Episode 95 – Interview with Concept Artist Nathan Fowkes
Check out www.VFXRates.com
Episode 95 — Interview with Concept Artist Nathan Fowkes
This is Allan McKay. Welcome to Episode 95! I’m really excited to be introducing Nathan Fowkes who has worked for Paramount Pictures, Walt Disney, Digital Domain, Blizzard, Blue Sky, DreamWorks, you name it! He comes from a more traditional background [and has] worked on projects like Prince of Egypt, How to Train Your Dragon, The Legend of Puss in Boots.
(The audio on my end on this Episode is occasionally glitchy. I apologize for that, but there is so much great content in here!)
Let’s dive in!
FIRST THINGS FIRST:
I. I’ve got a new website coming. I’ve been trying to build a new website for 3 years. [My main goal is] to build a home for me to be able to put content up. Right now, the only thing I post are the Episodes for my Podcast. But there is so much content, training videos that I want to include! It’s my goal for this month.
II. I’m working on a project for Game of Thrones.
III. I’m working on a really big course on:
– getting clients;
– being able to scale up your business.
It’s been in a works for a really long time.
IV. I’ll be putting up some solo Episodes that mean a lot to me — and I hope will be beneficial to you. The next Episode will be with Niels Prayer who is a really talented Motion Graphics Designer.
V. [-[1:18:38] One of the biggest problems we face as artists is figuring out how much we’re worth. Typically, we go on job interviews and either shoot ourselves in the foot by saying we charge less than we’re worth and getting the gig — but indirectly leaving tens of thousands of dollars accumulatively over time on the table; rather than asking what we should be charging. At the same time you don’t want to alienate your employer by asking for too much.
I’ve put together a website. Check it out: www.VFXRates.com! This is a chance for you to put in your information — 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 worth. This is something I’m going to continue to build and flush out over time.
The key thing is, I don’t want to just showcase how much you should be worth — I want to hand you the tools to grow and learn:
– to negotiate better,
– to ask for the right amount of money in the right way.
The information is FREE! Check it out: www.VFXRates.com! Put in your information and you will get instantly notified with how much you should be charging per hour, as a VFX Artist.
INTERVIEW WITH CONCEPT ARTIST NATHAN FOWKES
Nathan Fowkes is a Concept Artist whose film credits include How to Train Your Dragon, The Legend of Puss in Boots, The Prince of Egypt and many more. He has worked for numerous studios including DreamWorks, Paramount Feature Animation, Blue Sky, Disney, Blizzard Entertainment, Riot Games, Ubisoft and Rovio.
In addition, Nathan is a teacher of color, light and design. He currently teaches at the LA Academy of Figurative Art, the Art Center College of Design, as well as online at Schoolism.com.
In this interview, Nathan talks to Allan McKay about the history of CG animated movies, his dedication to both digital and live painting and the importance of communication in art.
Nathan Fowkes’ Website: http://www.nathanfowkesart.com
Nathan Fowkes’ YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/nfowkesart
Nathan Fowkes’ Teaching on Schoolism.com: https://www.schoolism.com/instructors.php?id=30104
Nathan Fowkes on IMDb: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm2921447/
Nathan Fowkes on ArtStation: https://www.artstation.com/nathanfowkesart
Nathan Fowkes on Twitter: @NathanFowkesArt
[-[1:17:10] Allan: I figured we’d start out with a brief introduction to who you are and some of the things you’ve worked on in the past.
Nathan: Hey, everybody out there! I’m really excited to talk here about a career in art and trying to create something the audience gets excited about. My name is Nathan Fowkes. I grew up in a small town in California, but jumped over to Los Angeles to go to an art school. I had a really great time [there], but I also got depressed. The print industry — which is what was being taught at my school, in the early 90s — was dying fast. But when the Jurassic Park came out in ’93 and that changed everything. It got people excited about movies and concept art. It was a turning point for me. And of course, the boom in animation that happened in the 90s was great timing for me! I always wanted to do something that combined believable artwork with imagination. That was my beginning.
[-[1:15:46] Allan: I love that! Everyone I talk to, it’s always Terminator II or Jurassic Park that sparked everyone. I love that now people learn this stuff in school. For a lot of us, it was a lot of luck and things lining up to discover this industry back then.
