Browsing articles tagged with " artbiz"

Artbiz with MJ Dixon

Apr 20, 2017   //   by admin   //   artbiz, News  //  No Comments

mj

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.

MJ Dixon is a one-man movie making machine. He drums up funding for his films, makes them and then distributes them. He’s created his own film universe, the Mychoverse, where slasher characters crossover in a manner befitting of multimillion dollar Marvel franchises. He should be held up as an example of DIY filmmaking ethos. I’m hugely honoured that he took the time to chat with Artbiz.

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

My name is MJ Dixon. I’m 35 now and don’t have any children (as of this writing anyway), I rent a small house in Milton Keynes with my wife who has a full time job, as well as her running a company with me.

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

I’m freelance filmmaker and have been for over 15 years now. I started a label called Mycho Pictures in 2004 with which to produce short films. In 2012 we became an official company called Mycho Entertainment and released out first full length feature commercially.

16442907_10154239974082747_434569990_oQ3 If you have one, what’s your day job? How long have had you that?

I’m fairly lucky that my ‘day job’ is a similar one to my ‘filmmaking’ one, I produce, direct and edit client videos, specialising in Alternative music for mid to high level singers, bands and acts. This was part of my outline when we became a business in 2012 as way to generate some income, although I’ve been shooting music videos for bands since about 2009. Thats pretty much how I stay alive enough to make movies.

Q4 What are the benefits of your day job?

Like I said, they are very similar worlds. Doing client work keeps me on my toes and keeps me developing as a filmmaker. Its not a difficult switch to move that skill set over to making feature films. Also at least I get paid for client work, which is nice. I also work from time to time as a freelance camera man on various projects.

Q5 What are the drawbacks of the day job?

It can be life consuming if you don’t keep on top of it. Client work is great and it can pay well, but every client is different. Some are very hands off and trust you to bring their idea to life, some like to micro manage every detail and that can lead to videos taking months rather than weeks. Usually they are still being charged the same rate, so you find that that extra time isn’t always compensated for.

16389406_10154239973707747_1865169389_oQ6 Your art/craft is it a hobby/ a side gig/ your dream job/ your full time job?

Its started out as a hobby, but early on I realised that filmmaking was what I wanted to do. People often tell me i’m ‘living the dream” as my day job and filmmaking are pretty much hand in hand. But after 15 years its just like any normal job, some days suck and some days are great, you have difficult colleagues that make life harder and great work friends who you look forward to seeing. At this point it probably isn’t just a full time job anymore, but more of a lifestyle that encompasses our lives 24 hours a day.

Q7 How much of what you do creatively is dictated by commercial consideration?

I would say ‘most of it’, it can be fairly fun to look at whats selling and create your own slant on that and make it fit in with your overall plan. We still have to sell our films and so, making them commercial attractive is still our goal, but we make sure that doesn’t impact the core art of it. My first commercial film Slasher House was a great example, we added a clown character to it as that was the kind of thing that would fly off the shelf at the time, but we made sure that it fit and helped the story along before we committed to it. The character has since become one of our most popular, he even got his ow movie in 2015.

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

I turn down work more often than I probably should, if its doesn’t align with my principles then I wont do it, If I feel like it will make me miserable I won’t do it. Some people say that “time is money”, but I think that “happiness is money” and I really think that if something is going to make you unhappy, its probably not worth spending the time doing it unless it is going to make you very rich, and the likelihood of that as a freelance filmmaker is low.

16426527_10154239973277747_1713569988_nQ9 Do you have a long term plan? A series of short term plans? Plans, never heard of them?!

I have an overall 10 year plan, but I break that down to a 5 year plans and then immediate year by year plans within that. We have a slate of movies that will keep us busy for, at least, the next 7 years or so, in that time, the hope is that one of them will hit a home run, and make us a chunk of money. In the meantime, because of the way we make our films, the value of the past ones seems to rise rather than fall, so our plan overall is to just keep doing what we love and hope that someday in the future they’ll pay for themselves.

Q10 What do you think of your “industry”?

Its like any industry really, you have good people and bad ones. Because I’m my own boss, I can easily take time out from dealing with it for great lengths of time if I need to, but more than often than not, at least terms of filmmakers, 90% of the people you meet are great and are just there for the same reasons you are. There are, of course, some charlatans out there who are out to get whatever they can out of people, but the world is shrinking and those people don’t seem to last long.

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

I think that I discovered over the last few years that my path has to be my own. Creatively I have 100s of influences so its hard to pick just one person, but from a career stand point I kind of love that Robert Rodriguez (Desperado, Sin City) manages to balance the Hollywood system with making movies, quite literally, out of his garage. So that I guess would be the dream, but with the industry changing so rapidly all the time, I’m not sure what my version of that dream will look like when I get there.

16443628_10154239975432747_1091777371_n

Artbiz with Dan Martin

Apr 13, 2017   //   by admin   //   artbiz, News  //  No Comments

dma

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.

