How to Launch Your Creative Career | Lucas Ridley | Skillshare

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How to Launch Your Creative Career

teacher avatar Lucas Ridley, Professional Animator

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.

      Course Introduction


    • 2.

      The Basics


    • 3.

      The Development Phase


    • 4.

      Portfolio - Part 1


    • 5.

      Portfolio - Part 2


    • 6.

      Making Time


    • 7.

      Wrap Up


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About This Class

Have you considered switching careers or pursuing your hobby more seriously? Then this is the course for you!

I changed careers almost 10 years ago and I want to share with you my knowledge and experience of launching my creative career. I was in a science-related field with no experience and now I've launched my career all the way to working on feature films for Steven Spielberg.

In this course we will cover how to:

  • confront obstacles you'll face and the realities of turning a hobby into a career
  • develop your passion into a sustainable career
  • build your portfolio
  • find time for all of this

After watching the course you will:

  • have practical actions to take to launch your creative career
  • strategies and techniques that helped me overcome the initial challenges
  • a clear vision of what you need to do and how to do it

I've created a 4-page worksheet as well as a 20-page ebook for you to download. Use the worksheet to follow along with the course to help focus and plan on launching your creative career. You will be asked to do a couple of practical exercises that will help build your portfolio as well.

The 20-page ebook is meant to be a deeper dive into some of the concepts we cover as well as a review of the video lessons.

I look forward to seeing what you create from this course! Thanks for joining me!


