Episode 385 – Fighting the Seeds of Doubt


Episode 385 – Fighting the Seeds of Doubt

We all have doubts if we’re on the right path. Being an artist requires a lot of patience, perseverance and skill. In addition, we have to continue learning and innovating. 

There is this inner voice that asks, “Am I investing my time into something that’s going to pay off?” It weighs on you. It doesn’t help when we have people around us, telling us to give up. There is so much negativity on the internet – and on social media – as well, and it’s hard to weed out that noise. Everyone is opinionated and not everyone knows what they’re talking about. It makes us double guess our path and sometimes even give up!

It’s tough to keep going when you’re alone. The best thing is to find our circle: A group of people excited about our one thing. If you’re an artist, you need to have people who support you and lift you up. You have to find your community. There is a concept of something called “monk mode”: It’s about eliminating the noise and getting focused. Get focused and surround yourself with people who help you rise up.

When it comes to VFX, there is no shortage of work out there – especially right now! But the negative people are the loudest. Before we lived in a permission based economy. Now, we are all connected and there is so much opportunity to do what we want to do! 

If there is something you want to do – go after it. There is no excuse to not get paid to be an artist. Art and design is everywhere. Everywhere we look, there is a need for artists. It’s just about lining up your skills with the right job. How do you do that? Through your portfolio / reel and your brand. That’s where social media is a great space: It allows you to show your work. 

In this Podcast, Allan McKay talks about the need for a community that supports and uplifts you as an artist; why it’s important to shut out the negativity of the internet and social media – and instead use it to promote your brand and gain exposure; and why right now – is the BEST TIME to be an artist!



Hi, everyone! 

This is Allan McKay. Welcome to Episode 385! 

This is a solo Episode I’ve been wanting to do for artists who’ve thought about giving up on their career. I hope this comes on time, for some of you. I also want to share some stories from my career.

I talk about:

  • The faith and patience that it takes to be an artist;
  • The need to constantly innovate;
  • The importance of having a community that supports you in your dreams;
  • How to weed out the negative noise of the internet and social media;
  • How to get into your “monk mode” – and to stay hyper-focused;
  • Why right now – is the best time to be a VFX artist;
  • And why building your brand will lead you to the right opportunities! 

Feel free to reach out to me and let me know if this resonates with you.

Let’s dive in!



[01:18]  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!

[15:03] 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!


Okay, what did you think? I hope you got a lot from this Episode.

Next week, I’ll be back with bestselling author Chris Bailey. I’ve had Chris on the Podcast before: www.allanmckay.com/157.

Until then –

Rock on!


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