Chances are if you’re a genre fan you’ve seen Dan Martin‘s handiwork. From dead dogs in High Rise to paranormal hoodies in F, Dan Martin is a special effects artist in demand, a modenrn day Savini, an English Bottin. A frequent collaborator of Ben Wheatley, Dan’s also an incredibly kind and generous humanoid who’s provided me with a chunk of advice in the past. A huge thank you to Dan for chatting with Artbiz.

 

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

Hi there. My name is Dan Martin, I have a mortgage with my wife, Jen Handorf, who is a producer. We have two dependants, a cat called Pfeffer and a puppy called The Pig.

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

I’m a special makeup and figurative effects designer. This line of work has been my sole source of income for twelve years (not including teaching, although that’s a side thing and I teach the same stuff) although I’ve been doing it in one way or another since I was nine.

16357917_10158041535235648_1698885827_oQ3 If you have one, what’s your day job? How long have had you that?

I don’t.

Q4 What are the benefits of your day job?

Q5 What are the drawbacks of the day job?

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

Full time job but also, basically a hobby that pays for my house.

Q7 How much of what you do creatively is dictated by commercial consideration?

I work for clients so there’s always a certain amount of restriction but I’m lucky to have regular collaborators who value my input enough that I’m pretty free, creatively.

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

A few. Normally because of a skewed budget:expectations ratio. Occasionally because of artistic differences and once because of a matter of personal taste.

16357206_10158041535240648_1979103001_oQ9 Do you have a long term plan? A series of short term plans? Plans, never heard of them?!

Not really. I’ve been very lucky that my work has struck such a note with my collaborators. I’m basically just happy to keep doing what I’m doing but at ever increasing scale.

Q10 What do you think of your “industry”?

At its best it’s the best thing that ever happened to me, at its worst it’s a dream smashing, bureaucratic money mill to which our creative visions are so much grist. Mostly the first one, though.

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

 

No one specifically. I admire so many of the old names in my industry and there are so many people who have done such incredible work. I’m not sure which of them I’d want to emulate specifically but I just want to be able to innovate in any way I can and keep being paid to do my childhood dream.

Artbiz with Natasha Bunce

Apr 6, 2017   //   by admin   //   artbiz, News  //  No Comments

nat

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.

I was lucky enough to work with model/actress, Natasha Bunce, on my second feature film Silent Night, Bloody Night: The Homecoming where we killed her character in a most brutal fashion. During a typically brutal low budget shoot, Natasha was the consummate professional at all times matched only by her enthusiasm and energy. It’s an absolute please to be speaking to Natasha again as part of Artbiz.

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

My names Natasha Bunce I’m a 25 year old single mother of one 7 year old daughter! Im currently going through the proceedings of divorce! The joy! I’m the single income making as I’m single. Currently renting.

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

Hmmm creativity I have a few hidden talents…one of my favourite is modelling and TV extra work….have been of the scene for the last 5 years but back with a vengance .

15318007_10157978301345294_148755860316363612_nQ3 If you have one, what’s your day job? How long have had you that?

My day job is a home carer….I’ve been with the current company for just over a year! And I love it. Basically I assist elderly or disabled individuals with everyday tasks such as cooking, cleaning and personal care.

Q4 What are the benefits of your day job?

My day job is very rewarding, I love the happiness I bring to individuals, and help promote their individuality…it’s lovely to see them achieve things they thought they couldn’t.

Q5 What are the drawbacks of the day job?

There are draw backs ….dealing with death, which unfortunately is a regular event in my line of work….getting attached to clients is a big NO NO but sometimes you can’t help to care about the people you care for!

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

My hobby include many….from the love of classic cars, to motorbikes and Modelling…all my favourite things and completely different!

I enjoy meeting new people in the car and bike industries and learning about ways to maintain my own vehicles. I modelling ad acting and would love to be able to make a full time living out of it, unfortuntetly due to the industry being as it is it’s more of a dream than a realistic option.

15284882_10157978301290294_6088368343305622937_nQ7 How much of what you do creatively is dictated by commercial consideration?

I do a lot of research when I’m working on a particular subject/project with my modelling and acting….
With it being such a commercialised topic it’s easy to choose a path….but there’s so much variety out there it’s up to yourself to take away what you want from the research.

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

In the past I have turned down paid jobs within the modelling/acting department due to the job not being what I wanted or down a path that I wish not to lead down within the industry….. for example adult films.

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

I have no plan….I take each day as it is, I enjoy modelling and acting and look at each individual job and decide if it’s right for me at the time…..

Someone times things happen at the wrong time, other times I may feel the position will suit me and my current lifestyle.15241297_10157978301145294_8413640159060983774_n

Q10 What do you think of your “industry”?

The industry can be mean…I’ve learned not to take things to heart. Other people’s views can be heard but not always reacted to!
It’s a tough industry! Grow some balls if you think your brave enough!

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

I don’t aspire to be like anyone….I’m happy being me..living life and earning a living for me and my daughter. Don’t get me wrong it be nice to win the lottery….but what’s the chances! Work your arse of ladies….show the world we’re the stronger breed.

