BUILDING YOUR NAME

Independent Animator Bill Plympton
As you create your independent projects and get them out there, along with it goes your name. This name you must continue to build if you are to grow your success. As this name grows, along with your independent projects, many opportunities will come to you that will allow you to use the skills you have gained to help others with their projects. You must be very careful in your selection of which projects to take on, and which projects to refuse, for two important reasons.

The first reason is balance. As your name grows, opportunities for other projects will come to you with increasing frequency. Early on, your independent projects, involving making your own anime, may generate more name value than they do actual revenue for you. For this reason, the side projects may appear to be something of a necessity, as you need to eat and keep the lights on in order to continue towards your dreams. You must take care, however, to never forget your true goals. While the money coming in from side projects may be good, it can also serve to take you off the path to your independent future and let your own anime projects slide to the back burner.

This may be doubly so if you have a family. Your spouse may see little value in your desire to make your own anime projects, and have little understanding of the great future they can create. In contrast to the real money that side projects may bring in now, your family may view your independent anime projects as a waste of time. Not everyone will share your vision, nor will they necessarily understand, or be able to project, what might happen when the independent projects gain steam and take off. Because of this, your family, and others close to you, may be constantly pushing you to continue taking on more "real work" to the detriment of your dreams as an independent and free creator.

You must do something on your independent projects everyday, even if it is only an hour. Never allow side projects to overtake your schedule such that your projects fade away, or you may wake up years later realizing you have truly accomplished nothing of your own. This, then, brings us to the next important reason you must be careful in choosing how to build your name, time.

Every project you do, which is not built around your desire to make your own anime, takes time away from your true dreams and goals, no matter how well it may seem to support it. While it is true that certain projects will fall in line with what you want to achieve, for example, doing a music video or an advertisement, for someone else, in your visual style, they are still not your projects. They can, however, do a lot to help build your name and provide money to allow you to continue your projects, particularly if you did a video for a musician who has a name, like Bill Plympton did for Kanye West. You must note, however, that Plympton still put out a number of his own short animated films that same year.

Time is the one thing you never get back. The money "lost" from not taking a particular project can surely be made up for when your independent anime projects find an audience, but years lost doing too many other projects, while neglecting your own, can never be made up for. If you are ever to see the bright future promised by your independent projects, you must begin now. You must begin to build your name now, and do so in a fashion that is always on one path to your goals and dreams.

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