Meet Your Teacher

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Lucas Ridley

Professional Animator

Level: Beginner

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1. Course Introduction: Hi, my name is Lucas Riddly and I'll be your instructor for this course on how to launch your creative career. What makes me qualified to teach this course? Well, I originally got a degree in forestry and then I switched careers into animation. "I never wanted this B, you got to believe that." "Didn't you hear what I said? I said I'm in love with you." "No, you're not." So I know what it's like to be frustrated in a day job and have these other creative interests that you want to turn into a career. So this course is for anyone who's interested in switching careers or pursue an outside interests other than your current day job. In this course we're going to reduce your frustration and increase your focus. We'll start by learning the basics of what it takes to launch a creative career. How to develop your passion, create a portfolio, and how to make time for all of this. Then we'll wrap it all up and you'll walk away with a few exercises to try out, as well as a worksheet to follow the course, and a twenty page E-book. If you wanna go into greater detail and have something you can read. After watching this course, you'll be ready to launch your creative career with these new skills. I know everyone's journey is going to be different. But I think there's some common principles that can be applied to any industry and any one starting out, trying to launch a creative career. I overcame problems of almost being homeless, having no money, no experience. I even had cancer at one point and fast-forward a few years. I recently worked on a feature film that Steven Spielberg directed. So I want to share this type of journey with you and insights I've discovered so that it makes your journey a little bit easier. Thanks for joining me in this class and I look forward to seeing you there. 2. The Basics: In this section, I want to cover some of the basics and some of the things you need to consider when you start to think about how to approach to launching your creative career. An example I like to give is hang gliding. I used to hang glide quite a bit and I even lived at hang gliding flight park. But the one thing I didn't do was I did not turn that into a career. I did that intentionally because it's like eating too much ice cream. Ice creams can be a good thing until you have too much of it. When you choose to take a hobby into a career, you need to face that with some pretty good reality that you're going to have to do this even when you don't want to. That's the biggest distinction I can make right now for you. When you make the decision to go into this creative career pursuit, you want to pick something that you like so much that you'll do it even when you don't want to do it. That's what it takes to be professional. You're probably already doing that in your current day job. I also want to say that launching your creative career doesn't have to be full time. A career doesn't have to mean full time. So what I would highly recommend is whatever you do choose, make sure that you want to turn it into a career, that you don't want to just have it as a hobby. I chose to keep hang gliding as a hobby. Sometimes I would film things and animate things about that, but I never depended on that for my livelihood. The other thing is to start out part time, right. When you make the distinction that okay, even though it's a hobby now and it's an interest, I'm prepared to do this even when I don't want to do it. I wanted to clarify one thing I had a friend ask, Weren't hobbies already part-time? So let's take your hobby and let's look at your full-time career and consider the time we spend on it here. There's a range, your full-time career, you're spending more time on it. It's over here on the right. It's required time spent. Your hobby is voluntary, you choose to do it. Now you're deciding to be here, which is in-between voluntary and required, which I think is around 20 hours per week. You're deciding that you're no longer going to be voluntary in your choice. You're going to be very deliberate and it's going to be time you're going to set aside to devote to it. Later on in the course, we'll talk about how you'll find that time and what to do with that time now that you're choosing to devote to this creative career. When I first started out, I won a contest on YouTube, $40,000 and I had my day job. So I bought a little equipment to make some videos and do other things, and then eventually went full time freelance. The problem that I ran into, I went into full-time pursuit of this creative career before I was ready. What happened was, is I eventually went broke, I price myself too low to be sustainable to have a business and my skill-set wasn't increasing enough to continue to improve and get more and better work. So what I did was I took on student debt and I don't recommend this for everyone, but that's the path I chose. There's also a lot of other options you could do like online training. What I decided to do was to take on some student debt and increase my skill set. I had to shift out of this situation that I was currently in because I jumped into full-time too early and I went broke basically. So you want make sure that you're ready for it. The best way to do that with the lowest risk is to do it part-time. So in this video with a little advice from Chris Hadfield, the famous Canadian astronaut. He had a really good example of what it's like to have the question posed to you. What do you want to do with your life? Or what career do you want to choose? He said It's like going to a restaurant and not seeing the menu and then asking you what you want to eat. Well, you don't really know what the options are. In the next video, we're going to discuss how to focus in and learn about what the options are. So you can direct your attention and learning to the right places. You can learn and build this part-time work and have it work for you so you can eventually build it into a full-time career if you so choose. Thanks for watching this video and let's go over the main highlights one more time. First, make sure that you want to turn this hobby into a career. Be prepared for the too much ice cream situation where you have to do the work, even when you don't want to. Don't romanticize this just because it's a creative endeavor. It's going to take hard work and make sure that you're prepared for that. Number two is to start part-time. It's a low-risk way to get your feet wet. Figure out if you eventually want to do this full time. To move into a full-time pursuit, you'll have to shift into a new skill-set and improve yourself to a degree that you can provide value in the marketplace. You can do it through these online courses and self-directed learning as well. In the next lesson, we're going to talk about not finding your passion, but developing it. Thanks for watching. 