Nathan: It was such a fantastic time because the CG animated movie didn’t exist back then. And so we were lucky enough to [have] contributed to the CG animated movies. I got to be a part of it. There are always these new spin-offs these days, with new technology. Those were great times then — but, man, right now, it’s such a good time to be an artist!
[-[1:14:35] Allan: I agree. You get stuff like Avatar, or even the new tech coming it, so much is getting re-imagined. I do love that! I started out in 2D and eventually moved to 3D. I was still a kid back then. When Toy Story came out, I could explain: “This is the kind of stuff I do.” If you look at Beauty and the Beast, so much of it was done with a computer. It wasn’t technology for technology’s sake. It allowed us to do things cheaper, faster and easier.
Nathan: Yes, and I once saw a little cartoon. It had a computer with a dial with three things: cheaper, faster and dinosaur. It’s how people looked at computers. They’ve made things better and created some problems at the same time.
[-[1:12:43] Allan: When a client wants something, you have to pick two out of three. You can’t get all three.
Nathan: It was so great in the beginning, once we could learn Photoshop, we could do it faster — until the directors learned to give us more notes. New opportunities — new problems.
[-[1:11:51] Allan: You obviously have a very vast traditional background. When was the transition for you, when you’ve moved to a computer?
Nathan: It was back at DreamWorks. After I got out of art school, I started working. [I was] designing theme parks show designs. When DreamWorks came calling, it was a huge opportunity! Our first film was The Prince of Egypt. Then we did The Road to El Dorado. We started using Photoshop for little helps like: you do a hieroglyph, you paint with acrylic. We were painting everything with acrylic then scanning it in. You paint a hieroglyph and it’s repeated — that’ll take forever. But you take Photoshop, you could grab and repeat it. But then we started to get more fluent: instead of going through the process — painting a scene, scanning it in, touching it up digitally — we started painting everything in Photoshop.
I wish I could say I saw the potential of digital. I was a painter: I was used to getting that blush to move the paint, like wielding a sword! Then all of a sudden, they told us to look at a screen and move a stylus. That was my worst nightmare! I made the grave mistake of fighting it at first. I gradually came to a point: Everything you see is made out of hue, saturation and value. Everything! With digital tools, you can maneuver each one of those independently or together. And in that sense, it is a superior tool. And I’ve come to that understanding — and I’ve loved digital painting ever since!
[-[1:09:15] Allan: That’s cool! The fact that you can undo, or build layers. My fiancé is an artist, who works with a lot of acrylic. There is no step-back. There is no “Command Z” in real life.
Nathan: It gets so bad. I’ve been in conversations and had the experience where my finger flicks in a “Command Z” motion. You have the instinct that you want to take that back.
[-1:08:27] Allan: I was talking with the guys at Pixologic about Z-Brush the other day (allanmckay.com/73). They were talking about that. I haven’t experienced that personally. I’m always curious about this, especially with traditional artists. Doing The Prince of Egypt was a huge turning point for you. When was your really big break, when you went to getting consistent work?
Nathan: Well, let’s see. There have been a couple of them. The Prince of Egypt was a big break. DreamWorks wanted to be an attractive studio for artists. If you had the portfolio that had what they were looking for, they wanted to make themselves really attractive to you. At the same time, we had artists all over the world. Steven Spielberg had AmblinWorks in Europe before; and when it closed, all those artists and animators came to LA. It was this melting pot that created an amazing experience. You had to lift up your game to keep up with what they were doing. That was an extraordinary beginning!
What I considered my other big break was when I was able to carry it in my back pocket. I’ve always been a fanatic about drawing, with traditional tools: live drawing, drawing people. I kept up with it in my spare time. I did a lot of teaching in LA and tried to build up a bit of reputation. While I was at DreamWorks, Disney called [looking] for a live drawing instructor for their artists, for night classes. There was no conflict: I was [going to do] strictly live drawing. One of Disney’s campuses is straight across from DreamWorks. I accepted.
