If you can dream it, you can do it. -Walt Disney
Quality is a great business plan. -John Lasseter
Let's make some funny pictures. -Tex Avery
I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend. -Howard Zinn
When critics sit in judgment it is hard to tell where justice leaves off and vengeance begins. -Chuck Jones
And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? -Jesus
A man should never neglect his family for business. -Walt Disney
What's most important in animation is the emotions and the ideas being portrayed. -Ralph Bakshi
Once you have heard a strange audience burst into laughter at a film you directed, you realize what the word joy is all about. -Chuck Jones
Before enlightenment: chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment: chop wood, carry water. -Buddhist Proverb
Share your views on the state of the Animation Industry.
I'm going to post this in a dedicated topic but would like to feature it here for the time being. Maybe it will help some comic artists think of ways they can turn things around.
Check out what's happening with this Kickstarter campaign.
"To Be Or Not To Be: That Is The Adventure"
The creator behind this is a writer from Massachusetts. He has an 80,000 word text in a format he calls a chooseable-path adventure which will involve Shakespeare stories. He'll be bringing in an extended team of artists to illustrate the book.
There's still 5 days left to the campaign. His goal was $20,000.
Well... 9,793 backers have pledged $360,718 so far making this the most successfully funded publishing project in Kickstarter history according to the campaign.
http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/bre ... -adventure
Success after success with this crowdfunding system. Comic artists should really take note of what's happening. It doesn't have to be just charitable contributions to see the community through tough times. Good content and a crowdfunding game plan could push things way over the top like we're seeing here and in many other instances.
There's no reason why artists should be suffering in the later years of their career because of work for hire.
We can crowdfund projects, form support groups, publish our own content, produce our own intellectual properties...
The future is now!
This is awesome and should fuel an awareness and awakening in us!
For too long I have had to hear people spit some pretty lame happy talk to me about letting things go when bad thing happen....And you cannot truly let things go until you address them and are able to speak and own them...which a lot of the times means confrontation.
Happy music and poorly thought out and edited videos seems to make people think the problem is getting addressed when really they even say its gonna happen more and more...fricken fear on a passive aggressive tip...but thats classically an corporate artist trait I'm afraid..and this only applies to who it applies to..if you don't fit the bill then you know what I'm talkin about.
But man, organizations like HI should use the power of the people doing it on their own to be able to cry foul to the corporations that profit while the people who built their empires suffer and ask for hand outs..AND while the people "helping" perpetuate that you don't know business nor do you have a bright future...I don't like that part. It's nice to hear of an individual getting assistance when they have worked so hard. I know how hard some people will take your hard work away, so yeah, pay it forward. I'm all for it....but man, the rest of that crap..its really hard to swallow. and I'm truly sorry if I don't anyway feel happy by saying it.
I mean, hell, if I didn't position myself to be self sustaining over 15 years ago with 20 years overall experience...that video would kinda scare me...
It's like the UNION saying "cant just change law!" this video says the same s*** to me.
I think its cuz change is the wrong word...it should be, lets evolve, together. As equals even with our unique views and beliefs. Equal. Through conversation then individual action.....sht, change can be someone punchin you in the eye..evolution would suggest how efficiently that eye could heal itself and see better....
And if you operate as a work for hire artist especially in comics you should really reconsider the way you operate. Cuz chances are this is where you're gonna wind up. Asking for help and handouts.
Even if you go the union studio route hoping that you can hang in there for 20 years to make a pension pay off you're still at the mercy of the studios AND the union's system.
Artists in today's market and in the environment that's emerging through crowdfunding should absolutely consider their own projects, properties and franchises as a means of long term prosperity.
If you're making millions for a status quo comic book company how come there's comic artists who are doing the same thing for themselves? Why can't superstars in the field band together and start their own Marvels and DCs? Now there's a way to do it without having ANYTHING to do with the old guard that's been keeping you guys behind barbed wire since the days of Winsor McCay and even before!
Think about this brothers and sisters...
What if Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, the original creators of Superman back in the 1930s decided to crowdfund the project instead of pitching it to publishers and syndication companies. Or Bob Kane and Batman. Or Jack Kirby and his relationship with Marvel. Imagine what things would be like today!
What is there to show on behalf of the work for hire artists through the entire course of the history of the modern comic book and its industry? What have you got after many decades of work for hire?
The Hero Initiative!
This is how you guys should be feeling when you think of the legacy that led up to a community, indeed a generation of comic book artists asking for handouts...