3. The Development Phase: This class is about developing your passion. I intentionally don't use the word "Find" because there was a Stanford study that found the mindset of developing a passion instead of trying to find it, was actually better in a long-term with people trying to sustain an effort and be motivated in pursuing a passion. The reason is because when you acknowledge that you have to develop something, you're also acknowledging the struggle that goes along with it. You want to adopt a growth mindset, and that means that you can improve. That it's something that you can develop and talent is really only a very, very small fraction of it. Once you have that mindset, you'll be able to push through the learning curves, the barriers, the frustrations of pursuing something new, learning something new, and all of those challenges associated with that. This class is also for people who are not entirely sure what they want to pursue yet. They have a lot of different interests as I do and still do. It's hard to really narrow it down and focus in on and think, what exactly am I going to do? You want to look for clues into what you bookmark online. Who do you follow on social media? One of the things that you're attracted to. You want to start to research those things because a lot of people love movies, a lot of people love video games, but not everyone wants to work a 60 or 80 hour week with really difficult deadlines and be in the film industry when the going gets tough. It's one thing to really enjoy something. You want to make sure that you're researching well enough so that you understand really what's the lifestyle associated with that creative career path. For example, I would follow different artists on social media that you're interested in the industry they're in. You can see what their lifestyle is like, the things they complain about, the things that you'll see, you're going to have to also overcome if you pursue that career path. When I first started out, I was teaching myself Photoshop and I got into wedding photography early on. But it was the type of thing I was willing to do in my spare time when I wasn't getting paid for it, and that it's slowly morphed into doing it for clients, and then it snowballed into visual effects. I eventually went to film school for one year, and I thought I was going to be what's called a visual effects compositor. They take different 3D images and yet they put them together and layer them together to make it look real. I went into film school to do this. Once I got there, I realized I didn't want to do that. I just committed to pay $50,000 to learn how to do this thing. But what happened was, as I was at least in the ballpark, I was in film school, I was in a 3D program, which meant there was also animation there. As introductory classes, we took an introductory animation class. Luckily that instructor that I had, really showed me that this is what I'm most interested in and the way he talked about it and exercises we did, I realized I don't want to work as a visual effects compositor, I want to work as an animator and I had never animated anything in my life really. A year later I was working at an Oscar winning animation studio. It's possible to take your career in a very short amount of time and actually pursue what you are truly interested in with no experience. But it takes that commitment and insight into your own interests to know that you have enough interest to overcome these long nights of studying, of doing exercises, of drawing, painting, photographing people, whatever creative pursuit is, you have to know that you have enough passion to overcome this initial learning curve. What you want to do is to expose yourself to as many different ideas and avenues because even in the animation industry and photography industry or whatever industry, it gets very, very niche. What I mean is it gets very, very narrow on the focus of what most creative career people do, once they have a career. For example, in an animation, there's a huge difference between visual effects animation, feature film animation, games animation. You have facial animators, mocap animators, you have interactive cinematic animators, you have previs animators, you have creature animators, character animators. I had no clue about any of that stuff when I first started, but I didn't have to. All I need to know as I was interested in animation, I'm going to start to take introductory classes in that field. What you're doing right now is incredibly important and I would definitely encourage you to continue to do that so that you can expose yourself to really what's involved. Because it's very abstract to see something and think, "I'd like to do that," and not really know what it takes to get there. Start very broadly. Start learning the introductory concepts and follow people on social media and see what they do the work hours. Lookup the companies they work for. Look at the job descriptions that they're hiring for currently. You have goals to work towards. Because in those job descriptions they're going to tell you exactly what you need to know to get that job. Even though you're starting out, you can see where you need to chart a