2017 goals

Its been a long time

Yo! Long time no read. I know it's been a while since my last blog, and there's a lot of reasons why that is which I won't get into. A lot of negativity and ruminating about the past few months was done and I'm at the point now where I want to push forward. I've also talked about it a lot in my inner circle and I'm simply tired of relieving it.

I want this to be a positive post because there's so much to look forward to next year and I've missed writing blogs for you guys (as well as myself). They're still great ways to organize my thoughts and I'd like to jump back on in anyway I can. 

The run down

So I'm writing this blog to formalize my 2017 goals and bring you up to speed on what I will be doing. It's a lot so I'll try to breakdown everything as best I can.  There's 3 main things I would like to talk about: the direction of my primary Youtube channel and my personal work, the birth of my secondary YouTube channel, and my openness and aggressiveness to collaborate and complete freelance projects.

Primary channel and personal work goals  

Alright let's get to it. Here are my goals: 

  • Expand my content creation to include in-depth tutorials relating to creative software
  • Create the animated equivalent of a  vlog series called "the corner" featuring an animated puppet of myself speaking about news, entertainment, personal stories and so on
  • Get back to production on a short film (~5 minutes) 
  • Learn Toonboom and incorporate it into my workflow.
  • Release more varied animations (short stuff around 10 seconds that are like bursts of creativity)

So as you can see there's going to be a lot of changes to my channel. This all comes at a price though which is probably going to be less frequent uploading of web-series (or total hiatus). Web-series take a long time to make and I now have an understanding that it's not profitable for me at this point to make animation my primary source of growth for YouTube. Of course there will still be original animations, but it won't be on a regular schedule like it has been.

I plan to forgo web-series for 2017 (aside from the first three months due to the project being complete) in favor of producing really tiny animations and to focus on making a nice short film. Now the tutorial content and "the corner" will fill in the gaps of animation and they should both be fairly easy and quick to produce while maintaining the quality I want. So in simple terms: more simple and easy to produce content more frequently and less medium and high end animations. 

I've learned that when it comes to Youtube I have to go with the flow, and this is where it's taking me. This is not to say I'm doing this stuff to just grow my channel (of course that plays a part), these are things I've actually wanted to do for a long time, but just couldn't figure out how. All of the changes going on my primary channel are things I love to do. I'm just finally able to bring them to you in a way where everybody wins.

The good news is that with the extra time I'll have, it will go into producing a real personal short film. Something I haven't done since I finished 'Quiet' two years ago. It's something I'm genuinely excited about especially now that I don't have to spend as much energy and resources putting out YouTube content. The pivot is real. Also, incorporating Toonboom into my workflow will allow me to get some serious productivity gains.

YouTube x2

The next big goal of mine is to launch my second YouTube channel. This channel will be for let's plays and videogame related stuff. For the past month I've been working, tweaking and recording tests to get into the groove of making these videos, but I may be getting ahead of myself. What's the purpose of these let's plays? 

When I originally made my first channel, I wanted it to be a catch-all for animation, videogame stuff and a bunch of other things. With time I realized it may be better to spin-off the videogame part into its own thing and create synergy between the channels. This allows me to avoid potential copyright strikes on my main channel, enables better focus by splitting the content up, and gives me another platform to boost my presence, while doing something I love (playing videogames). I also had most of the equipment already so I thought it'd be a good time to jump in. Making the content is really quick and I can upload something everyday. 

So far the recording process has been very tough, but I'm excited to press on and see where this goes. I'll be launching the channel in January with a play through of Pikmin 3 for the Wii U. I hope you'll join me on these playthroughs.

 To collab or not to collab

So finally the last thing I'd like to talk about is collaborations and freelance projects. This is a topic I've been meaning to talk about for a while and even though my thoughts on the subject aren't completely refined, I do have some projections and goals I want to achieve regarding this subject. 

The first thing is collaborations. I've long been a solo artist and I'll keep on seeing myself as one, but I think I've grown enough at this point to be comfortable in approaching collaborations. Let me qualify this quickly so I don't give out the wrong impression. By collabs, I mean very short, fun pieces of art between myself and at least one other person, preferably an animator or voice actor.

When I say collab, I don't mean me working on your music video for free. That may sound a bit harsh and abrupt, but I have to be so I don't get emails asking if I can be someone's slave for 4 months.  Anyway, something I've wanted to do is collab with fellow animators. While I haven't set anything into motion yet, I would like to have done at least one or two collabs before the end of this year- hopefully more, but I there's a lot of stuff I have to do before I'm ready to commit to that.

The last thing on the list is freelance projects. I spent a lot of time last year preparing a pipeline for taking in more freelance projects. I've gathered a little team of on-call animators and I've mentally prepared myself to tackle freelance however I can going forward. This is a big change in mentality for me, but the perk is that no matter my situation, I'll always be available for freelance. Whether it's if I'm working at a company or not, I've set my time up to accommodate freelance projects as they come so you'll definitely see more work from me for other people this year.

It's gonna be a journey

There's a ton I've tried to unpack in this blog and some of it is still a work in progress, but I'm very excited for the opportunities that come my way this year. For the first time in my life, I believe I am more flexible and able to tackle any challenge that comes my way. The hardest lesson I had to learn in 2016 was how to adapt to changing circumstances. I was very strict in how I did my work and set up my life for a large part of my life, but now I believe I'm ready to seize any opportunity that comes my way. I hope you'll look forward to the stuff I make in 2017, and I promise to write some more blogs!