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View Full Version : Two Careers.. is it possible?


SassMuffin
06-19-2006, 06:26 PM
I'm currently headed toward a career in game development (modeling/texturing/animation), but I'd also like to try my hand at comics (pitching my series/one shots to indie publishers). Would you think it possible to pursue both at the same time? Or would you think I'd have to be completely dedicated to one or the other? Opinions please! :( Also, those who currently juggle comics on top of another job/career please share your experiences! Thanks!

jrod
06-19-2006, 06:37 PM
Well.

I do about ten hours of chem/bio/radiological/nuclear defense planning during the day and edited a seven Harvey-nomination gathering, soon to be collected by Random House book in Elkís Run (and several other upstart projects coming soon to fine comic stores near you) and Iím now producing/editing/directing a 168-page anthology called Postcards by night. Not bragging, just saying you could (and should) work a day job while making great comics at night.

At least video games and comics are relatively close to each other.

The key is time management and learning to get by on 5-6 hours of sleep each night. And take days off. I donít work on comics between Thursday night and Sunday morning unless thereís a pressing deadline.

j giar
06-19-2006, 07:03 PM
I look at my fulltime job as the financial backing for what I love to do. It pays my bills, supports my family and allows me the freedom to work on comics. As Jason said it's about time management, plain and simple. It can be done.

aidirisuto
06-19-2006, 07:26 PM
It can definetly be done.
I work as a video game designer by day and nights and weekends i co-write and draw both a webcomic and am finished with 1 issue (of 3) for a book being published by Image. And I still have time with my wife and I get 8 hours of sleep a night. Or more. :P

It's all about time managment and enjoying it. You can't do all that if you do it be-grudgingly.

I say start small. Get the fulltime gig going, particularly if that is your first priority. I took 7 years off comics to gt my day job in animation set up. Now that I am relatively stable, I am back and doing comic for fun, on the side.

Not sure if that helps.

:)

D.J. Coffman
06-19-2006, 07:53 PM
Having a real career at ONE of those things as oppossed to two, is very difficult and can take a lot of time to master.

It's possible though. This could easily wind up in a discussion about what PROFESSIONAL or CAREER means--- It's likely a career cartoonist is making VERY little money. Same with some game developers. It's a crapshoot generally.

Scott Story
06-19-2006, 08:16 PM
My view is that is possible to have two careers like that when you are young, like in your twenties, but it gets harder with each decade that follows. I'm in my 40's, and I'm sticking with art. My hobby is music, and for fun I am recording an album, but it is a hobby at this point. To be honest, I'm not sure how much longer I'll still be doing sequentials, beyond those I do for myself. I'm heading more and more for cover work and spot illustrations.

Mecha
06-19-2006, 08:54 PM
It can be hard to keep two careers going fulltime, but some people manage it. Just after a while it can be very tiring, especially if you don't take any time to relax and go fullspeed ahead in both jobs.

Buckyrig
06-19-2006, 08:58 PM
One word: Meth. :whistlin:

Calloway
06-20-2006, 01:02 AM
One word: Meth. :whistlin:


word.

Icaruss
06-20-2006, 01:11 AM
It's not only possible, but necessary. Like people say: don't quit your dayjob. At least not for a while.

Ingrid K. V. Hardy
06-20-2006, 08:26 AM
Perhaps my response doesn't belong here, in which case just ignore it. Time management is essential when you work in more than one career... my illustration career is part time - 20 hrs a week - balanced with managing two very active older kids and all that home stuff that we never get paid for but should, and part time day jobs in my old horse career. My illustration career is mainly spot illustrations for books and I'm getting more and more of that, and some specialized medieval illumination gigs, but am also working on a sequential career - a project called High Stakes - that I'm really excited about. Just to give you even more usless info, my signifigant other is a full time musician and a full time translator. Time management and temper control are everyday words in this household. :)

scottr
06-20-2006, 03:37 PM
It's possible. I think the more important question is whether you can call a part time side job a 'career' or not. I wrote about this very thing last week on my blog (http://websbestcomics1.blogspot.com/2006/06/old-cartoonists-dont-die-they-just.html) if anyone cares to take a peek.

Ultimately I think it's a matter of deciding if you can honestly call a part-time side job that doesn't meet the minimum national average income requirements a 'career'...

SassMuffin
06-20-2006, 04:09 PM
Hey everyone, thanks for the valuable advice!

I imagine my gaming career would more along the lines have me as a full timer, 5 days a week, 9 to 5 kind of thing.