So I would work at DreamWorks, walk across the street and teach my night class. In one pocket, I had a keycard that would let me into DreamWorks at any time, day or night. And in my other pocket, I had a keycard that would let me into Disney anytime. That was extraordinary! I would finish my class and go rifle through their kitchen looking for snacks. If I didn’t like the snacks at Disney, I’d walk across the street to DreamWorks and get into their snacks. DreamWorks always had better snacks than Disney!
[-[1:01:59] Allan: I like that: You had the keys to both castles!
Nathan: To this day, I can hardly believe it.
[-[1:01:45] Allan: I always hear so many people struggling in the beginning, trying to break it. For you, was there any struggle?
Nathan: It was definitely a 2-3 steps forward / 1 step back kind of a situation. I was a kid who drew like the other kids, but just never stopped. I just couldn’t think of doing anything else.
I’ve rubbed shoulders with some big artists. They’re pretty down to earth people but they all have that look in their eyes: you cannot tell them they can’t do it. There is no possibility of doing anything else. I just kept at it, put everything I had into it, found some good work [through a friend]. That gave me some experience that got me into DreamWorks. It was a step-by-step process. At the same time, there were pretty big sacrifices. I love watching tv, but I spent the 90s not watching it because I just couldn’t focus on anything but this. But that’s what they say about sacrifice: You give up something really good in hopes of gaining something better.
[-[58:33] Allan: I like that. That’s something that it resonates with us all. You have to work hard. If you want to build a career, it takes a lot of sacrifice and dedication. My whole philosophy is — do it early in your career. You want to make the big leaps and bounds in the beginning, so you can focus on building a family later.
Nathan: You’ve just hit the nail on the head so much! In your 20s, you should go off to Europe, sure — but take your sketchbook with you! The people who can raise their hand and say, “I’m certain that this is what I want to do — and this is what I’m going to do” — they will find a way to smash through the barriers.
[-[56:31] Allan: I agree. For you, what’s your favorite project you’ve worked on so far? You’ve done so much cool stuff!
Nathan: The Prince of Egypt was the favorite project. It was so new and we were going to do something great. It was my first animation film. But I tell you, the project that was the most gratifying was How to Train Your Dragon. It was a successful movie, well received by both the critics and the audience. Anyone would’ve have been proud to take part in that. But [for me], it was for different reasons. Most people aren’t aware that How to Train Your Dragon was just a depressing, bone-crushing production. It took so many bad turns! It’s so true for VFX movies. It happened to an extreme:
– The movie is based on a book [in which] the characters are 11 years old. They hired directors who had a speciality in young adult animated movies.
– Then, the studio said, “It’s not big enough. We need to make the character 16 [years old].” The directors didn’t work out and were let go. Everything was thrown out.
– We had another director — a great guy! — he’s done some live action movies. Sadly, his wife was suffering from terminal cancer. You can’t direct a movie in that position. We were all on hold.
– The studio brought on Chris Sanders and he had a vision for it. We were pretty depressed by that point. Morale was low. Chris Sanders came on and said that the main character — the dragon — was not working! We needed to start from scratch.
We had a little bit more over a year from the release date at this point! Hiccup, the main dragon, was not the main character. The main character — for 5 years of production! — was this little shrimp of dragon who was like Hiccup. This is the reason the film wasn’t working. Just with a little over the year, they’ve redesigned the character. We’ve pulled it together.
I want to tell you what happened on opening night. It’s like when the jazz musicians say, “If you want to get up, you’ve got to get down.” I went to see the movie with friends [at] a neighborhood movie theatre. We get to the end of the movie, and there was this single second of dead silence. And I thought, “Oh, ho!” And then the audience erupted, beyond anything I’ve seen in a movie theatre. And that was another great moment in my career. I was so thrilled by the response. Because we’d gone so low and fought so hard to create something that worked — and in the end it did — that was absolutely thrilling! That was like a career making moment.
[-[51:52] Allan: That’s amazing! After all the hard work, especially on that project, to get that response. You’re usually stuck with production deadlines. It’s a business for everyone. To actually then to get reconnected with what it was meant to be from the beginning — that’s pretty amazing.
Nathan: Absolutely. Because we do get a little jaded.
[-[51:02] Allan: With the long development cycle, how do you stay focused on that? It’s brutal. The longer it goes on, the more tedious it becomes. Were people fed up with it at any points? Were there any tricks from a leadership point of view, to keep people excited about what they were doing?
