Episode 387 – Stop Sabotaging Your Career!


Episode 387 – Stop Sabotaging Your Career! 

Perfectionism holds artists back. It gets the best of us, both junior and senior artists like. It’s part of the inability to manage ourselves. 

It also ends up costing more: You’re spending so much time on the project, you burn through the budget. You end up paying the client for the privilege of working on their project.

There is a famous quote from Leonardo da Vinci, “Art is never finished, only abandoned.” But if you’re creating art as a business, you need to know when enough is enough. You’re the one who has to give yourself the constraints. Your goal is to create the best work within those constraints.

All of this can be avoided if you:

  • Track your time; and
  • Have a clear target of what you aim to deliver. 

Failure is also part of the process. It helps you identify the dead ends in the process and to avoid them. But the ego sometimes gets in the way and forces you to avoid admitting defeat. In addition, if you do your art every day – like Goro Fujita or Beeple (see links below) – you can see your progress. What gets measured – gets managed!

Speaking as a Studio Owner and VFX Supervisor, Allan McKay tackles the subject of perfectionism: how it sabotages artists’ careers, how to defeat perfectionism – with self-established constraints, clear communication and having a clear vision of the process ahead – and how to identify and avoid self-sabotage.


Allan McKay Podcast with Beeple: www.allanmckay.com/285

Allan McKay Podcast with Goro Fujita: www.allanmckay.com/180

Allan McKay Podcast with Goro Fujita: www.allanmckay.com/177



Hi, everyone! 

This is Allan McKay. Welcome to Episode 387! 

I want to talk about a topic of perfectionism, a subject a lot of us need to hear. I’m excited about this Episode. I want to talk about:

  • Perfectionism as self-sabotage; 
  • Why perfectionism costs you more;
  • You’re the one who sets constraints on your work;
  • How to defeat perfectionism;
  • Parkinson’s Law – and how to make it work in your favor;
  • Why communication is your best tool;
  • How to have the entire process in place;
  • The concept of “racing to comp”;
  • Prioritizing according to your artistic integrity;
  • Welcoming failure early on;
  • What gets measured – gets managed!
  • The concept of CBB: Could Be Better;
  • How to not sabotage your project – and to not let anyone do it!

Please take a moment to share this Episode with others. I’m excited to get into this Episode, so –

Let’s dive in!



[01:11]  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!

[30:43] 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’m interviewing Brendan Kane, an entrepreneur and bestselling author of ONE MILLION FOLLOWERS: HOW I BUILD A MASSIVE SOCIAL FOLLOWING IN 30 DAYS. He talks about how he was able to build a following many, many times. That’s the formula that he shares in his bestseller. 

Thank you for listening and for showing your support for this Podcast!

Until next week –

Rock on!


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