After watching the Academy Awards earlier this month and the Annies last month, I was struck by a consistent theme in both shows. The winners almost always thanked those who supported them in their efforts to have a career in the entertainment or animation world–those who love them and encourage them–their families, spouses, parents and children.
It’s not unusual for artists to have support behind them. The DeMedicis supported Leonardo da Vinci. Back in the days of the Renaissance it was not unusual for wealthy patrons to provide what the artist needed to be creative. Today, grants enable artists to pursue their work and often government entities such as the National Film Board of Canada provide funding for animators.
But the most valuable support artists can have is from their families. Public acknowledgment of that support during awards season is testament to the importance of family, friends and loved ones. Often, the long hours that we in the entertainment industry must devote to our projects and the time spent away from families during filming or creating animation and visual effects, can have an effect on loved ones at home.
A few years ago, when I presented at SCAD in Savannah, a few artists and producers were there from Rhythm and Hues. When we got back to our lodgings, one of the artists used Skype to call home to talk to his wife and young son. He recognized the importance and value of maintaining close ties with his family. I often write and talk about building relationships for the long term and networking but the most valuable relationships are those with your family. When you are working long hours it’s tough to stay in touch. Be committed to close ties with those you love. As an alien named E.T. once proclaimed excitedly “Phone home.”
It’s tough to balance work and family, but those who make the effort will receive the greatest rewards, whether they receive an Annie or Academy Award or not. And when you hold that award in your hands, remember to thank those who helped you get there and support you on that journey.
There is no support greater than that which comes from those who believe in you.
Pamela Kleibrink Thompson is a career coach specializing in helping creative people succeed. She also recruits for companies in visual effects, animation, games and design. She speaks at schools and conferences about how to create a career you love. To reach her for private consultations, recruiting or speaking engagements, email PamRecruit@q.com.