Nathan: It’s not just brutal, it’s a bloodbath. I call it a bloodbath because the studio has the script and they have some ideas on where it would go; but you don’t know that until you see it. They bring on artists — writers, storyboard artists — that they think will be a good fit. And some of them are and some of them aren’t, and it’s not the artist’s fault. Some artists find the groove of it and the supervisors respond; some of them don’t. [Some people get kept on, some don’t.] “Thank you so much, we admire your work, it’s not a good fit for this project, good luck.” So that definitely happens.
Studio management has to be sensitive to bring people on and off in manageable amounts of time. Because if someone is on a project for 5 years — the longest I’ve ever heard of was 7 years — very few people can manage that. I tend to be on a project no longer than 2 years, maybe 3 at the most. In the end, it comes down to each individual artist finding their own way and finding their enthusiasm to come into work in the morning. But it’s important to remember: It becomes a day-to-day grind and step into where you were in art school or when you were 13 years old, and you say, “Those movies I found thrilling — I’m getting to do that!” And every day, you have to find that fresh attitude when you come into work.
[-[48:02] Allan: I love that! And you’re right. I forget that sometimes and I get that nostalgia for when I was 13-14 and wishing I would do that one day. Occasionally, you bring your head up and you remind yourself to not take it for granted.
Nathan: It’s true. At the same time, for me, I’m a money saver by nature. It lets you do things on your own terms. I always try to save during production and then take a sabbatical, anywhere from a few weeks to a few months, so I can go back to my live drawing. Back in those days, at least, they were kind of slow ramping up to a show. They would sign a contract. To come back fresh like that, it was the best of both worlds. I [would come back] as a better animation artist, with better traditional skills in tow.
[-[46:13] Allan: You’re right! That’s so critical. We all should be saving, because it gives you that security, it gives you that freedom. If the next thing doesn’t come along, you can get by without the stress and hustle of trying to keep afloat. By having money, you [also] have the freedom to choose the job that’s right for you. Every year, I would structure at least 3 months of vacation, spread out here and there. But 6 months would be doing work for the sake of work. During your time off, you can do your passion projects. You wouldn’t be able to do that if you didn’t have that marginal amount saved up.
Nathan: That is amazing advice and it’s absolutely true! Being able to say “no” to a project can be our passport to the next level.
[-[43:57] Allan: There is actually a book called The Power of No by James Altucher and Claudia Azula Altucher. Early in your career, the most important thing would be saying yes to things. But at a certain point, it’s a good place to be in, to say no. You can pick things that are right for you. The flip side of it all: I’ve seen so many relationships go to waste because we do work insane hours. On Superman Returns, VFX Hell forum was around and everyone could anonymously complain. It really shook the industry a lot back then. The studios were trying to figure out who was running it. Everyone was able to talk amongst each other, anonymously. There were big polls run: spouses leaving, people getting sick. There were people stealing toilet paper from the company bathrooms because people didn’t have time to do grocery shopping. Unfortunately, it’s become acceptable.
Nathan: I remember a comment one of my supervisors made that the producer didn’t appreciate so much. We were on a project that was on overtime, it went nuts. (The good news in animation we have the Union. We do get paid for that overtime.) The producer came in and asked why it was so dark in the room. And our Supervisor said, “It’s not a problem for us. It’s dark when we come in, and it’s dark when we leave; so it’s all the same.” He didn’t get a friendly response.
[-38:33] Allan: I think it’s so true, especially when you do compositing. It’s unfortunately how it is. There are two sides to it too: A lot of artists like to goof off. There’s an article I wrote a while back on Overtime vs. Productivity (https://allanmckay.goeoqov0-liquidwebsites.com/overtime-vs-productivity-pt-1/). Making artists bleed for a few more hours isn’t really worth it. You end up correcting mistakes down the road. The flip side of that some studios started changing their ethics. The underlying message was to not waste time or energy by burning out artists at the same time.
