Thursday, March 09, 2006

The Family Thing

Another piece from The Dreaming.

We've had some comments about how we balance the pressures of running a studio and having a family. This is how my wife answered the question.
I will speak for myself and leave it up to Ricardo to share how he balances family and work. As for me, I stay at home with our toddler and it is the hardest job I have ever done!!! When I have freelance to do, I have my mother look after our kid for a few hours a couple of times a week while I do some work (also some weekends), depending on its degree of importance. It is not easy to tune out family of your mind and concentrate on work, the theory is simple, the practical aspects of it are extremely different. But most of the time I live unhealthily by working after he goes to bed, late at night and into the morning for a few days at a time. It might be a different story with more kids, though. The key for me is to decide when to work around family or make the latter fit around work. A constant prioritization and a good, supportive partner are key. Hope this helps!

From my perspective, there was a time in my life when career and animation was the most overpowering factors in my life. I lived animation. Everything I talked about was animation. All my friends worked in animation. Then I started to noticed that many people who spent all their time thinking about animation, were no happier than people who spent more time living life (especially Europeans). I decided that in my career there must be balance. I have not done any overtime for many years. I also do not expect anyone who I supervise or work for me to do any overtime. Even though I run a business and there are many responsibilities, they all must happen within a certain defined time. If you allow yourself to let work-time absorb into family time suddenly work will know no bounds. Now that I have consciously limited when I am allowed to work it has become habit. I now find the idea of doing overtime to be repugnant. "Ricardos don't do overtime'". This doesn't mean I don't think about animation when I am not working. I love the art form so my wife and I often talk about it because we enjoy it.

I believe that I will continue to adjust my priorities as I age. It is possible that the studio will require more time than I am willing to give it. At that point I will either delegate responsibility to others or limit the amount of work that the studio accepts.


Daniel said...

Hey Kate and Ricardo.

I stumbled over your blog just recently via DRAWN! Wow, I must say I'm impressed. You're creating some beautiful artwork (and you're bit's and pieces of RealLife™ are nice to read, too).

I love the water color character studies you've posted. They've inspired me very much of how to colorize and work on the illustrated novel I'm working on at the moment.

Thanks and cheers, Daniel.

willipino said...

awesome. love the variety of faces and shapes.

Gulzar said...

This is so inspiring, my only request would be, on other occasions do tell us your name…would love to know whose views are those… ;)

Keep up the hard work….am sure you guys will be the one of the leading animations studios in the industry….


trophiogrande said...

Thanks for the post. I am just in the process of beginning to balance my occupation, with my freelance work, and my wife and I are planning on starting a family. It's nice to know that there are successful people out there going through the samethings. Good luck with your Studio, the artwork looks amazing!

David Colman said...

fantastic again!!!!