course to learn and develop your interests to eventually get a job at an industry or start your own business. When you start building a house, you don't start with the window trim and all the little details, you start with foundation first. In animation, you would start with learning animation. I'm not going to learn to become a facial animator to work on movie like I did Ready Player One where I did facial animation. I didn't just start there. I didn't start learning facial animation. I had to start learning animation period. You want to start with these broad concepts first and then narrow down over time. But the biggest thing I can say is going into with this growth mindset that I mentioned earlier because it's going to take a lot of patients and it's going to take time to develop your eye, to develop your style, to develop all of these different types of things that go into a creative career. You've found out exactly what you want to do and we need to develop it now a little bit further. There's this saying, "We cannot lower the mountain, we must elevate ourselves." As you start to develop these skills and interests and different tools that you're learning, you might not be able to see difference early on because you're the one experiencing it. But to the outside world, they'll probably be able to tell a difference from month 1 to year 1 to year 2, whatever it is. But don't get discouraged by not seeing improvement early on, or that you feel like you're not improving fast enough. There was a time I was teaching myself how to play piano and there was this little thing that I couldn't get right. I failed every time and I failed for three months. I kept doing it and I kept failing every day, and then one day it finally clicked. But it took three months to get to that tipping point that everything clicked and it finally worked. I would never have gotten there if I gave up at month 1 or month 2. You want to make sure that you're prepared to go the distance. Because having a creative pursuit, it's like anything else. It takes time. You're not going to be Arnold Schwarzenegger, if you go to the gym one time. You have to go to the gym every day to build a body. Same thing with your mind and talents. You need to go to the gym, whatever it is, mentally, creatively, and you need to exercise those every day, every other day, even if it's part-time just for an hour. Here is an exercise I want you to do. It has to do with time management. What can you get done in 30 minutes? This course is short, so you can probably watch this, but develop your specific talent. What can you get done in 30 minutes? When I had cancer, I would go home for lunch and I was worried about not having enough money that I would die and my family would have debt. I was hell-bent on creating more income for myself while I was still alive. Luckily, I'm still alive and I'm okay and I'm safe and healthy now. But at the time, it was obviously stressful and actually made more money. Even to this day, I've made more money the year I had cancer than any other year of my life. Why is that? Because I was incredibly motivated. What I would do is, what could I get done in 30 minutes? I was incredibly exhausted from chemotherapy and anything else and all this other stuff that goes along with cancer. But I would go home at lunch and think, what can I get done in 30 minutes? A lot of the time, it would be pitching new projects. In 30 minutes, I could pitch a project and get an extra $1,500, $2,000, $5,000. If I just spent 30 minutes and get a pitch together or just spitball ideas to build a pitch later on. But it was that initial challenge of what can I get done in 30 minutes? How much can I get done in 30 minutes? That's my challenge to you after this lesson is, how much can you get done in 30 minutes? Get hyper-focused, and set yourself that restriction and see what you can get done 30 minutes. I think you'll be surprised and I think it's something that will help you start to develop your interests and see that you can take small steps and it will lead to climbing a huge mountain. Thanks for watching this video and I'll see you in the next one. Let's do a quick recap. We first started talking about developing your passion. Why that's more important than just finding it? That means adopting a growth mindset to develop it. Second, we talked about research, exposing yourself to all the options available in the field of interest. You want to get yourself in the ballpark of that interest so you can discover new opportunities in the niches within that field of interest. Third, we finally set you up for an exercise and a challenge. How much can you get done in 30 minutes? In the next lesson, we're going to talk about how to build your portfolio. Thanks for watching. 4. Portfolio - Part 1: In this class we're going to talk about building your portfolio. One of the first most contentious things, especially for new artists and creatives, is doing speculative work. That means you're doing work without the promise to getting paid, and that comes in a lot of different forms. A lot of artists are incredibly against it in every form that it takes. I think it has a place for people starting out, If you use it for your own advantage. What you want to do is never depend on that for career income. This is just for starting out. If you want to use it as a way to focus yourself to do practice in your field, and to create work for your own portfolio and if you have no portfolio to start with. It's a huge cautionary thing to say that when you find spec work online, or people paying next to nothing for work, only ever do that for yourself. Don't do it for them. Do it for yourself because you're building a portfolio and probably never do it again after that, because what I did when I first started out was I underpriced myself and I eventually price myself out of business. I had to increase my skill set so then I could charge more and get higher paying jobs. It's a pitfall that you want to avoid when you're first starting out, is not staying in that rut. Not staying in that place of getting paid very little because you don't