February 26, 2010

On King of Kong and recovering from rejection

When life throws rotten tomatoes at you...

--You'd better duck! I should have at least braced for impact, but hindsight tells me I couldn't have known.

Every artist has these days and this week is one of mine. A "blue" period, a "dry" time, a little bit of soul searching. Ask anybody who's serious about their art and they'll tell you that you go through times of self-doubt - when you feel like all of your creative juice is spent - that there's nothing good left in you - and that all the joy you once had has left. You feel bitter, angry, depressed and lonely - as if no one else has ever felt that way (a lie if I ever heard one).

This is where I stand.

I saw this really great documentary - and if you're a fan of arcade games, or even just video games in general - or like a good story I recommend it. It's called "King of Kong" and it's about an ordinary guy trying to break an extraordinary record - the highest score on Donkey Kong.

So I don't spoil those who haven't seen it (please watch it!) or bore those who have (tell me your favorite part!) I'll say this much, Steve Wiebe was such an inspiration to me. Even in the face of ridicule, of accusations and pressures from life and his own self, he kept going for his dream. That's the kind of dedication I want to return myself to. Best of all he still knew how to have fun with it, which is the "hokey pokey" in itself really when it comes to video games.

All this to say because I got rejected again for another job I really wanted. This one I felt overqualified for (a good sign I'm recovering from past failures and regaining my confidence) but got a slap in the face telling me what I considered my strength was my "weakness" - my flash animation.

Half of me wonders if they didn't realize that my Hawthorne film was Flash! A lot of people think it's a hand-drawn when they see it. It also makes me wonder if Gennedy had days like this! I know for sure Stephen King did.

I want to be more like Stephen. When I get rejection I want to push myself to be better, to prove them wrong.

Even so, that's easier to say than it is to do. I've always wondered why it's so easy for us to build each other up - to see the potential in others - and then why it's so hard to discover we have that same potential in ourselves.

It hurts, and I think it will take some time for me to heal. At least today I'm feeling a little better.

Honestly I want to be like my friend Roger. He keeps animating and he hasn't had a single lesson. He taught himself. Yeah his "quality" is what some would consider poor but he loves doing it and his humor and talent shine through. He's always improving and pushing himself but doesn't stop when someone tells him his work sucks. God help me to be more like that - to be creating for the sake of creating.

I've only just recently rediscovered the joy of writing - I want to do the same for my animation. I want this not to be an end, but a beginning.

If there's anyone else who's feeling like this - don't give up. It's tough but it's worse to let them win and throw in the towel - especially when it's something that you truly value.

- Joanie /^>


  1. Hi Joanie!

    You bet everyone else feels the same from time to time. In my case, it was last week. Then I've decided to turn things around and I've assigned myself two writing challenges, one of which you've read and kindly commented on. Thanks for that, by the way. :)

    So, back to you. If your best stuff was rejected, it's because the possible boss didn't relate with it. You're better off this way, as I'm sure you'll find someone who will appreciate it as it should be. ;)

    Another side note: I looove animation! How cool to meet you! Are you on twitter? I'm @mariblaser. Let's connect there too if it's the case? :D

    Finally, it's awesome that you're going on the writing venue too. Sometimes it's good to chill out playing with different projects. Keeps the muse working, heh.

  2. This is a wonderful, inspirational post. Kudos to you for turning your own blue period around to try to inspire others.

    I also wanted to say thank you for your comment on my fridayflash! I'm surprised and happy I could remind you of your own experiences with theatre.

  3. Stopped by via Helen Ginger's blog.
    As for rejection- no matter what they say it's a bummer. But too everyone in an art related field knows not everyone is going to love you (1) and only the determined suceed (2). So many very very talented people lay along the road to success; they didn't have the stamina.

  4. I realize you haven't posted in a long time, but I'm hoping you'll start up again.

    I gave you an award today.


  5. Hello fellow Vanarts graduate!

    Just wanted to stop by and say that I loved your Hawthorne short when it was shown to us at school.

    It really is tough to keep motivated all the time but it definitely helps when you have a support system.

    A few kids from my class and I actually started a blog in which we each take a day during the week to post something creative. It takes the pressures of having to post everyday on our personal blogs and it's nice to receive feedback from each other.


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