Autistics in the creative industry - Advice?

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MindBlind
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01 Jun 2010, 1:36 pm

I am a film and animation student and I'm very worried because the animation industry in my country is very small and although it is an artform that I am passionate about, I am worried that I may not be fully cut out for it. I refuse to give up, but I am worried for a number of reasons. For one thing, I am worried that I might have to go freelance, which isn't so bad except that I am rubbish with my organisational skills (which I hear are even more imprtant when freelancing). I know I will have to do other jobs on the side, which I am willing to do, but I am worried in case I will have to settle for a different job instead of my passion as a career (though I'm determined to make films anyway, even if I have to do it independently on my kicthen table).

My problem is that I feel that I do not possess any other useful skills and therefore if I have to be stuck with a different job, I might be stuck with a very poor job and a bad pay because I don't have other skills. I have rubbish numeracy skills and everything these days requires a flaming degree. I'm also awful at dealing with stress (to the point where I have panic attacks and tantrums) which makes me afraid that if I do try to work in the industry, I'd just end up failing right away. I always try to remedy my problems by making lists and keeping track of my time, but I'm so bloody disorganised that i lose the timetables or forget to update my lists! I don't know how I got as far as I am and I'm only finishing my first year of studies. I'm only beginning, but I am very aware of my flaws and the things I need to overcome and i want to know if there are any other autistics here who work in the creative industry and how you've coped (if you so happen to be filmmakers or animators, that's great!). Can you please share any of your stories or wisdom?

Thank you for having the patience to read this.



Willard
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01 Jun 2010, 2:32 pm

Doing something you love is more important than making a lot of money.

It sounds like you're borrowing a lot of trouble you haven't even encountered yet. Just forge ahead toward your goal and do everything you know you need to do, step-by-step for now. The rest will fall into place as you get to it. You'll probably find opportunities and alternatives along the way that you haven't even thought of yet.



AardvarkGoodSwimmer
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01 Jun 2010, 2:41 pm

Okay, the thing with math. I'd recommend only one math---or math-like class---at a time. And I count classes like economics or physics as math-like because they actually have pretty much mathematical-type reasoning.

And then, experiment with prestudying. For example, hopefully no condensed math classes this Summer, but maybe one lined up in the Fall. So, nibble at the material ahead of time. Maybe 10 minutes here, 3 minutes here, looking at a graph in the book. Maybe lightly thinking about that graph during a walk

I tend to make either an A or a F in math classes. I kind of have to go at it slowly and be able to think through the material in my head, and that's time intensive.



Element333
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01 Jun 2010, 3:35 pm

MindBlind wrote:
I am a film and animation student and I'm very worried because the animation industry in my country is very small and although it is an artform that I am passionate about, I am worried that I may not be fully cut out for it. I refuse to give up, but I am worried for a number of reasons. For one thing, I am worried that I might have to go freelance, which isn't so bad except that I am rubbish with my organisational skills (which I hear are even more imprtant when freelancing). I know I will have to do other jobs on the side, which I am willing to do, but I am worried in case I will have to settle for a different job instead of my passion as a career (though I'm determined to make films anyway, even if I have to do it independently on my kicthen table).


As a film/animation student, you're not going to find "The Right Job" right out of college. I work in photography and design myself, and it took me better than 10 years to get where I needed to be. However, if you do like I did, and just get your foot in the door at the right place (perhaps a TV station or some kind of media company), you can start at an entry-level position and work your way up (degree or no degree, this happens to everyone in the media arts, sorry). This doesn't mean you have to give up your passion. There are many cases where an independent film gave a previously unknown person much notoriety. Example is the film "Paranormal Activity." The guy who made that film spend about $10,000 on a really nice camera and his girlfriend and another pal helped him film it. The plot was very basic and involved almost no computer special effects. It wasn't the greatest film in the world (I saw it & thought it was "okay"), but it made him several million dollars off that one investment. Build your equipment, get creative and no matter what happens, do what YOU like to do. It will always pay off, sooner or later.