Nathan: I remember a situation at one of the studios: I love the attitude of noble heroes that artists have. But we’re [a profession], just like doctors. There was a situation where studios had horrible expectations of their artists. At the same time, I’ve seen artists create that exact situation and for the noblest of reasons. There would be a couple of artists who would want to go great work and work until [9:00] or [10:00] in the evening, even if they weren’t being asked to. Then, other artists would want to compete; and they would create this system of free overtime where it wasn’t meant to be in the first place. It was not created by the studio. We’ve got to be the heroes — bringing our vision to these projects — but we also have to have some responsibility.
[-[33:51] Allan: That’s right. Some people do love what they do and they want to prove things to somebody else. But then you have the blind leading the blind. There could be resentment toward the one artist going home. I’ve had a couple of Supervisors who worked late and then everyone would end up outdoing each other by staying later and later. Do you have any rituals to manage yourself by being on top of your time and your work?
Nathan: Speaking of hours: I’m working independently now. I’ve been at DreamWorks for 15 really great years and then broke off and incorporated myself as Nathan Fowkes Studio, which is just me. I’ve been working freelance or as an independent contractor, but full-time on films. But that’s given me the luxury to work the hours that work best for me. For long stretches, I prefer to work the other [9:00] to [5:00]. In the afternoon, I take care of emails and all the other business that I have to do. Then I start work. Then I’m able to spend time with my family. But after everyone goes to bed, that’s when work really starts. I work through the night. I’m not able to always do that. The type of work that I do, there is a muscle memory: You need peace and quiet, you don’t need an email or a phone call checking in with you; because if you have those distractions all of that time, you can’t click into place — into that flow where the work is happening. It’s an extreme measure but it’s what I’ve had to do to do my best work.
Beyond that, I keep a little journal of times when I’ve felt that I had the world at my fingertips. I read back through that and I start feeling [that] if I apply myself, maybe I can do something pretty cool. Then I get really excited. It’s my little life hack. Maybe you went to a concert and you came out feeling on top of the world — you make a note of it. You get up and you don’t feel like getting into the groove. Read that journal and a little flash of that feeling comes back. Then all of a sudden you start getting into that zone. So I have a few little hacks that help me feel the way I need to feel, to do my best work.
[29:07] Allan: That’s awesome! You’re focusing on the positive. Do you journal on the computer or on paper?
Nathan: No, pen and pencil and paper. I love the computer but I’m a sketchbook fanatic. I have a shelf in front of me filled with 30 different sketchbooks. On my desk, there are 6 different sketchbooks of things I’m working on right now. And then there is whole other bookshelf filled with sketchbooks I’ve filled over 20-30 years. I live for putting a pencil to paper!
[-[27:55] Allan: That’s awesome! For me, I try to keep my notes on the computer. But I still love pen and paper, to keep myself organized. The only time I work for big studios on site if I’m Supervising or if I’m lonely and I want to be around other people. It’s so difficult to work from home. What are some of the struggles you’ve had (like being out of sync with other people’s hours or distractions)?
Nathan: I couldn’t do it if I didn’t have a family and kids. You take a break and go play with your kids. My social group is at home. I feel strongly that you can do two things well. If you’re a dad and an artist, those two things take up 90 percent of everything. I love reading science fiction. That’s my little private escape. After those three things, there’s not much [time] left. Without that, I would have to work in-studio. If I were freelancing and living alone, I would start to get weird. I need my social group and luckily I have that built in.
[-[25:05] Allan: A couple of more questions. I want to look back to How to Train Your Dragon. With all those cycles it went through, was it always that the Dragon had cat-like mannerisms?
Nathan: I’m not the main person to speak to that. I’m not an animator or a character designer necessarily. Chris Sanders and Nico Marlet, an amazing character designer, put that character together. If you look at it, there is a little bit of Lilo and Stitch, which is also Chris Sanders’. There are some [similar] mannerisms. Stitch was like a pet gone wrong. The same was true for Hiccup, the main dragon. Because early on, he was a little shrimp dragon. They used that as a background. When they changed the character, he had to be called Toothless because a lot of the dialogue has been done — but there was no reason for him to be Toothless. So then they added a gag where he had to remove his teeth and pop them back in. We were stuck with the name.
[-[22:15] Allan: I love that little save! My fiancé is obsessed with that movie! It’s a fun one! You obviously do a lot of live drawing. I think it’s so valuable for artists to expand and grow their skills. I think it’s so important for what we do. You can tell who has completely immersed themselves. Do you have any advice on why they should be out there doing live drawing? Why is it so beneficial to hone your craft?
