In the 80’s, it was all about goals. You had fancy daytimers with “grass catcher lists” to make goals, and catch goals from yesterday that you didn’t get to that would become today’s goals. But they never asked “what is behind these goals?” To become a millionaire? To get famous? To show everyone how cool you are? Did it come from Ego? Fear? Pride?
My goal of doing comic strips for a living was really what everyone expected me to do ( meeting others expectations) Everyone said I was going to be a millionaire( ego) etc etc. But what I did find, was that, even though I loved creating characters, the confines of a comic strip did not bring me joy while doing it. After many many attempts to break into the comic strip fields I had to stop. I had a life that I had a lot to be grateful for. A simple life where my wife and I earned enough money as a freelance illustrator for a nice life. I turned it over, as they say.
Then I found animation. Instant Love. I started making little films and suddenly doors started to open. But what was interesting is that I didn’t make any goals when it came to animation. (except to finish my films) I just said “I have to do this for the rest of my life. I don’t care if I make any money on it. In fact, I’ll probably lose money on it. I didn’t see any “career” in animation. Nor did I really want it.
When I lost myself in my passion, everything came into alignment. It clicked. When the offer to pitch something for television, I didn’t know if I wanted to do it, because I had a good thing going.
After I started doing Rocko, I realized I enjoyed making episodes of a concept I created, with characters I created. But not at the expense of working with abusive people or against my morals.
But I’ve been making characters and stories ever since. It’s what I love.
But that is why, in my book, I have a chapter on “why” you want to do your own show? Is it for Ego? Is it to have the next Spongebob? ( because those are lucky flukes of the universe) . To be rich? If it’s not for love, don’t do it. Because the pressure and stress of it will take years off of your life. But if you love, love love doing it, thats the best.
And I realized that at times I would create ideas and shows that I loved and I enjoyed creating, but there was no home for it really. It didn’t fit in to any “preconceived models” of what executives feel would make a great cartoon that got good ratings or sold toys, or maybe just for their brand. But thats okay. I would rather the show not be anywhere where they don’t love it.
Thats my experience. Believe it or not it’s your choice. But I found the universe has larger possibilities in store for you than you can even come up with if you follow what you love.