failure (even if your teachers are telling you, “You’re doing amazing!” I’ve seen it and it’s legit.

Sergio: The success stories — they are possible. You can be successful at this. I know bankers who are broke. But I know visual effects artists who are highly successful and they make a living and a family. This is possible! I also have a mentorship I’m going through now, and I’m so inspired by these guys! I see their growth. I’ve seen it in a workplace as well: I see people come in and they might struggle (because it’s hard to do these things). It takes time and you have to build up that discipline. And if you’re in the right environment, you suddenly start to blossom. I see guys who came from humble beginnings and they’re doing so well; and it’s so cool to see that! They come into their own, they blossom into this amazing artist. It’s because of the effort and the work that’s been done. So it’s possible so get that doubt stuff out of the way. It doesn’t help!

[36:55] Allan: How common do you find that your students have that authority to give up the art? I mention my wife who is a very successful artist (she just designed 50 Cent’s Lamborghini — which is pretty epic!). For the longest time, she had her dad telling her, “You should give up! It’s a waste of time!” Having this person who is a major influence on her life telling her to “get a real job” (she was going to join the Air Force) created that doubt (www.allanmckay.com/99). Instead of going all in, she was half in and half out. [37:48] You have to go all in. Because as amazing as being an artist is, everyone else wants to have that job too! You have to find ways to stand out. That’s why knowing business is critical. If you don’t give it everything you’ve got, you’re creating resistance for yourself!

Sergio: You’re touching on something really key here! You need that [support] network! I would almost guess that 80 percent of people who have such influences.

Mitch: Really?! You think it’s that high?

Sergio: Absolutely! From my personal experience, everyone I told I want to be an artist told me, “You’re crazy! You should study math!” Where is the backup? I was like, “Fuck that!” I wanted to do my own thing. I had supportive parents at least. They still supported me throughout my decision.

[39:04] Allan: At least, you were born in the U.S. as well. At least you aren’t Canadian, like Mitch!

Sergio: Aw. Yeah! I know a guy who went through medical school and he gave it all up and went back to an art school. And thank god! The world is better for his art! His concept art is amazing.

Mitch: What was it for you? My parents supported me too. They thought that computers meant being a programmer. There is always that element of, “I’m going to show the world that this is possible!” Was it the same for you, guys?

Sergio: Someone told me this too, there is a younger sibling syndrome. I am the youngest of two. He went for a more traditional path. I was the rebel. I wanted to do this regardless, [even if] that mean being a starving artist. I was stubborn. I am stubborn! I had enough support there and full-on stubbornness too. Which was foolish to take on so much debt after art school. When I graduated, I didn’t have a job. I didn’t know how I was going to support myself.

Mitch: But why did you go to school. I feel like for me, from high school, I followed online this character modeler. He was very against going to school. He told me to ask my parents to support me for a year while I worked my ass off. That advice was way ahead of its time!

Sergio: I wish someone had told me that!

Mitch: It was just like, “Why would I go to school?” I had books and the early internet.

Sergio: It’s almost dangerous to say, “Don’t go to school!” It doesn’t mean, “Don’t get an education!” We should clarify that. But if I had someone mentor me, I would have loved it!

[42:38] Allan: Or at least, to have that personal attention! The big frustration I’ve always had with teaching my courses was that just at the end of the 6 weeks, you see people are starting to get it. And then the course is over! What if you gave someone more attention, instead of a quick course or a DVD?

Sergio: Absolutely! I should mention, if you guys have any questions — drop them into my feed.

[43:42] Allan: I’ll just chime in about resistance. We all had that. I definitely did. I had a lot of people telling me to give up. “You’re never going to make it!” was a big one, especially for us, foreigners while the U.S. used to be the only place you could work as a VFX artist. [44:19] I think of “Ph.D” as “Pig-Headed Discipline!” Eventually, all the negativity is going to chip away at you. The more I talked about my dream of going to Hollywood and working in movies, the more negativity I would get. I would eventually just shut up and keep doing my thing. I look back at those people now. They never got anywhere. They were just projecting their fears on me.

Sergio: I don’t think family and friends are out there to stop you. It comes from a loving, protective place. But these people don’t understand. It seems much worse outside the U.S. There are countries where they look at artists as second-tier professions.