have a ton of experience. What you need to do is fake it till you make it, take advantage of those spec opportunities or low paying jobs just to build your portfolio. When you take a job on, do not hold back. Because you're going to get hired for the work that you've done, and if when you're starting out and you're doing spec work or low paying work. That's all the work that you can find. Then don't justify not putting in a 110 percent because you're not getting paid much or at all, because you're going to use that to build your portfolio. Your portfolio is going to get you exactly the work that you want to do. Only take that work and show the work that you want to get hired for. It sounds silly, but I mean even in animation you get hired if you've animated an old woman before, you're going to get hired, you might be the best animator, whatever, but they're going to focus in on that. You did this one little thing and we need exactly that done. You're going to be exactly who we hire. That's another thing to say. Don't broaden your skill sets so much and show that you can do everything, and then you start to get work that you don't really want to do. Another example for my industry is matched move. When you're tracking a camera or doing that type of thing, I can do that work. I know how to do it, but I don't want to get hired to do that work. I don't want to do that work full time. I don't tell anyone that I can do that, only use it for my own projects. That brings me to doing personal projects. You want to do that now so that you can show the work that you want to do, and because you have the time to do it and creative energy for that. Definitely pursue your own personal projects. Find places to post that online: on Twitter, on Instagram, on ArtStation, on the Hands on whatever platform is appropriate for your career. Definitely do personal projects because it gets a lot of attention and it shows people what your personality is like, what your style is like, and it will get you a lot of the work that you want to be doing. Don't forget to set a goal too when you're doing your personal projects, either create restrictions for yourself like I want to learn the software, so i'm going to create a piece of artwork based on this software. It would give me motivation to learn the software, and I'll have a piece from my portfolio after i'm done. It'll encourage me to continue to go through the course, however i'm learning, it'll encourage me to do that. When I first started, I created 50 videos in one year. That meant almost every week of an entire year I made a video of some kind, either for a contest, a spec work thing, something of my own when I was hang gliding a lot, but I made one video every year before even consider pursuing this as a career. This is the amount and work you need to be putting in before you jump ship at your current day job, and pursue this other path. Now, that might not be the right advice for everyone if you have the means and you can pursue something full-time, and jump in, then by all means, do that. For me I eventually had to do that because I needed to increase my skill set and a very short amount of time. I went back to school for one year and I took on $50 thousand worth of debt. The trick to that was, is that I did all these things we're talking about, what can I get done in 30 minutes? I worked crazy hours. I set restrictions on myself. I learn new software, I learned how to use the software already know in different ways. Even with having cancer, I generate enough income that I could pay off that debt in just a couple of years with the freelancing income that I made from using all of these techniques that i'm describing in this course. I encourage you to put in the time to set restrictions on yourself so it'll help you focus and be motivated and so that you can set clear deadlines for yourself. Projects don't just snowball and you never finish them. It's much more important to finish a project than it is to start and have big ideas and then never actually execute and finish it. Later on when you've been working as a professional for years or decades, you're still going to want to find time to do personal work anyway. It's a good time at the beginning to learn how you deal with pressures of daily life and fitting this stuff in, because you'll need to continue to do that throughout your career. Exercises are something that you need to be doing outside of your portfolio. You are not going to include every single thing that you do in your portfolio. You include only the best stuff. I think there's a statistic from a website called Working Not Working, where most creative directors only spend one to three minutes looking at a portfolio. You only have a couple of pieces that you can probably show that will really give them an idea of your talent, your skills, and your creative abilities. You want to do exercises and not include those in your portfolio. Imagine a professional soccer player that never went to practice, and then expected to score big in the game, that's not going to happen. There is a mindset with our social networking culture that we're in right now, is that we need to share every single thing that we're doing. Then if it's not worth sharing, it's not worth doing. Get out of that mindset. Be okay with doing things that don't look great, because there's going to be a period where you're not going to be creating things that is up to par. Your eye is going to get better faster than your skills are. There's going to be a period of frustration where, you need to work through exercises, that you find yourself through courses or whatever else. You needs to do those width the mindset that you're not going to show it to anyone. This is purely for developing your own skills and focus on that mindset and not share it. That will help you be okay with it. Not looking great, but just getting through it, you need to gets through a ton of things that aren't going to look great or sound great or whatever your medium is, until you get to the good stuff. Just be okay with that process, I know you're not going to put that in your