maybe some of you remember when I, possibly years ago, announced that I’d go entirely freelance in a while? Like most things in life, it took me more than a while.
I’ve been working for a game company for half a decade (I started almost exactly 5 years ago, on 27.8.2009) and it was hard to give myself that final push and give up guaranteed salary and safety in order to pursue what I really want to do. (My job description was concept/texture artist in case you were curious)
Well, today I handed in my letter of resignation. I’m proud but also afraid (which is normal, I haven’t heard of anyone not being scared of changes like these). But I did it and I have a feeling it’s going to take a while to sink in.
What I’m saying is, studio work suits some people, and for others it can be poisonous and suffocating. I belong to the latter group. I don’t blame any of this on the studio or my coworkers (I’ve had a lot of fun getting to know them and working with them) but I’m the kind of person who needs the freedom to work at their own pace and change from project to project fast before I get bored with it. When the production of a game takes years, you have to stay interested and make yourself feel inspired about it even if it feels like the time for it has passed and that can take a lot of energy. Especially when you want to do your best for the project and it is important for the success of the project that everyone produces good, consistent work. Of course some people have the right kind of brain to work themselves into that kind of state where they can stay enthusiastic about it, but that’s them.
I’ve learnt that the way I am isn’t a wrong way to be, I just need to take on different kind of projects and work on different kinds of things really. I think I have found my own niche, at least a part of it for the time being, and I honestly feel happy about having realised that this is my thing and it’s fine, let others have their thing. I don’t want their thing and they aren’t after mine, haha. We can coexist.
Yes, I am plagued with the eternal ‘am I going to make it’ and I will have to work hard, in addition to worrying about all the other things freelancers worry about. But I have spent more time than is healthy for anyone weighing the pros and cons, and have decided that, hey, for a person who is afraid of leaving and trying new things, there will never be a perfect time to do it. Now is as good a time as any. On top of that, I’m not just resigning and landing on top of a big pile of nothing; I already have a really nice gig waiting for me (I feel very lucky to have it as well).
I guess, in conclusion, I just felt that every minute I spent doing something else (working in the studio) I felt that time and opportunities were slipping like sand through my fingers and in the end, I didn’t want to have regrets. I’d rather try and chase what I really want to do and risk failure than spend an eternity wondering ‘what if’.
Ani, signing out, sending warm thoughts and strength to all my fellow freelancers and those who still haven’t made the decision.