[46:17] Allan: I have to talk about this! In Australia, we have what we call a “Tall Poppy Syndrome”. You have all these poppy seeds, but if one grows too tall — you have to cut it in half. That’s the reason I can’t live in Australia anymore! I’m proud to be an Australian, but it’s gotten to a point that for the last 20 years, if I went home and said I lived in the U.S., people would say I was showing off. We want to encourage each other to stay in the gray area. That would piss me off that we encourage each other to be mediocre. That’s what I live living in the U.S. If I were to pick one of the other — beating a person up because they’re better than me or encouraging me — I would choose to support people, hands down. Culturally, we are very different. Norway, Finland tend to fall in the same category of needing to be humble. Different countries go for different mindsets. We all wrestle with it. Brazil has a really cool mindset; so does Argentina and Chile. They’re tight and proud. I’m always going to go for that! It bugs me when people hold each other back. There is so much talent out there! People complain that all the jobs go to India. Actually, jobs are going everywhere and it’s awesome. There are more and more opportunities. You can go work and live all these different countries.

Sergio: You’re talking about something I didn’t know existed until I came to this industry. There is a brotherhood in art communities. Every place I’ve gone to, the supportive nature outweighs the negativity. There are some naysayers. You actually meet people who are encouraging and are inspired by your stuff. I’ve got some tight friends in the arts and we bond because of that.


[53:00] Allan: Do you, guys, want to do some Q&A? There is a couple of questions you could chime in on, perhaps. “How do you keep motivated? Any tips or advice?” Let’s say you are on a journey and you if you could tap into the younger you. I built so many reels trying to get my first job. When we see someone else and we see that they’ve had success, it’s easy to forget all the painstaking choices one had to make on the way.

Mitch: I find this one difficult to answer. You might be one degree off from where you should be. You may be an animator but you should be a texture artist. You’re close! I’d start looking inward: Do you hate the work? Do you have bad habits that get in the way? It’s not the advice that people want to hear. But now, I just want to be honest with people. I want you to have a creative life. If you find that one degree, you won’t have a problem with motivation.

Sergio: You’re being real with people, that’s important. You’re touching on that point too. [56:35] Get curious! Everybody fails, everybody will have adversity. When you hit a wall, you have to analyze why. It’s not failure. It’s not that you’re lost. It’s an education. Use it! Figure out how to use that. There are some bad habits. Figure out what works for you and why. If it doesn’t work, you have to change.

Mitch: If your goal is to be a full-time artist or creative and you aren’t willing to put in a full-time effort, these things won’t add up. You have to be prepared to be full time. If you work on your art one hour a day, that may not get you in.

[58:37] Allan: This is the secret to being successful. It is the long game. You have to realize it’s a career and it’s not a job. You can go work at McD and learn the job. But if you want to work in visual effects, the more you’re doing it — the more you realize how little you know. The young people think they know everything.

Mitch: Yeah, at 25 I knew everything — at 35 I knew nothing! I don’t know how that works.

[59:36] Allan: [59:36] So my advice to anyone who wants to play the long game and see things through is to have laser focus on what you want. If you can’t describe what you want to the point that you can taste it, then you don’t know where you’re heading. If I say, I want to learn 3D. That’s so vague, you’re going to get overwhelmed and you’ll want to quit. But if you have an exact goal in mind, that’s the way to make it. “Twelve months from now, I want to work at MPC in Vancouver in FX.” That’s so specific! When other opportunities pop up, you get to say, “Does this align with my goal?”

The other important part is to have a way to measure your success. If you’re looking at the winds you’re getting along the way, that’s the way to do it. I started an Instagram account to see how I can grow it, for fun. It’s the worst analogy. It’s easy to be overwhelmed and give up. But if you measure your success, you can see your growth, even with each failure. You’ll start to realize that failure is part of the process. Having a supportive community of people [is important]. So is setting the laser focused goal. Your Someday Goal may be working at ILM; but for now, you can get a job at a local studio. You can look at people’s work on LinkedIn and see how you can follow the steps of the artists whose work you like. Bit by bit, you can start getting other jobs. But if you’re looking at it as, “I’m not at ILM yet!”, you’re going to self sabotage.

Sergio: Well said, man! I couldn’t agree more.

