Artbiz with Arron Gumbrell

Nov 24, 2016   //   by admin   //   artbiz, News  //  No Comments


Artbiz explores that middle ground between “art” and “business”. How genuinely creative people manage (or do not manage) to carve out a living doing what they love. How they juggle dayjobs, families, real life, relationships, paying bills and doing their craft/art.

Arron Gumbrell is a young filmmaker I discovered through the wilds of early Facebook. His talent is only matched by his enthusiasm. When coming up with Artbiz, I was also keen to talk with people only just starting out in their artistic careers. Many thanks to Arron for his honesty and openness.

Check out his IMDB page here.

 Q1 First can you introduce yourself? Who are you? Do you have dependents? Do you have a mortgage? Are you the sole income earner?

I’m Arron Gumbrell. A self confessed struggling artist (cliché I’m fully aware of) filmmaker who also has the extra struggle of having verbal dyspraxia to contend with. One of the few up sides is a good and creative imagination. At 28 years old, I still live at home with my ever supportive parents so thankfully I still have a roof over my head even when I’m struggling financially.

Q2 What do you do creatively? How long have you been doing it?

Creatively I focus on writing, editing, producing, filming and taking photos. I have tried my hand at directing and being a Director Of Photography but found there are far better people at that than myself so I focus on what I am good at. I’ve been doing the filmmaking side of things since secondary school, where as photography I only got into a few good years after college having hating it back then.

14218567_10157320659525366_1014271956_nQ3 If you have one, what’s your day job? How long have had you that?

Q4 What are the benefits of your day job?

Q5 What are the drawbacks of the day job?

When I’m not doing film work or photography I do a bi-montly magazine delivery job which brings in a bit of regular paid income. It also means I get out and about in some form of a workout so I’m not in front of a computer screen. I have tried to find part time work but as of now not had much luck finding or keeping employment for various reasons. So being self-employed, getting paid work, doing what I do is my only real income which at best is hit and miss as to when that may happen. One thing that has often been joked about is that creative people ending up stacking shelfs or cleaning pots and pans. The latter being something I have done in the past.

Q6 Your art/craft is it a hobby/ a side gig/ your dream job/ your full time job?

My film work and photograph is a mix of my job and hobby. Obviously if you are good at something then you of course want to make money from it. Like The Joker said “If you are good at something never do it for free”. But at times it’s good for one’s soul to remember what you are good at is also your hobby. At times I like to get out with my camera on my own and take photos for no other reason than I can.

14218111_10157320657220366_314652795_nQ7 How much of what you do creatively is dictated by commercial consideration?

My work is a mix of a financial driven one with jobs offered to me by clients and doing my own thing to further my own career in a path I want it to go in, working on the projects I want to make. The two work in balance as one funds the other. As I mentioned, its nice to make money from something you are passionate about but isn’t the be all and end all, it just makes for a nice bonus. I don’t try to make my own projects because I see a gap in the market. I don’t do it for the pride or glory. I do it because its something I love. Because its something that gives me some kind of purpose. I make projects I want to make and hopefully just hopefully others will want to see it too.

Q8 Have you turned down commissions? If so, why?

I try to take on as much paid work as I can. If I feel I didn’t have the right skill to do the job to the right standard I wouldn’t want to take the job as I wouldn’t feel right taking money from a client if the final project may not be right because I didn’t have the right skill or knowledge. I’m very happy to suggest someone else for a certain job because it helps creates a friendly face to a otherwise at times cut-throat industry.

I have often taken on low paid work because I need the money. In a way you are underselling yourself but at the same time you have to take what you can get. The trick is to not let people take advantage of you. Some people will. It seems to be a common problem with any kind of creative work. Some people want something for nothing or they use the line “It will be good exposure” which doesn’t put food on the table. In other industries or lines of work it’s never brought up, so why is it so different for creative people.

Q9 Do you have a long term plan? A series of short term plans? Plans, never heard of them?!

I’m not great at making plans. Obviously producing a film, making plans is an important part but in my own life I don’t have a great plan. My only real plan is to try and make as many films as I can to a high quality. I’m honest when say I have wasted a lot of time. Allowing projects to take too long or not getting the chance to seem them through to the end. My plan at the moment is to change that. “Life Is Not A Waiting Room”, which was a name of a album by Senses Fail, is the best advise I can give to myself and to anyone else who is struggling in life, be it a personal or creative one.

14159190_10157320686000366_1228713434_nQ10 What do you think of your “industry”?

The “Industry” is a funny one. You got the major players then you got the more independent and indie players. A lot of people want to break into the major industry because that where the real money is. I know the chances, I will never break into the big time and I’m okay with that. Someone in the industry once said to me she was impressed with my attitude to just get stuff made as in the industry it isn’t that simple, often till there is a budget nothing really gets done. Filmmaking is a much more easier, approachable thing to do than it would have been a few years ago. You can buy good enough equipment to shoot on without it costing an arm and leg. Meeting right-minded people with the right skills via networking to work with. Getting the final bit of art out there to be seen is easier than ever with social media. I’m happy making my art on the level I am at. I just hope it’s enough to one day move out on my own.

Q11 Is there anyone out there that you aspire to be like? Why?

When it comes to doing my art I don’t try to be like other filmmakers. I may take inspiration from things they have done or advice they have given but I don’t try to model myself on them but rather learn from them. If you can’t take advice or learn from advice then you will struggle to get far. Funny enough outside of filmmaking I can’t take advice or use my own advice I give to others. You need a backbone at times. It took me awhile to take criticism. Hell I’m my own worst critic at times. The best advice I read was from Quentin Tarantino “If you want to make a movie, make it. Don’t wait for a grant, don’t wait for the perfect circumstances, just make it.”


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