portfolio anyways. That brings me back to another point. Do everything twice. It might not work exactly for your career, but for animation when I was learning, I did every exercise I was assigned. I did it twice and I always got better the second time. I got quicker and I got better. I would highly encourage you if that's the one nugget that $50 thousand student that gave me, is to do everything twice that you're trying to learn. The first time you're just learning where all the buttons are, how to do whatever it is, and you're not entirely integrating exactly what it takes for that to be successful. The second time around, you already have the muscle memory of how to actually do what you're trying to do. Then you can actually apply more creative efforts on top of that new skill set. I'd highly encourage you to do whatever exercises you do find to do them twice. To that point, I have a practical exercise I would like for you to do, and most art is based on juxtapositions of some kind, contrast of some kind. Whether it's photography with light and shadows, animating a character performance, an arc of a character performance from happy to sad, sad to happy. Thematically if you look at Banksy's graffiti work, he combines a lot of things that are juxtaposed. A writer throwing a bouquet of flowers is a famous one. Get two separate ideas and juxtapose them in some way and whatever creative medium that you are trying to pursue. That's practical exercise for you to pursue at the end of this lesson. Also, I would encourage you to get feedback. It is a privilege in animation to get feedback. There's an online contests that you can do once a month and you get the reward. The reward of winning this animation contest is to get a critique. You win this animation contest, and the reward is to get told what's wrong with it. That shows you how valuable feedback is and in this industry and almost every industry. Pursue feedback from other artists, share your work when you think it's appropriate. Find people who are at similar levels to you, share your work in this class, i'm happy to give feedback. Even if it's someone not in the same field, it's almost better because a lot of creative efforts should be able to speak a universal language to most people. You don't have to find professionals to critique your work. Just get anyone's opinion and it will also help you develop a tough skin, because I can tell you it's going to take having pretty tough skin to get through any creative industry. That's one of the biggest things out I would definitely advise you to do. Let's review what we've discussed in Part 1 here and building your portfolio. First, we talked about speculative work. Why some people don't like it, but also why I do like it for building your portfolio specifically. Second, we talked about doing personal projects. Why that's important, user creative energy now to build things that will help craft your identity and your brand of who you are as an artist. Third, we talked about exercises. How not to use these for your portfolio, but how they'll support the work you will include your portfolio. I want to make that distinction clear. Exercises again, we are not going to include those in our portfolio, but we are going to do them twice. Usually, remember that because it's going to be important to developing our skills towards creating work that we will enclose our portfolio. Last we talked about getting feedback and how that's incredibly important as well. Thanks for watching this, and let's get started on Part 2 of how to build your portfolio next. Thanks. 5. Portfolio - Part 2: So back to your portfolio, you want to make sure your tailor-making it. Once you start to have a portfolio to apply to jobs, you want to tailor-make it for whoever you're applying for work. I create an animation real specific to every studio that I apply to. Also, if you're three months later after applying for a job and you're still using the same animation real or the same portfolio, whatever it is, that means you're not doing enough work and you need to be creating more work. Three months is an arbitrary timeline, but whatever the timeline is, just know that you need to be updating your portfolio even once you have it and you've done all this work to establish it, you don't just stop and think I've made it and now I'm going to rest back and wait until the job offers come in. You have to constantly be updating your portfolio, improving and getting better, and for me, I had just finished a year-long class when I first started out learning animation. The first thing I did, even after getting my first job, the first thing I did was to take another class. I've been working for nine years as a professional animator, and I just this week finished taking another class because I know why I am interested in creative pursuits. I will never master it. There's always something to learn from everybody. So if you have that mindset, you will be successful and never get bored in creative field when you know there's always something new to learn. So apply that to your portfolio, keep it updated and keep doing new work. There's a famous lumberjack parable of and it's even attributed to Abraham Lincoln. It says, 'Give me six hours to chop down a tree, and I will spend the first four sharpening the axed'. So that means we need to accumulate enough knowledge so that we can execute well, and that's what the first phase of development was, so that you can apply that to creating a successful portfolio. Now, the trap to this is thinking that you need to know more before doing something. It's a balance between knowing enough to execute well on it and not getting paralyzed by all of the information that's out there about whatever subject you're interested in because there's plenty of information to go around, but at some point you have to make a decision to execute and create work. So don't get stuck in this mindset. Understand it, use it, develop your skills, but then know that at some point you have to stop learning and execute, and then you can go back to learning again. But there is a time and place for learning