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Jake Williams Animator Illustrator

Why Working For Yourself (or a Friend) is as Awesome as it Sounds

Admittedly it’s only been a week, but so far, my new adventure making fun things with the team at LooseKeys has been a blast!

I’m not entirely used to working from home on a regular basis, much less not going to a place to work around other people who are also working. It’s been a weird transition, but one that I am thankful for everyday.

First, I get the chance to work with people whose work, style, and drive I totally respect. Being around likeminded designers who have more experience than you definitely helps you to be the best you can be. For the first time since I started making videos as a long-haired, middle school punk, I feel like I’m an artist who is directly responsible for the product of his company; it’s a great feeling.

Second, while at first I was feeling like I was playing hooky or not attending staff meetings, at the end of each day I look back and realize that I was able to accomplish everything I wanted. I spend more time with projects, briefs, and big ideas than I’ve ever had the chance to. I also get the chance to be more social on the Internet and make connections that directly connect with my work and my company.

Third, in my free time this week, I’ve been tinkering, doodling, and thinking up new things to do and how I can apply them to building this company even more. It’s been years since I’ve drawn for fun, but now I feel that I have a chance to step back and do a doodle or two that could someday end up in a project. 

In no way am I saying quit your job and go work with your friends; it’s not for everyone. I wasn’t sure if it was for me either. But after a week of being asked to make fun things that I smile at while I work, I can’t imagine working everyday at something that I love more. 

It took me years to get to this point. I just didn’t quite know how I was going to get here or the path that I’d take, but here it is. I’m having a blast after only one week and I can’t wait to get started on the next week, the week after that, and the week after that, and… oh you know.

Getting Down and Moving Forward

"I know things are busy right now, so, when you stumble across free time, it’s hard to stay motivated to make the best of that. But don’t let go of your ideas. Because they’re great. Keep hustlin, and know that, whatever you do, i’m behind you 100%.”

My girlfriend, Laura, said this during one of our daily chats this afternoon.

I have a lot of ideas. Most of us do. I don’t claim to have the best ones, but they’re definitely ideas that get me excited and keep me working hard to reach my own personal goals. I’ve set out a lot of new things I want to experience this year and am well on my way to these goals as well as some unexpected surprises. Unfortunately, not everything is as smooth as I’d like it to be.

I’m sure I’m not the only one, but being a creative, or a human being for that matter, I have a tendency to get down on myself, shoot down my own ideas, and just not get things started. Everyone has these days. Until this afternoon, I hadn’t really found the best way to keep myself progressing, having fun, and taking it all in stride. If there’s one thing that personally helps me to keep going it’s positive feedback.

While you’re working, head down, in the trenches, gettin’ shit done, sometimes it’s hard to see the light at the end. Whether you get down on yourself or not, people see hustle, hard work, and passion. I wish I could say everyday went perfectly, but it doesn’t always. You have to have a support network around you to help you along the way.

Hearing small things like this help to keep me going. What about you?