Thursday, July 8, 2010


What the hell happened to June?!

You know guys (well, me, because I'm likely the only one around), I've been thinking about retiring the blog. I'll explain why.

I started this blog a few years ago simply to get stuff out there that I couldn't really say without the protection of an anonymous web space. I honestly didn't expect anyone to read it. But some did. And, as I went on, I found much more to say. And then I found a little less to say.

I was hit with a realisation about a month or so ago -

I'm in a business that has zero value (well, I know that and you know that because I've told you but I have only recently taken it in completely). It's not even a business because businesses make money. In spite of what I feel is an area of expertise and experience, I'm not making a huge amount of money. Or even an average amount of money.

All I can do, every skill I've built up over the years, is effectively valueless.

And I need to make some money.

So I'm hiring myself out as a rentboy. Well, not yet. That's plan B. But what I am doing is trying to focus. For a while, trying to dump the projects that won't bring me in anything. You know the reason I take on most projects? Just to show I can. There are some projects, as I've mentioned here on this blog, that I see as really important. Contributions. Good for children. But others? No, I take them on to show I can and then lose interest.

That's pointless.

I'm learning the art of quitting. Quitting isn't a bad thing when the things you're quitting only serve to distract from what you should be doing.

And what I feel I should be doing is focusing on finding a way I can deliver something really good for children, for parents too, that has a value to it. That will make me some money. And, given the state of this industry and the planet, that's a pretty tall order. Next to impossible. Everything right now is going against it.

But I'm damn well going to try it.

This blog is not one of those pointless distractions. Yeah, it doesn't make me a penny but it has worth to me. It is a place I can talk about things that would otherwise just be thrown around inside my head until they damaged me. And, having a look through my archives this evening, I realised, even if I do say so myself, that there's some pretty good stuff here. I surprised myself a few time. I like this blog. It's a sort of home for a certain part of me. The Bitter Animator.

But it takes up a lot of time.

An amount of time that would probably surprise you. The drawings don't take all that long but the combination of text and images mounts up.

With me trying to work hard on finding some new strategy, some new aim, and not always having topics jump out at me for the blog, it has been left behind a bit.

And so I've been thinking about retiring the blog. My thinking was that it's probably better for those few of you who still check it to know if it's done or if there will ever be a post again.

But I'm not sure I can retire it. I think I probably need it.

Posts, however, are going to be pretty thin on the ground for some time. I hope that's okay. That's the right expression? Thin on the ground? Expressions aren't my strong point. If I do make some money, I'm pretty sure it won't be in the expressions industry.


I was just checking this posted okay and saw the image below it. Me looking out at a blank space. I looked out and saw nothing a month ago. And, well, I think that nothing was an opportunity. I have taken on the challenge to fill that space. Looking at that image, it actually seems so obvious. That's why this blog is important, I guess. Sometimes it knows more about me than I do...

Oh, one last thing, a guy called Ryan contacted me and I went looking at his site. Well, Ryan's introduction on his home page really touched me. And, while Ryan is dealing with some things I haven't had to, the more I read his posts, the more I could identify with them. If you get a chance, check out Ryan's site, My Chemical Imbalance.


Andy Latham said...

Well Bitter, your blog has value to your readers. I, like many animators, have come across many tough situations at work, but in my case I learned a lot about the crap before it happened to me. And I learned here. The result is that I don't waste as much time as I might complaining about studio politics and that has prevented me from breaking down. And I've seen several co-workers break down around me.

So whether it continues or not, I'd like to say that this blog has been a good thing....a valuable thing. Thank you very much indeed for writing it :)

Red Pill Junkie said...

The selfish part of me would hate it if you retired the blog.

But I've grown so much because of it that I feel I'm mature enough to let it go, if it comes to that. I really owe you a great debt.

Over the years —Hell, it has been years, hasn't it?— I've also felt that you've managed to deal better with the depression angle, so maybe that's one more reason to retire the blog; or maybe, reinvent it into something new?

I enjoy reading what you write, Bitter. But if you feel that it sucks up time that would be better spent laboring with the project's you've always dreamed of, then by all means: go for it.

We can alway brag that we all knew you back when you where an unknown Bitter Animator ;)

Unknown said...

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Bitter Animator said...

Thanks Chuck. Sounds tempting but I'd rather be paid for working, doing something that has real value and contributes.

To Andy and RPJ, thanks so much for the kind words. One thing about this blog is that it's great to have made online friends like you guys.

Unknown said...

I'm fairly new to your blog (I only discovered it about a month ago) but have been reading through it from the beginning and have to say it has helped me more than you could believe. Many of the things I think or feel, I often wonder if they cross the minds of anyone else. After reading through all of your stuff, it's comforting to know that there is someone else out there like me; someone who is going through depression but has a sense of humour about it and can turn it into something creative. I don't want to sound like I'm having a laugh at depression, but you have the gift of turning it into something humorous, something that makes people feel that there's still a bright side to it all. And that feeling inspires me a lot with my writing. I sometimes even feel that I am just re-inventing the wheel after reading your site!

If you do retire the blog, then I wish you well with all of your future endeavours and would love for you to keep me posted on them. If you do continue to write, then I look forward to continuing reading.

All the best!

BTW Thanks for the shout out. It's much appreciated and I hope you continue reading.

susan said...

Dearest Bitter,

I haven't felt like blogging lately either due to depression, but i will tell you this. There will be a huge whole in my life should you, Bitter and Astro Andy leave the blogosphere.

Anonymous said...

I've always heard that often if you're going to work in animation, you usually need to have a second skill or job because it can get quite competitive out there in the animation world and that the job opportunities can be difficult to find. Your blog possesses a lot of value to me, because it's always insightful to hear something about the animation industry from someone directly and it really gives a clue as to what to expect when I try to draw cartoons for a living in a few short years.

Best wishes and good luck with whatever you're up to right now. Thanks for making the world better with your blog, and I wouldn't mind if you retired the blog, as long as it would help you with your life.

Anne said...

If you stopped this blog, we would definitely miss it. Perhaps not as much as you, but we would. It has value and voice for many of us.

If you find the reasons to quit outweighs the need to stay, however, I wish you very good luck with all future endeavors.

seybernetx said...

I just stumbled across your blog, so I haven't had the time to read much of the content. (although I intend to)

That said, have you considered adding/accepting advertising on this blog? Not sure how much actual cash money you would bring in that way, but some folks are making their living blogging, so it must be possible. From what I've seen so far, I doubt many readers would get upset over ads.

Just a thought, for whatever it might matter to anyone.

murrayb said...

hey bitter. I hear ya. We TV animation folk have to make some hard and fast choices it seems.

I really think your a real brainiac, and I love reading your funny comics, with your thoughtful and effecting prose. It ain't an easy row to hoe is it? the current model of broadcast animation doesn't work, and animation is not "essential" but it doesn't mean it's not important.

If I was involved in something half as good as say, iron giant in terms of soulful and meaningful storytelling, not to mention animation craftsmanship, I could die of happiness.

I say, shine on you crazy diamond, keep up the great work around here.