Nathan: It’s exactly as you say: “They should be out there doing live drawing.” Maybe I can make the case through someone who is an authority on the subject. Back at DreamWorks, we had James Cameron come over after Avatar came out. Obviously that was the most cutting edge, technology based movie that has ever been made. DreamWorks was all about artistry [but also about] cutting edge technology. After the success of that movie, DreamWorks invited James Cameron to give a speech. Cameron said something I really appreciated.
He is someone who draws, better than I expected he might (having showed some of his drawing). While [his drawings] don’t compare to a drawing by a DreamWorks character designer, they are clear and competent enough. They communicate. Which is the number one job of any artist: to communicate with the audience. One of my buddies was hired to work on Titanic. They asked him to draw the drawings for Leonardo DiCaprio’s sketchbook. It came down to him and one other artist: him and James Cameron. Those were Cameron’s drawings in the film. When he talked [to us at DreamWorks], he said, “With all the technology, I need you to know that every single tool I’ve ever used, today has become 100 percent obsolete. And the only thing that has withstood the test of time — is the pencil. I need a team of artists who can quickly sketch an idea. If I have to wait for those technologies to come together, we’ll lose our creative spark.” That was his end comment: The pencil trumps technology. Because what it comes down to, an artist has to use whatever tool is available to him, to communicate clearly with his intended audience.
[-[16:26] Allan: I think that’s amazing. Cameron came to ILM when we were working on Avatar for the final few shots. I do remember him bringing that up: how critical it is to be able to communicate through drawings and concepts. Do you have any advice for people who are trying to break into the industry on how to stand out with their work?
Nathan: Out of all the things I do not know, that’s the one thing I do know. We just had an experience where we were looking for really good junior artists. The production designer went to a portfolio day at the major art school in Los Angeles. He came back the next day and said he’d looked at 25 portfolios and didn’t see a single person who’s going to do what we need to do. Every single portfolio had the feeling that they were doing a cool style or a technique. Not a single one had an attitude that they were trying to emotionally connect with me. And that’s what we have to have!
That’s the thing right now. There is a temptation of the powerful digital tools. You can do some pretty cool, glittery looking things. That’s a temptation that sets the bar so low that the people who don’t get caught up in that — will end up having the opportunities. They’re going to stand above that sea of faces and get noticed. In the end, whatever you do, when you develop the ability to visually and emotionally communicate with your audience — no matter how inexperienced you are — that’s the moment you become a real artist!
[-[12:18] Allan: I love that! By not cutting corners, that’s definitely going to help you a lot more. I looked through your YouTube and you’ve had the breakdown of bad habits. Is that right?
Nathan: Yes, absolutely. In recent YouTube videos, we went through a couple of them. We did one on chromatic aberration, which is just a horror to me! So many artists would do a black-and-white painting and then use digital tools to bring color to it. What they didn’t have the experience in is local colors. Every object has its own color. Whether you have a colored theatrical light or just daylight, you combine blue sky light, warm yellow light with all of this combination of local colors. That gets mind-numbingly complex; and yet, we have to develop that ability. What they would do instead is channel separation: pull apart the red, so everything had this red rim to give the image an artificial pop of color. It’s spread like wildfire among these young hopeful artists because it was easy. It got to the point, I had to look away from the work. I had to do this YouTube video about better solutions that are more manageable than you think.
[-[09:24] Allan: I love that. I guess the chromatic aberration is today’s Photoshop lens flare from the 90s. I guess that’s where you differentiate between art and all the shortcuts. To wrap things up, you and I will be in Paris. What’s your [IAMAG Master Class] will be on?
Nathan: My talk is going to be on a near and dear subject: I love the landscapes. Character design is critically important. And yet, I believe in the landscape. I want to talk about the power of the landscape and how we can use it to best effect in our concept art.
[-[07:43] Allan: That’s awesome! I’m really looking forward to it.
Nathan: I’m really excited about it. It’s my first year going. A couple of friends of mine had done this before and I’ve emailed them. And my friends said it was amazing. If you can get yourself to our Master Classes, we’re going to have a great time.
[-[06:27] Allan: Who were you talking to?