Meanwhile... Homestuck, an unheard of online comic raised almost 2.5 million in crowdfunding just 2 months ago...
http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/142 ... nture-game
We're in a new age guys! The path is wide open and right in front of us! Pitch to the people and your own audience! Nobody between you and your fans who want to do business with you! They want to fund you and would rather give you their money for your content instead of feeding it to the bottomless pit of your exploitation!
Something to celebrate, brothers and sisters!
Check out these statistics. I compiled the figures myself at this link which lists the most successfully funded comic projects on Kickstarter.
http://www.kickstarter.com/discover/cat ... ost-funded
There are 11 projects funded at over $100,000 with the top project at over $1 million.
Of the top 11 projects all but 1 of them were funded this year in 2012! The other at #10 was funded last year in 2011.
There are 35 projects funded at $50,000 and above with all but one of them funded this year!
There are a whopping 71 projects funded at $25,000 and above with many many more successfully funded at lower amounts.
Of these 71 projects, 60 of them were funded this year in 2012! There were 10 funded in 2011 and 1 funded in 2010.
See the pattern? Of every 7 comic projects funded through a Kickstarter campaign at $25K or more, 6 of them were done this past year in 2012!
See for yourselves...
http://www.kickstarter.com/discover/cat ... ost-funded
This is a very new phenomenon that's just beginning to kick in with Kickstarter and it's being very well received by comic fans!
There's a new way to do things guys. You don't necessarily have to work as work for hire in the comics field in perpetuity. You can own your own properties and create your own franchises and sell directly to your fan base!
KEEP CREATING and open your minds to new alternative possibilities and approaches that may turn out to be very beneficial for you in many ways!
http://www.kickstarter.com/discover/cat ... ost-funded
More Kickstarter stats and encouragement to share...
In the category of film and video there are 69 projects that have been funded at $100,000 or more!
Of these 69 projects, 52 of them were funded this year with 15 last year and 2 in 2010.
Of the 69 projects that raised $100K of more on Kickstarter, 7 of the top 10 were funded within the last 6 months!
What a way to end the year!
http://www.kickstarter.com/discover/cat ... d?ref=more
It's all new folks! This is just the beginning!
Think that's impressive? How about this for initiative. Check out the Games category...
There are 87 projects funded at $100,000 and above!
There are 39 projects funded at $250,000 and above!
There are 27 projects funded at $500,000 and above!
There are 14 projects funded at $750,000 and above!
There are 9 projects funded at $1,000,000 and above!
The top 8 projects are funded at $2,000,000 and above!
The top 4 projects are funded at $3,000,000 and above!
The top 51 projects were all funded this year in 2012!
What a great great time to be on the creative side of things!
http://www.kickstarter.com/discover/cat ... d?ref=more
Think about what's being said here comic artists and artists everywhere!
Look at those stats!
I've been thinking about the topic for the past few days and would like to relate something I experienced three months ago.
I was at a special event. At the table was an artist who as it turned out works in comics. We started talking and I asked him if he knew Snakebite. He did, going back to Bite's earliest days in comics. He went on to say that Bite was, and I quote... "Too idealistic". He added that a job is a job, or work is work, something like that.
He pretty much said/insinuated that the stance that Snakebite had made in his career, that is, that comic artists should have greater control and better rewards for what they do, was something negative.
Even before opening his mouth, this fellow struck me as someone I wouldn't want to work with. He had no fire or passion. He was just... there. Like a bowl of cereal without any milk. Dry.
I don't know what his situation is, but sooner or later, things will catch up with him if he continues to work in comics. Unless he's brilliant at managing his finances or he does work for hire steady until the day he departs this mortal life, odds are sooner or later he'll be in a position where he'll be at the mercy of the merciless and he'll need something like Hero Initiative.
It's funny how in comics and animation too, how artists who try and make a difference by building awareness and initiating reform tend to be vilified in some way by their peers and community. The animation industry certainly can use something like Hero Initiative, but from my experiences with artists, and you can include The Animation Guild, the likelihood of it happening at any significant level is remote. There should be an alternative to forcing an employer or studios to signing as a union shop. Artists should have something else. I've pressed this issue as well with the concept of an independent union in animation but the enthusiasm for it was pretty much along the lines of the comic artist who knew Snakebite.
Too idealistic and no help from anyone. Even the Guild and artists that could use a resource such as the HI. Instead it was bad words and abuse.