and it's a lot of the process. But don't get stuck in a rut and think, I don't know enough to try this yet. You will learn more by trying it probably, and it might actually work out well for you for your portfolio. So definitely don't get stuck in that rut but take that parable to heart about the lumberjack and the ax. You never know when you're going to find your break, and this goes to the portfolio because I had a portfolio and I had been updating it and I applied to this studio. Every six months for four years, I applied to this studio, and every six months it was the same response. So I would say, "All right, I'll email you again in another six months and see if there's a new opening or things have changed." When I finally got a job, two days before I finally got the interview offer, they told me no. So you never know how close you are. I had just applied, they said they're only looking for senior people. I said that's okay, I'll try you in another six months. Two days later, they asked if I wanted an interview. So you want to make sure you have the patience to get through that much of a stage like that, and have the perseverance and endurance to get through that and that much rejection. I mean, I can't tell you how many jobs I've applied to that I've been rejected from. Ninety five percent of them I get rejected from, and there's not a ton of rhyme or reason to it. Sometimes it's just scheduling, sometimes they've already filled the position. You never know what the reason is, but you need to have a mindset to get you through years of that. If that's the case, if you want to work at a specific place, know it's going to take a long time to get there and appreciate that journey. Know that that's the mindset you're going to take into developing your skills to get you there. I want to leave you with a couple more things and I want to say that all you have control over is your effort. So when you're building your portfolio, don't worry about what other people are doing, don't worry about the rejections you're getting. Listen to feedback, but know that all you have control over is the effort that you're putting in. So give yourself the title that you want because no one else is going to do that for you. If you want to be an animator, you want to be a film-maker, you want to be a photographer, whatever it is you want to do, give yourself that title and get through this imposter syndrome when you're starting out because the more work you put in, the less and less of an imposter you're going to feel because you'll have put in the time. The time is going to equate to not feeling like an imposter. I know what it's like to feel like an imposter and to get through that stage. The reality is you can give yourself any title that you want to give yourself. You could be a creative director. Where the rubber meets the road, is whether you're good at it or not, and that's going to be for people hiring you are going to determine that or not. But get over the title thing. Give yourself whatever title you want to give yourself and move into the pursuit, and creating a portfolio that you want to create for the career that you want to have, and go ahead and give yourself that title and put in the effort. Thanks for watching. Let's review what we discussed in this lesson. First, you want to make sure that you're making a specific portfolio for wherever you're applying to, and you want to be updating that about every three months. Second, you want to balance the learning aspect with executing. Third, don't give up. You never know how close you are to your big break, and last, all you have control over is your effort. In the next lesson, we'll discuss how to find time to launch your creative career. Thanks for watching.f 6. Making Time: Finding time. Where do you find time to do all this stuff? The tough truth is, if you want it bad enough, you're going to find time for this. That's the harsh truth that most people don't want to hear. The questions you need to ask yourself are, how much time are you watching Netflix? How much sleep do you really need at night? I think it's seven hours until, you're three times as likely to get a cold if you get less than seven hours. If you're getting more than seven hours, maybe you're getting eight hours, what are you doing with that one hour? This goes back to the question about, what can you get done in 30 minutes? The other thing I would do at night would be, I'll get home from my day job, and then I would cook, I would do these other things, call friends, family, whatever it is, but I would set an alarm on my phone every day for eight o'clock, and it can be nine o'clock for you, 10 o'clock, whatever it is. But I would commit to myself that whatever time that I decided at night, I have to stop what I'm doing and go work on this pursuit, and if I don't start at that time, I'm not doing it at all that night, so it provides you a restriction and motivation and also relief. Like if you do need a break, then just take that night off. But if you don't need a break and you're really just putting things off, but you have the energy and time and you're going to watch Netflix or something instead, then you need to really question what your priorities are and how serious you want to pursue this. I will say, you want to give yourself a big pat on the back by getting this far into this course. You are making time for this, you are making time for it now, so don't stop, it takes what you're doing right now for a long time. If you want a long career, this is exactly what you have to do for your career. This doesn't just stop once you get a job. This doesn't just stop five years in or whatever it is. There's always something you will learn, and you want to make time for it. I've climbed several mountains in my life, figuratively and literally, and I was even at one point going to become a mountain guide. Whenever I take someone new into the mountains, there's a little bit of whining, there's a little bit of fear and a lot of discouragement when they first see the mountain and they see how far we have to go, and the time that we have, a couple