The Freelance Series: Work For the Job You Want

Up ’til now, I’ve written about practical matters; cost, taxes and time off.

I did a lot of Flash work in 2011 as I have done, historically, since I started in this industry. So I got to thinking of the kind of work I want for 2012 and beyond. Last year I collaborated with Displacer and made some live visualizations written in Processing. While my coder buddies look at it and think “I could do that.” when I run the app in front of a crowd itching to hear Displacer play, typically the reaction is less disaffected and more boisterous. And honestly, when doesn’t a coder look at code running and say “I could do that.”?

As 2012 hits its second month, I start charting my path and it got me thinking about the old adage Dress for the job you want. As a developer, that’s just not particularly applicable. And so I paraphrase to Work for the job you want. If it isn’t obvious what I mean, let’s take a quick look at how this might work.

End of last year, Adobe announced a bunch of crap that, frankly, freaked out some, made others go “woot, I was right! in your face!” and made people spending money go “oh wow, the holy grail?! you found it?!” *btw. no. they didn’t. Anyway, at that time, I was too busy working to spend any time worrying about it. Then I took December off. As January rolled on by without work, I started thinking “Shoot. Maybe I need to pay attention.” And that’s when I realized how woefully behind I was. Still, I need applicability and interest to learn something new. Most of the stuff I’m seeing is eye-candy. Eye-candy is fine, but I’m a practical guy for the most part. With that in mind, I started rejigging Moviesinhaiku. It’s a personal project and anything I want to do with it, I can. I figure I’ll mess with the base concept and information of it in whatever native format I choose. So look forward to some new developments on the Moviesinhaiku front. *and some new watches! If you want to take part in the new Moviesinhaiku, write a haiku. I have a beta version going.

To further my goals, I started seeking out new collaborations. The people at Meta-Tema caught my eye with all their super cool work and I contacted them about coming to their space for a visit. Drasko and Goran are top-notch guys and I hope we get something going together. I have a feeling I have a lot to learn from them. I met with my good friend, Ron Gervais, out of Township & Co. and spoke briefly about wanting to make a short film with him. We’ll see about that as well. I also have a buddy in animation and I really want to have a go at voice acting. “Why not?” I say. Then there’s this documentary I’ve been chipping away at.

One of the things Ron said to me this week, as I kvetched over the fact that I never think of things of which I am capable of executing on my own “Thinking outside your abilities is a good thing. Some people don’t have any ideas.” I gave that a lot of thought and agree. However, I think it’s important to execute ideas, too. Who knows?

With all that said, 2012 has the potential for a very cool year. Mind you, I have said I wanted to do things in the past that never came to fruition (anyone remember a certain tattoo site?) So if I set my sites on four collaborative and/or personal projects and I accomplish one, I will feel successful.

How does this apply to Work for the job you want? Every person I know doing cool work started out banging away on their keyboard working on stuff they were curious about and/or interested in. As they succeeded in their distractions, so too did offers to apply their research to paying gigs come. Another way to put it is to quote Field of Dreams If you build it, they will come.

3 thoughts on “The Freelance Series: Work For the Job You Want”

  1. For me, 2012 is definitely the year of the javascript. I plan to get comfortable with it like I am with Flash then move onwards to Objective-C.

  2. Thanks for the advice! As a student getting out of school again this year, I expect to have to start off at the bottom doing the “grunt work”. That’s fine, we all gotta earn our stripes. It is nice to know that if you continue to do your own thing (whatever that thing is) and show passion for what you are doing, people will eventually take notice and different opportunities will start to come your way.

    Have a great 2012… I saw your personal project from 2011… that was really cool, can’t wait to see what you finish this year.

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