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  • Stan: Marshall, are you ready to do the podcast?

  • Marshall: I'm ready to go.

  • Let's go Stan. [chuckle] The draftsmen podcast, with you.

  • Stan: Stan.

  • Marshall: And me.

  • Stan: Ma - Why am I -

  • Marshall: Why am I saying that?

  • That was -

  • Stan: Hey, guys

  • Welcome back to the Draftsmen Podcast where we talk about art stuff and we teach you about

  • art stuff and you ask us questions about art stuff.

  • Marshall: All that.

  • Stan: And we are artists and teachers and, yeah.

  • Marshall: Yeah.

  • Here we are again.

  • Stan: Yep. This is another episode.

  • Marshall: Let's do.

  • [intro-music]

  • Marshall: What do you want to talk about today Stan?

  • Stan: Well, we are going to talk about making money as an artist.

  • Marshall: "Making money as an artist".

  • Stan: Yes.

  • But first, Marshall...

  • Marshall: Yeah.

  • Stan: Hold on.

  • Marshall: Okay. I was jumping - Stan: I haven't seen you in a week.

  • Marshall: Oh, yeah.

  • Stan: Tell me what you've been up to?

  • Marshall: That is a hard question.

  • My mind is so on the present that you are trying to point it back to the past.

  • Stan: Okay. What are you going to be doing in like two months, because that is what this episode

  • is going to come out?

  • Marshall: I've been getting prepared for classes.

  • You might think, "why would he get prepared for classes when he's teaching classes he's

  • taught over and over?"

  • Because, every new group is a new experience and I get my head into the notes and into

  • the slides and then what we are going to watch.

  • And so, in fact, I enjoy that part of teaching more than any other part, is preparing the curriculum.

  • Stan: Really? interesting

  • Marshall: Yeah.

  • Marshall: Because I get to do it alone, it's creative, I get to move the sessions around

  • to say, "Oh, what if we did this one before that one?"

  • It's fun.

  • Stan: Nice.

  • Marshall: Yeah, that is what I'm doing.

  • Stan: That is cool.

  • Marshall: How about you?

  • Stan: I've been -

  • Marshall: This is how you make your living too.

  • Stan: Shit shit, hold on, wwhat I'm I doing? Oh!

  • I've been getting ready to launch Proko 2.0.

  • That's it's a new social network/online arts school kind I'll be launching.

  • Marshall: And this is the big thing you have been preparing for a few years.

  • Stan: We have been working on it for several years, yeah.

  • Marshall: Can you give us a brief explanation of how Proko 2.0 is different from the previous version?

  • Stan: Yes.

  • There will be a lot more community features.

  • You will be able to post your assignments directly under the lesson itself, request critiques.

  • people will be able to critique it, you are going to get points for everything you do

  • and possibly even maybe buy stuff with those points.

  • There is going to be a classroom area where you can keep track of what you are working on.

  • You could see what other people in that class are doing.

  • There will be a newsfeed.

  • Eventually, not in the first version, eventually we are going to launch challenges and competitions.

  • Marshall: Yeah.

  • Stan: Yeah.

  • It is just going to be more of an actual art school and less of a library because right

  • now I think Proko.com is kind of just like a library of videos.

  • It is not an art school but, yeah.

  • Marshall: So, this is going to level up the user experience to be more for the user.

  • Stan: Yes.

  • Oh! And a big part of this is I am going to be allowing other instructors to start posting their content.

  • So, it will become a larger marketplace of art education not just my stuff and the stuff

  • that Proko produces but other instructors can make their own stuff and post it.

  • They will be approved though, I'm not going to open up to everybody.

  • I guess if you are an art instructor with a lot of experience and know how to make videos

  • and you want to participate, email me.

  • Marshall: Great.

  • Stan: Yeah.

  • Marshall: Three cheers in advance for Proko 2.0.

  • Stan: Thank you.

  • Making money as an artist.

  • Marshall: Making money as an artist.

  • Oh, boy! That is a big topic.

  • Stan: It is huge.

  • Marshall: Yeah.

  • Stan: But I got nothing to say. No, I'm just kidding.

  • I've got a lot to say.