of days or a week or two weeks. But what you can only focus on is that first step, you don't look up here and start walking. You don't look at the summit and start walking. You look down at your feet and you focus on where you're at at that time, and you take one step, and then you look further and you take another step. You can glance up every once in a while and see what the goal is, but you don't just look at the goal and start walking and you're going to walk right off a cliff or something, so don't get discouraged by how far away the eventual goal is. From wherever starting point that you're at on the mountain, you could be at the bottom, you could be midway up, don't get discouraged. All you can do is control the effort that you apply, and look down at the next step that it takes. When you do the research and you're in development phase, you understand what that next step is going to be, and focus on that. Don't look for ways to be reactionary. This goes to consumer verse a producer mindset, and this goes back to making time because when we're consuming, we're not making time for it as much. When we're consuming, meaning when we're watching Netflix, we're being consumer. We're not being a producer, and the other way to think about it as being reactionary mindset versus a proactive mindset. I catch myself a lot of times being reactionary. I want to react to an email. I want an email to come in so that I can react to it. I don't want to be the one that has to initiate new work, whatever it is, it takes more effort. It's easier to react to something than it is to create something of your own, so stop finding ways to be reactionary, stop finding excuses to be reactionary and look for, open up time for you to actually produce, be proactive, and not be a consumer and actually be a producer of creative work. It's something that I struggle with every day, I need to take my own advice, but it's definitely a balance. You want to also have free time and a life work balance. But just know that there are these distinctions that you can use to your advantage, and question yourself, am I being reactionary, or am I being proactive right now? Which do I want to be doing? Instead of working on this autopilot where you're just reacting to things, and you're not actually creating. Make sure you carve out time for that, and that goes back to making time because when you look at things through that lens of reactive versus proactive or consumer verse producer, look at your time management through that lens and question yourself about what you actually want to be doing with that time. Thanks for watching this video, in the next one, we'll wrap it all up. Let's review what we discussed in this video. First off, if you want it bad enough, you're going to find time for it, and to help with that, set an alarm at night to help you draw a line in the sand of whether or not you're going to work that night. Next, we talked about focusing on the next step in front of you. Like climbing a mountain, you only want to focus on the next step, so don't get overwhelmed with how much work you have to do, and then you get paralyzed, and don't spend any time doing it. Just focus on the next step and chunk it down so you spend a smaller amount of time over many sessions, and that'll help you find the time. Lastly, we talked about being reactionary versus being proactive. Question yourself how you're using your time, especially at night when you get home from your day job, you want to question yourself, am I being reactionary? Am I checking social media, or do I have the mindset of, I want to be proactive, I want to create something, and not look for things to be reactionary about? That's how you want to use your time, is being proactive. In the next video, we'll wrap it all up. Thanks for watching. 7. Wrap Up: Thanks for watching this course. There's a lot of good nuggets in here for people starting out that I wish I had known when I started out and what it really takes to get to where I'm at now. Know there's going to be struggles, know there's going to be challenges. Make sure your mindset is correct when you start and you'll overcome them with no problem. One of my first jobs, I slept diagonally in a friend's closet for three months because I could not afford rent. This is the time when I was almost homeless and I took the job because I knew it would lead to a job that I wanted to have and the strategy worked. I ended up working at a studio that did Super Bowl commercials and amazing work. But I had to make a sacrifice early on. Just know that you need to be patient. There will be sacrifices to your time and that's what it takes, there's no way around it. That's the tough reality of pursuing creative career. When you're trying to make a switch, when you're trying to switch careers, you're trying to add something new to your existing career. It takes time, be kind to yourself, and know that it's going to take time and be patient. What you're doing is admirable. I hope you are incredibly successful and just know that if you feel overwhelmed by it, think about this analogy that if you were to drive from New York to Los Angeles and you waited until every light turned green before you started your journey, you would never start because that's impossible. That's not what happens. Just know that you can start this journey now and everything doesn't have to be lined up because all the lights aren't going to turn green for you when you first start. That's the reality, and that's the reality for everyone. Everyone who's ever done what you're trying to do has had the same obstacles and everyone has started there. I myself have done the same thing. I've overcome it. I hope you the best of luck in pursuing it and I can't wait to see the work that you create. Thanks for watching this course if you liked it, please leave a review and if you have any questions, please ask them and I could even maybe make some supplementary videos to answer them if they're longer form questions. But I really appreciate you taking this class and I look forward to seeing the work you make. Thanks for watching. Bye.