So I learned my lesson and focused on other things. I'm happy to discuss my experiences, share thoughts and ideas, but as far as applying myself to anything like this, I leave it to other souls who are better at getting through to an impossible and oftentimes very negative, self centered, insular and short sighted community.
I'm applying my time and energy towards creative endeavors that will allow me to take advantage of everything that crowdfunding has to offer. I can build an audience through creativity. There's a base of 7 billion human beings all of whom are a potential fan. Instead of haters, supporters who love what you do. Instead of dry cereal, lots of milk.
I wish it was different. I really would love to see something like HI in animation. I think the concept is great and I'm happy to see that it's working out for some artists. Maybe HI itself can expand to animation. There's people who can use it I'm sure. But after almost 14 years working AN and all the years before that when I was an outspoken advocate of artists taking greater control of their industry, my enthusiasm is all about the projects I'm doing that have been sitting on the sidelines while I touted The Revolution.
It's time to create!
And if you have even an inkling towards independence there's a new resource and a new approach that can help you achieve exciting things and help to make a very positive difference in your life and the lives of many artists all over the world.
As long as you create!
So Keep Creating and don't be afraid to be idealistic. Just apply your energies towards specific goals and projects and not towards people who will never get it no matter how hard you try and explain it to them.
Set the example through your own success and the message will come through loud and clear.
And if your mission is to create something like the Hero Initiative in animation, then you can count on AN to support the cause in whatever way we can.
Well Yoda H. Jedi on a friggin' crutch!
All I did was post a link to a group that actually helps artists and look at this chaos.
Teaches me a lesson about trying to help.
The point is they do something Snakebite not sit on their asses.
There's an economic war going on out here and people are hurting like not since the Great Depression. We're lucky we have crowdfunding nowadays and other alternatives but everything helps.
Right now there's a battle in the stem cell treatment arenas. The company I work for and doctors all over America are seeing spectacular results from their clinical trials. We're doing things today that were considered impossible by science just a few years ago. Without FDA approval no one can get insurance to cover the costs of these treatments. People in foreign countries can but not the U.S. citizen. We have to result to crowdfunding or groups like H.I. to help fund treatments. If you guys saw what Dr. Eduardo Marban of Cedars Sinai hospital in Los Angeles has achieved you would faint. Real Star Trek stuff.
What Charles is talking about is the apathy artists sink into and I'd say that's the same ratio as the rest of humanity. Some people just have to settle for 'maybe just enough'. Others don't settle that way.
Studying human nature, sociology, anthropology, basic psychology explains these things. What's NEEDED are groups like Hero Initiative without all the unnecessary criticisms that hamper things. So start your own group that helps if you don't like H.I..
I did start my own group back in late 1997 and early 1998. It's called The Animation Academy and it's still going. An offshoot of it is AnimationNation.
I've done the best I can and way way beyond the call of duty my brother when it comes to anything having to do with industry reform on behalf of the artists. And I'm still at it! It's time for others to get involved if that's what they would like to see.
If you want things to change then BE THE CHANGE! How many times have we said that over the years!
I preach about developing a career so that you won't necessarily be in a position to be looking for help from groups like HI. I preach about being in a position where you can help yourself and others by the time you get to that point in life.
I encourage thinking beyond work for hire for your entire working career. You can have just as much and perhaps even more success by developing an independent aspect to your career over the long haul.
Comic book artists and artists in general need to move out of chumpsville. The real world of today that's quickly emerging is where a creative individual's content especially if it's on a professional level can find a way to market without having to rely on the system that's been screwing us for as long as that system has existed to the point where something like HI becomes necessary.
What's developing is an artists' paradise. Groups like HI are part of it. It shows what can be achieved with the new era we're in and can serve as a model.
That said, it's time to be creative again man. I've got a good thing happening with the project I'm working on and I'm looking forward to publishing it without the need for anything the old guard has to offer which is a big fat nothing at this point.
It's our time!
I take the compliment that I'm too idealistic. I think thats a way more positive take on who I am then even I would make. To be real...cuz my reality has been far from ideal.
If you would ask me I wouldn't say I'm idealistic. I'm more of a due diligent, aware, opinionated, pioneer of art and philosophy...with a touch of recovering reactionary punk ass...I mean, if you're gonna really have something to say about me...or pretend to know me. Start with that at least..or you're just someone who has crossed paths with me, pretends to know me to assist them with sounding valid...somehow.
Well, I don't know who you're talking about, C, but I will say this...its nothing new. Not in the least.
