12 May, 2016

Time to pull things out?

Sorry...rant in progress.

I do things. I make those things public. Occasionally I hope to make a little bit of money from those things so I can focus more on those things rather than the day to day mundane tasks that earn me the necessary money to survive in the world.

I look at what other people are asking for things. I don't think my requests are extravagant...in most cases I actually think my requests are quite modest. But people ignore my things...or they loot the free things I offer, and ignore any requests for support so that I can continue making new things...then to have sand kicked in my face while I'm already pretty low, I see things that I presented to the world offered by other people a year or two later, in mounds of adoration and heaped praise. Or I see other people making things that vary the themes I offered, and they pull in money by the bucketload.

I can't pull the "I'm in a minority" card, I can't pull the "But I'm a female game designer/illustrator/creator" card, I'm male, I'm white, I speak English, I'm just in my 40s. These are all the things that should be giving me optimal privilege, but it just isn't happening.

Yes, I'm thankful that I'm lucky to occasionally get a cartography commission. These often go straight on bills. My RPGNow shopfront typically ticks over between $10-$30 a month, maybe enough to purchase a new game every couple of months. I've ranted previously about generally being someone who just makes up the numbers in design contests, often to see the same big names win the contests time and again with derivative offerings. Don't get me wrong, I see some brilliant artists and designers out there who are doing amazing things, most of them are getting credit and kudos, and others like me are also struggling... These aren't just the screams of a lone artist who is upset that after three days there ha barely been a nibble on his crowdfunded project (well, they are a little bit)... nothing on the POD shopfront either...

These are the comments of someone who has tried to do something creative for decades, continually honing his craft and learning different things to add to the creative process in different ways, these are the comments of someone who tried to get into the local Disney animation studio, only to see technically less proficient individuals get in because they knew someone, with the same story happening at the various visual effects houses in Sydney which has since become major players in sci-fi, super-hero, and 3D animated movies. These are the comments of someone who has sent numerous comic scripts off to publishing houses only to receive a distinct lack of response. These are the comments of someone who has seen his work used by other people without his permission, only to be told that they commissioned someone else to produce the artwork and they are sorry that the "artist" just stole my work and claimed it for their own.

I fully expect a slightly varied clone of Bug Hunt to magically appear at some stage in the next year or two by someone else who is a bit more of a gaming "micro-celebrity", they'll get heaps of praise and credit for their innovative idea... and I'll just be sitting here saying that I had tried to do exactly the same thing earlier while they bathe in adoration and money. That's just the pattern of life from my perspective.

Sometimes it makes me wonder why I bother at all.
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