Well, it won't be all Rainbows and Butterflies...
Life is amazing, but sometimes as an artist, it can get discouraging. Whether it be on the traditional side or the 3d and VFX side, there are always lulls of work and contracts that end, and clients that are happy but do not have work at the time. This is not only for new artists that are going through this for the first time, this is for the 20 year veterans, that know how to handle the situation, but still hate going through the process.
Right when work is FINALLY going great, you find out there is not another project after this one, so they will be work will be ending until another project comes along, and maybe they will give you another contract. Why you? How come it seems like some people have no problems at all staying employed or having a waiting list of clients with projects, and you’re constantly getting a tidal wave every few months? It feels like you are always looking for work or the next contract, even while you are working, "just in case". So, how do we get ourselves through these times of panic to pay bills and hoping you get a project soon, because your savings is no going to save you for too much longer?
Well, it won't be all rainbows and butterflies. But we do have to trust that things are going to work out. Even if you can not see things getting better now, you have to find a way to trust that it will all come together in the end.
Try to be optimistic, this will take effort. But here are a couple of ways you can try to do this. You can add up all the little things that happen to you during the day, for example, you woke up, you did not get stuck in traffic, you had a home still, you ate. All of these little things matter and added together make up a chunk of things to be grateful for. But you must make the effort to appreciate what is around you.
Take the time to create and keep your skill set up to par. Work on your work, so you do not fall behind, learn new programs or techniques to make yourself better. The small accomplishments when doing this tend to be a positive way to spend your time, which in turn can bring a little "happy" to your day!
Make sure you update your CV (resume) and demo reel (something, I should be working on), be ready to take initiative of your situation. I recently approached a company about work, they did not have an ad up or any indication that they were hiring for any positions, but I decided to write the President of the company and tell him that I wanted to work for him and attached my CV. I received an email back from him with a request to make an appointment to have a phone interview with him. I of course did this and was very excited for the opportunity. I did not receive a job opportunity, but I am now touch with this person and I have a new contact and was told I would be considered if they were looking for someone in the future. He also told me that he was glad I took the initiative and approached him. So even though I did not get exactly what I wanted I think things ended up being very positive.
Contact your networks and let them know you are looking for work. A lot of people become too proud and will not reach out in their time of need. (SIDE NOTE: I am guilty of this in many respects, add self-doubt to that and there are the battles I face everyday). Post it everywhere that you are looking for work, let everyone in your industry know what your situation is and that you are looking for opportunities. Again, I have friends that are in my network that have been working for years that have recently posted that they are looking for work, so all us newbies, should follow their lead and humble ourselves so we too can get another opportunity.
My entries are about my life as an artist and how I balance that with family and "life". I hope this entry was able to inspire you to make changes for the positive and helpful in seeing the many things we should be grateful for.
Try to view the glass as half-full instead of half-empty. You lost your job or the project is over? Now you can seize the opportunity to find a better one! Change your state of mind so that, in everything that happens, you can see some good in all your situation.
Put yourself in great situations and take initiative, make an effort to change things for the positive. Ask yourself before you do something: Is this going to be a good thing for me?
Learn to enjoy your life! In the lulls that come with it, learn to see them as lessons instead of misfortunes! Lessons that make us smarter, and stronger for the future.