As I get older I tune into words more often then not. How people use them. I've been working towards letting go of things that create a duality. Words like, "change", "hope"...and everyones favorite because it makes them feel good about themselves, "help".
Is HI helping? Depends. Are we talking about the individuals in the happy talk video? Then yes. yes they are. And I'm glad those people got something that made them feel like they were "helped".
But thats where it ends. Cuz they are not contributing to solving the problem that created those situations. They are not even willing to address it in the manner in which would create true awareness...and since most those dudes work for the problems in question, in my opinion, then it is conflict of interest, lip services and photo op time.
I personally am sick of hearing everyone talk of this "help" word..cuz most people who use it, aren't. Except themselves. Somehow. Either through patting themselves on the back, working on a personal vision while being blind to the shared reality, or just want to mask the true bad that is happening. ..and yes, thats my too "idealistic" approach to the industry.
And yes, a job is a job..thats why I focus on a career...and career oriented situations. Work for hire is a lie and its our oppression...HI will have a bright future and the slaves will celebrate its prosperity with this kind of mentality...crazy mixed up world we live in...While people like me are painted as negative or chaos because the happy talk has plagued everyones mind into thinking that that is "helping"..
Here's a word I like to focus on to counter the duality code in those other words...."EVOLVE"..I think its time.
Piece! Get yours.
Yes Charles we know YOU started your own group.
My point is I bring up a group that has been out helping people and the thread gets hijacked into another Snakebite bitchin' contest. Let him start his own helpful group.
First off, this wasn't a hijacking. I'm participating in the thread. I replied with reasons for my sentiment... its not about me "bitching", although I did get pretty colorful with my sentiment, hahahahaha...you see, you think this HI "helps"..I don't..
I don't like the word "help"...because usually the people who use it aren't and the people who are truly part of solutions to problems we face very rarely point it out or make a video about it...
You see, this HI thing to me kinda smacks us all in the face.To me its a conflict of interest for those who are apart of it if those who participate also work for the companies who are the biggest culprits as to why artists need help...AND this video also perpetuates total complete myths about us artists.So the video by itself is bullshit.
Hey, like I said, I'm very happy that these people got some assistance, but far from something to make a video about and act like you're at the forefront of "helping"...in my opinion..which I made perfectly clear.
So come back with some counter points if you dont agree. But don't call me a hijacker or a bitcher please. I mean after all, I'm more collaborative them competitive to give two shits about contests, Greg. As an individual my view is just as valid as any group.
Clash of the Titans !!!
Reminds me of the days on the old forums...
Love you guys! Thanks for being with AN all these years. What would it be without you? Perish the thought!
sssshit, this aint like the old days at all. Thank goodness.
I understand where Bite is coming from but I'd rather have something like HI around than not have it around. And there should be something like it in animation. Something besides or in addition to the Animation Guild which only services a small group of people in our business compared to how many there are in the USA who work in animation and in the arts for that matter.
And if I were in a position to need help I'd hope that I could get some. I'm not too proud to ask for a helping hand when the time calls for it. And I wouldn't mind helping a brother or sister to whatever means I could if they were in a similar spot.
As in comics, this is an area in which we fail to take the action necessary to create a more stable environment for our community. It's a reflection on us and one of the reasons why we're as weak as we are. Our potential is tremendous if we unify but we're fragmented thanks in no small part to the extraordinary lack of leadership which plagues us in this biz along with the professional immaturity that's become the hallmark of not only many artists but our support groups as well.
We can overcome all of this as we're seeing with initiatives such as HI so there's hope. A positive model and a clear vision for the future are a starting point along with new systems such as what we're seeing with crowdfunding.
But we have a long way to go. Our mentality is not there yet. Legions of artists are still being taught to be employees at the studios and not encouraged to develop their independent economies and personal franchises. Except of course at The Animation Academy in Burbank.
Personally I support all initiatives to help others and to change things for the better. That's at the core of AN as well and who we are as a community.
It starts with education and re-education. As long as artists don't get involved in the course of their industry and their own future, as long as they think the studios system and work for hire is the only way to go, as long as we keep fighting among ourselves over nothing, as long as we look to others to lead us, we'll remain dependent on the way things are. Sheep in a pen.
This is my not so final thought on the subject...lets say, there's a death ray..usually the "hero" saves the people from getting shot by it and then the "hero" smashes the death ray or takes the power away from the person/persons who are shooting it....