Seeing as both industries (gaming and comics) are typically not the easiest industries to break into, seems like I'll have a lot on my plate. But all of this advice has been very inspiring so thanks again for sharing! :banana:

T.J. May
06-20-2006, 04:46 PM
One might say I have three jobs, like many other mom's and dad's here. From 5am to 3pm I play Mister mOm to Cooper. My wife comes home and I go to work, to play Big Brother/Surrogate Dad to 3 young men with severe disabilities. I do that for 16 hours on Monday, and 8 each T-Thurs. I manage the house and supervise 12 staff.

I write and conduct SUMM comic business when Cooper naps and on weekends. In between time with my wife, playing in my baseball league, cleaning the house and visiting family.

My brother Jason (jimmycakes) has pretty much the same gigs except he works at blockbuster and minus the baseball. But he has two kids and surfs :)

Many sleepless nights and killer time management.

Nick Pitarra
06-20-2006, 06:45 PM
I think you absolutely have to have a day job. I'm a junior at the university of houston-art education major. My goal is to pass out crayons by day and draw by night~fulltime in the summer. If you really think about it.... whats the most you could hope for in comics?...probally to be a top ten creator working for one of the big 2 companys. But you have to ask yourself how long that will last. You'd be working free lance with no benefits what so ever...unless your wife has a great job where she could cover you and your entire family...its almost to stay on the top ten...even worse if your just a middle of the road artist...then you're really risking it...you have some Marvel and DC work....allot of indy stuff. Pull a resume from a guy like that who was doing comics ten or twelve years ago...how many of those guys are still doing it. Keep a day job and fund your pation. years ago i was worried about taking a fulltime job ...going to school at night...I was worried I was hurting my chances/giving up on comics. My mom told that having a solid job would enable me to acheive things/do things with comics that i haven't been able to do. Fund trips to cons...get better art equipment...fund your own comics. she was right and i can say I'm a more responsible artist and person for taking the day job. Thats just my 2 cents.

~nick

Scott Story
06-20-2006, 08:34 PM
I think you've got it pretty much right, Niptarra.

From my perspective, I have to wonder how good things are for older comic creators. You see them at cons, selling art and recreations of their own covers, and you know they didn't have health insurance, etc. How many of the silver age guys made enough money to retire? If they didn't make enough money, how do they support themselves after they are no longer wanted in comics? I'm not talking about the big names, like John Buscema, Gil Kane, etc., but even in their cases I don't know how well their standard of living was after their heyday passed.

Some creators have done fine, and I'm happy this is so. It's the rest I wonder about.

Being an artist, and trying to find the right way to market your skill set, is not easy.

Zero-Optix
06-20-2006, 08:58 PM
Perhaps my response doesn't belong here, in which case just ignore it. Time management is essential when you work in more than one career... my illustration career is part time - 20 hrs a week - balanced with managing two very active older kids and all that home stuff that we never get paid for but should, and part time day jobs in my old horse career. My illustration career is mainly spot illustrations for books and I'm getting more and more of that, and some specialized medieval illumination gigs, but am also working on a sequential career - a project called High Stakes - that I'm really excited about. Just to give you even more usless info, my signifigant other is a full time musician and a full time translator. Time management and temper control are everyday words in this household. :)

I know what you mean! whew!

scottr
06-21-2006, 10:59 AM
I think you've got it pretty much right, Niptarra.

From my perspective, I have to wonder how good things are for older comic creators. You see them at cons, selling art and recreations of their own covers, and you know they didn't have health insurance, etc. How many of the silver age guys made enough money to retire? If they didn't make enough money, how do they support themselves after they are no longer wanted in comics? I'm not talking about the big names, like John Buscema, Gil Kane, etc., but even in their cases I don't know how well their standard of living was after their heyday passed.

Some creators have done fine, and I'm happy this is so. It's the rest I wonder about.

Being an artist, and trying to find the right way to market your skill set, is not easy.


I think for a lot of them, it's not too great. I think there are a select few out there who may not have to worry about retirement, the guys who either made their millions from movie deals, or were extroardinarily successful at some point in their careers and could retire anytime they want, but chose to continue working in comics (Frank Miller, Alan Moore, John Byrne for instance).

And certainly there are and have been cartoonists who've been lucky enough to remain in good health and have remained popular enough to continue getting steady work with top page rates up until the end. John Busmema continued to do good quality work, and had plenty of it from Marvel. Although he also had admitted several times he hated drawing superhero books, and yet he continued doing them until the end--not sure if that suggests he was still working for Marvel because he needed the $ or not. I'm sure he also made a mint from commissions and I think he was doing those when he died. I feel a little disrespectful by even discussing the subject because I love that old generation of artists, but it's also a real concern for anyone who would like to retire someday.