Quote:
My problem is that I feel that I do not possess any other useful skills and therefore if I have to be stuck with a different job, I might be stuck with a very poor job and a bad pay because I don't have other skills. I have rubbish numeracy skills and everything these days requires a flaming degree. I'm also awful at dealing with stress (to the point where I have panic attacks and tantrums) which makes me afraid that if I do try to work in the industry, I'd just end up failing right away. I always try to remedy my problems by making lists and keeping track of my time, but I'm so bloody disorganised that i lose the timetables or forget to update my lists! I don't know how I got as far as I am and I'm only finishing my first year of studies. I'm only beginning, but I am very aware of my flaws and the things I need to overcome and i want to know if there are any other autistics here who work in the creative industry and how you've coped (if you so happen to be filmmakers or animators, that's great!). Can you please share any of your stories or wisdom?.


At 43, I find myself no longer working in my field of choice with another company. I own my own business, and I had saved up about $30,000.00 (USD) to get it started. It's on hiatus at the moment while I deal with some major health problems, but because it's my business, it will be there when I'm ready to get back to work. It's not been easy, and I have lots of other obstacles along the way, but if you work hard and save every bit of money you get, you can one day spend what you need on making a good independent film that will help you get recognition. I've had my fair share of crap jobs, but think of them only as a means to an end. Try to find a job that's more or less in your field of work, but if you can't (and I know how hard that is), then find something where you can earn the most money you can until you do find the job you're really wanting. Aspies tend to do better when they work in the field that most suits their special interests - they won't be happy with anything less - so it's all a matter of how you look at those first few crap jobs. They're just a way to get you where you really want to be. Don't be depressed, as low-wage jobs are not permanent. In the creative industries, everyone must pay their due before they begin making a good living. You're not alone.

E333



JasonGone
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01 Jun 2010, 6:01 pm

"make your work shine and the sh*t will take care of itself" - g. ramnsey


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Todesking
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01 Jun 2010, 11:31 pm

I use to do stop-motion animation when I was younger on super-8 film when I was a couple years younger than you back in the 80's. I loved it and was getting good at it. My puppet's arms use to snap from over bending, I wanted to do ball and socket armatures like the professionals used. But I had a fear of using machine tools like drills and other tools used to make them. Thats the idotic reason I quit doing it. Now that I am in my forties I have nothing but regreats about quitting at something I was so in love with doing. After working in a machine shop for 9 years I had to use drills, grinders, and polishing wheels all the tools I needed to use to make the armatures and they were easy to use. I do not know where the fear came from. :roll:

I really do not wish to see you quit at animating like I did, you will only regreat it later. Trust me on this I am speaking from experience. I still collect pdf.s on 2D and stop-motion animation. If you like I can throw some of those pdfs on a cd or dvd for you. I also know where to get computer animation pdf.s whatever type of animation you are into I'll find a pdf. or video on it. :D



MindBlind
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02 Jun 2010, 12:16 pm

Thank for commenting everyone- the advice is great. Just knowing that I can communicate with autistics in the creative industry/who are very talented in creative things. I hope I haven't come across as whiny or that I am intending on giving up at any point. I care way too much about film to give up. However I was concerned that I wouldn't be able to be hired even for jobs in the public sector (or for any job for that matter). Though, you're all very right- I guess it's difficult for students to find work at the moment anyway. last year, I looked everywhere for a job and had no luck. I think my main objective at the moment is to improve my skills in observational drawing and, if I can't find work, I'll volunteer, whether it is for a charity or for a company (though ideally I'd like to do both).

I think I wrote what I wrote because I had a bit of a panic about how I could manage with my career path. With that being said, I have found your advice to be very reassuring and it is great to hear about your accomplishments.

To Todesking in particular - although my course primarily focusses on digital animation, my personal favourite form of animation is stopmotion animation as well. Are you sure about the pdf's? I would love to know where to find them, thank you :)