[1:05:08] Allan: We did one of these live streams before, on being a Digital Nomad (www.allanmckay.com/189). We actually do regular calls, to encourage each other. I think it’s important to have these communities, accountability partners. Because of those, you can encourage each other. When someone has an aha moment, they get to share that. As long as you have that, you won’t feel alone. I’m always going to encourage you to find those supportive accountability partners. Joseph was asking, “What’s your take on the potential of 2D animation? Is it worth the time and investment?”

Sergio: Yeah, man! 2D animation is still alive. The reason I became a Storyboard Artist is because I came from 2D animation. I actually recommend that people learn it and know the principles of traditional animation. Are you going to get a job as a 2D animator? That’s harder but there work out there.

Mitch: My two cents is to look at your local job market. As soon you can get into a studio (it’s easier to get a job locally), you can work toward that dream job. Keep track on what’s happening to 2D animation.

[1:08:51] Allan: I think it’s worth learning the concepts. It’s going to ripple through everything you’re doing. Sergio just did storyboards for a project we were just doing. It was inspiring! Everything you learn will help your composition and framing; and more importantly, to get your ideas out there quickly. There is still a huge disconnect! Being able to draw things out initially, will help you. I just talked to Lucas Ridley (www.allanmckay.com/204). Really good FX artists know animation! I want to do a Podcast on how a shitty computer could make you better as an artist. The traditional art forms are the foundations of what makes us better artists.

Sergio: So true!

[1:11:19] Allan: I guess I’ll read Cedar’s question really quick. I think that in terms of permanent positions, there is a shift from how things used to be. You used to apply for a job and not know what the job would be; but you’d have a mentor. These days, you’re expected to know the job before you come in. I’ve only had two full-time jobs all my life. My first job is one I look back at all the time. My friend was emailing studios telling them I would email them. If I didn’t have someone like him kicking my ass, I wouldn’t apply. I became so complacent in this one job, I started questioning my own skills. [1:13:51] What I teach is that you have to be just active on the business side of things as you are on the creative side. You need to be actively networking and getting drinks. You should have jobs lined up. It takes so little time to fire out emails in the morning. If you aren’t doing that, you’re missing out on the business aspect of your career.

[1:14:49] Studios don’t make as much of a profit, so they have to hire people who can deliver. You need to achieve your result. The more you do that, the more people will give you work. You have to do that because that’s what every other profession does. That’s a definite job. Video games and design still have a lot of full-time jobs. For films, it’s more on a job-to-job basis. But those projects could go for years.

Sergio: There is a fluctuation in the market place. The comfortable thing is to get a staff position and stay there as long as possible. But I agree with Allan: You have to hustle! You have to know when the time is right to move on. You can’t lock down and stay in one place for 10 years. It’s not as fun! You don’t meet as many people!

Mitch: I always subscribe to the belief that you’re hired to solve problems for people. If you work hard, show up early — just do that. Keep pushing! There is zero shortage for talented people who deliver. When you start phoning in, that’s the path that leads to disaster. It doesn’t mean you have to kill yourself. Just do you job, show up and be humble.

[1:18:46] Allan: I think that’s a good point. People who are let go never see it coming. I’m sure they did. They just didn’t pay attention. [1:19:08] Growth happens outside of your comfort zone. You want to stay outside your comfort zone, even if you have that full-time job. You need to treat art as a business. There are so many things outside of your control! Even the most successful studios close down.

I hear people saying that VFX is a young man’s game. That pisses me off! If you’re thinking you’re replaceable, it means you didn’t give a shit about your career. You never tried moving to a better role. If you’re competing for your job now, what have you been doing for 20 years? You have to do the work and manage yourself at the same time. As long as you have goals and measure them, you’ll be fine. If you notice you’re stuck, you go back to setting goals and measuring them. We’re all still learning, doing course — while we’re teaching as well. For us, we’ll always be hungry. You build your community and accountability partners. You treat your art as a business. That’s my speech!

Sergio: I love it! I couldn’t agree more!

I hope you found this Episode valuable. Please share this Episode with others. I also want to thank Sergio and Mitch for doing this Episode.

Next week, I will be back with Dan Katcher, the Father of Dragons on Game of Thrones. It was always his vision on dragon. He talks about the challenges in his career and how he got to the job that’s going to put him at the top.

Until next week —

Rock on!


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