  • Marshall: So this is just specifically, how to make money.

  • So, if we're going to deal with this, I think we pull our view back and get a whole big context.

  • Stan: Yeah.

  • Marshall: And that is, "how do I actually make money with my art?"

  • Stan: Most people either freelance or get a job -

  • Marshall: Those have been the two big categories. Stan: - at a studio or something.

  • In my time that was all there was.

  • You got hired by a company to work regularly and you had a paycheck and you got insurance

  • benefits and you had to go to the work every day or what I did.

  • I never had a job like that.

  • I was always a freelancer.

  • Stan: You teach at a college.

  • Marshall: Yes.

  • But I've only been a part-time teacher.

  • Stan: Okay.

  • Marshall: Then on the online school in 2010 to 2012 or so, I was always a freelancer.

  • So, the schools are very much like freelancing.

  • Teach one night a week, two nights a week and you might not be teaching there next semester.

  • Stan: Oh, really?

  • Well, okay.

  • Marshall: Yeah.

  • So, freelancing was all I knew.

  • And freelancing was a hassle because every time you do a job, now you have got to go

  • out and get another job.

  • And so, the amount of time spent in showing portfolio and marketing, it is very much like

  • what actors have to do except that actors have it far worse.

  • Which is, most of their lives are going to auditions and going to auditions and going

  • to auditions and it is something like nine out of a ten or ninety-nine out of a hundred

  • that say no to you.

  • So, you spend all this time going to auditions hoping to get that one job that is going to pay that well.

  • And that happened with me showing my portfolio to get one job.

  • But, as time went on, if I did a good job for that client, the client would then hire

  • me again and hire me again and then it would become references to other art directors where

  • it was - it started a snowball in a way.

  • But I will tell you, as difficult as freelancing was, there was some great things about it.

  • In retrospect, I wouldn't have wanted to do it any other way.

  • I got to work at home, I got to work on my own hours.

  • Even though the hours were dictated by the deadline, I was in the comfort of my own home

  • and I liked that.

  • Stan: Yeah.

  • I did too.

  • I mean, I started my own business Proko, I was Proko, and most of the existence of Proko

  • has been in my house.

  • Now we have a studio but I really enjoyed being my own boss and or still enjoy it but

  • I enjoyed just getting up and walking to the next room and starting my day and then going

  • to the kitchen if I need to get an ice tea.

  • I like the freedom, personally.

  • So, if I had to choose between getting a job or being a freelancer, I would choose being

  • a freelancer all the time.

  • Marshall: Yeah.

  • The hardest thing about freelancing is getting it started.

  • Getting it so you got enough income to keep it going.

  • But not everybody feels this way, a number of people like to separate their home life

  • from their work life.

  • And so, there is where the issue of jobs comes in.

  • I know that right now we are not talking about how to make money, but we are pulling the

  • camera back to look at the categories here.

  • Freelance is one, where I had about a hundred art directors that I worked for over that

  • 20-some year period.

  • And getting a job where your company hires you and you are responsible to them is another category.

  • And the good thing about it is that you don't have to constantly market, you don't have

  • to seek work, the work is there for you.

  • You also get benefits typically, instead of having to pay your own health insurance.

  • Stan: Yeah.

  • Marshall: The downside of it is that there can be an illusion with companies that they

  • will have any loyalty to you.

  • Stan: Yeah, job security.

  • Marshall: One fact of life is that companies have zero loyalty to you.

  • When it comes down to the point where they have got to let you go, they let you go.

  • And there is all sorts of stories.

  • The animation industry is rife with those stories.

  • But there is other industries too where they let everybody go and it wasn't those people's

  • fault, it was the company's fault but the people who get the fallout are the employees.

  • And then the market is saturated with all the people who do that kind of thing and everyone

  • is scrambling to get jobs again.

  • So, you can expect nothing out of a company.

  • In fact, here is the wisdom of - Christian and I had lunch with a man who has been successful

  • in the game industry and in film and in a number of industries and he said,

  • "Everybodyis a freelancer now."

  • When you are working for a company, you are lucky if that company lasts for six years.

  • And they are going to let you go, so you have to look at this, 'I'm going to get somebody