Nathan: I was talking to Marc Simonetti. Do you know him?
[-06:24] Allan: Oh yeah! I’ve been going every year. For some reason, [Marc and I] became best friends from the first day (allanmckay.com/45).
Nathan: Alright! He’s actually a former student of mine. He’s a total pro now!
[-[05:27] Allan: Who was the other?
Nathan: Jason Shaier is an artist I know quite well [from DreamWorks].
[-[05:16] Allan: Each time, it’s been really cool. Last time, Craig Mullins was there.
Nathan: He’s the Man! He’s always been the Man, and he still is!
[-[04:46] Allan: It’s been fun.
Nathan: My teaching now is primarily online. We have it set up on www.Schoolism.com. I say that because recently we got Craig Mullins onboard. It’s great because it legitimizes the whole project.
[-[03:08] Allan: I think that Schoolism.com is pretty innovative. If people want to reach out, where could they go?
Nathan: I keep active on the usual social media (@NathanFowkesArt), on Twitter or Instagram. At Schoolism, I have an Instructor Page: https://www.schoolism.com/instructors.php?id=30104. I post every single day on social media.
[-[01:58] Allan: I just want to say thanks for sharing your massive career.
Nathan: You too! You, VFX guys, are so kickass, you amaze me by what you bring to the big screen. Sometimes, I feel I’m chasing that.
[-[01:03] Allan: Thank you again for doing this!
Nathan: My pleasure!
I hope you’ve enjoyed this Episode. Thank you, Nathan, for taking the time out. Please share this Episode with someone. Take a moment to leave a comment on iTunes. That would mean a lot to me!
I’ll be back next Episode with Niels Prayer. That’s it for now. Rock on!
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“If only there was more time in the day”
“How do you find the time to get so much done”
“I would learn a new skill.. if I had the time”
For many of us, finding time and energy to do more is one of the hardest things we have. Time is finite and we can either be pro-active with our time, or reactive. Meaning – we are constantly running around, jumping from one thing to another, and never really feeling in control.
Allan specifically wrote this guide, after the thousands of responses he received to his contributions on productivity on his Podcast, as well as articles he’s written on the subject, and interviews he’s given.
Allan has interviewed the New York Times Best Selling Authors David Allen (Getting Things Done) and Laura Vanderkam as well as dozens of other experts on the subject – as well as applying many of his best practices.
So how does someone who runs a studio, manages multiple teams, works in production, shoots, runs a hit Podcast, writes articles, multiple courses and a mentorship and more, manage their day?
Find out, and how YOU can apply this to your work and personal life. Grab the guide (It’s FREE).
Whether you’re in games, film or design this guide is focused on giving you the answers and knowledge to confidently seek out the set-up and hardware you need to get the speed and reliability to create the most jaw-dropping visuals you can create. Without being bogged down by slow hardware, or investing in the wrong areas that ‘cost a fortune’ and don’t really make much of an impact on speed and stability.
Allan goes through how to start TODAY applying many unique approaches to building a successful career, and taking control of your year so far.
Gain access to the free guide, videos and other resources now.
From learning to front load your pay raise, to hosting networking events and positioning you as an authority. Allan goes through many tactics and ways to take control, and make this your BEST YEAR YET!
How much should I charge?
If I ask too much, will I scare them off?
What are the key things that I’m doing wrong?
Money, negotiating, probably two words that build the most tension just at the thought of, other than public speaking.
This guide was designed for Artists – whether you’re a Designer, Illustrator, Matte Painter, Animator, FX, whatever! We all need to get hired for productions, and we all need to get what we’re worth.
But, most of are afraid of missing the mark, and scaring away our employers. Or, just not sure how to even start the conversation. Worse, we’re not sure what we’re actually worth, or we just plain don’t want to be in a tense back and forth negotiation.
Realistically – a good negotiator never needs to haggle, they never have a moment of tension, they never are in an uncomfortable situation. It’s actually very seamless, easy and kind of fun. But, it does require understanding many of the fundamentals that this guide covers in-depth. Negotiating your worth the wrong way can cost you tens of thousands of dollars per year, and it’s the most critical thing we all shouldn’t ignore.
Get the guide now, and never leave money on the table again!