 

 

Artbiz with Wayne Simmons

Mar 30, 2017   //   by admin   //   artbiz, News  //  No Comments

ws

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.

Wayne Simmons is an incredibly talented author able to work across genres effortlessly. Do yourself a favour and check out Flu (horror), Plastic Jesus (sci-fi) or The Girl in the Basement (crime). His character work is mind-blowing and he’s a master of pacing. I met Wayne Simmons back in 2012 when he was the host on a comic convention panel on horror, later he co-created Scardiff, Wales’ first horror convention in 2013. Thanks to Wayne for taking time out to chat with Artbiz.

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 Wayne, a Northern Irishman living in Cardiff. I live with my partner, Rebecca, and we have two dependents: a Jack Russell terrier called Dita and a gerbil called Lucas. More hairy than your average kids but it sure as hell beats buying school uniforms every year.

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

I’m a writer. I’ve been writing books since my first one was published back in 2008, I think. Which means I’ve been part of this racket now for almost ten years. Scary. Since then, I’ve branched into journalism, becoming a regular contributor to Skin Deep Tattoo Magazine in 2014, and have even started writing about politics. Which, let’s face it, can’t end well.

16977093_10154846250860801_439326883_n

Q3 If you have one, what’s your day job? How long have had you that?

I guess writing is half of my day job. The other half involves walking dogs. Rebecca and I have been running our own dog walking business for around 4 or 5 years now and I love doing that just as much as I love writing. A typical day involves getting up around 8am, writing for a couple of hours in the morning and then starting my first dog walk around 11am, clocking off around 3 or 3.30pm and either heading to the local Co-Op to pick up some messages or heading straight home to do the dishes and tidy up before tea time. Evenings are for kicking back, relaxing and playing guitar. I very rarely work weekends.

Q4 What are the benefits of your day job?

I love it. I love dogs and I love being around animals all day. I love keeping them safe and I love the walks we have together. They’re a lot better company than people 

Q5 What are the drawbacks of the day job?

Zero drawbacks.

16990735_10154846254610801_490415796_oQ6 Your art/craft is it a hobby/ a side gig/ your dream job/ your full time job?

I write because I need to write and it just so happens it pays a fair few bills, too.

Q7 How much of what you do creatively is dictated by commercial consideration?

Very little, to be honest. It’s sheer luck that writing pays the bills as well as satisfies my need to create. I only write what I like to write, which is more or less what I like to read.

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

I haven’t been offered commissions, as such. I’ve sought out most of the writing gigs myself/ through my agent as opposed to anyone approaching me to write for them. I may have turned down some short story request for anthos etc. over the years, mainly due to workload at the time. The mag work was a happy coincidence – I was the right person in the right place at the right time. And I work hard, meet deadlines and try real hard not to be an asshole. That goes a long way in this business, I guess.

16976789_10154846255540801_1635624780_nQ9 Do you have a long term plan? A series of short term plans? Plans, never heard of them?!

I want to create as much as I can in as many ways as possible throughout my life. And I want to work with animals. I like sci-fi and I like politics and I like tattoos and art and music and I guess none of that will change any time soon. And that’s about the height of my planning.

Q10 What do you think of your “industry”? Q11 Is there anyone out there that you aspire to be like? Why?

I’m quite cynical about our industry, to be honest. I don’t much like hanging around with other creative folks. I hate all the pretentiousness and posturing I’ve seen at some of the genre conventions I’ve been at – it makes me cringe, to be honest. I much prefer the company of dogs to the company of writers.

Artbiz with Jason Jay White

Mar 23, 2017   //   by admin   //   artbiz, News  //  No Comments

jjw

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.

Jason Jay White is a horror journalist, author and singer. I was lucky enough to be interviewed by Jason for Haunted After Dark magazine. Jason has a number of titles out on Amazon Kindle, which I recommend you pick up, including The Fridge and The Possession of Clearwater Falls.

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

Hi, my name’s Jason Jay White, I’m 44 years young. I have one daughter. I have a mortgage but there are two of us contributing to the mortgage payments.

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

I write short stories, novels and scripts in the horror genre. I have been writing since I was 13 years old, but have only really started considering taking it to the next level within the last 3-4 years.

14256759_10210575983699844_139331826_nQ3          If you have one, what’s your day job? How long have had you that?

I am a Business Account Advisor for a tenancy deposit protection scheme. Sounds a lot more glamorous than it actually is and I’ve had the job for 3 and a half years, but have worked in the call centre industry for over 20 years (Yes I’m that old!!!).

Q4          What are the benefits of your day job?

The benefits of my day job are it pays me a wage which helps me pay the bills and feed and clothe myself, which I am grateful for, considering how hard my life was as a child growing up in North London, with hardly any money to be fed and to have light in the house at night. Sometimes we would have to go to bed early, purely because we didn’t have 50p to put in the electric meter. Sounds funny now, but obviously contributed to my nightmares and my warped imagination.

Q5          What are the drawbacks of the day job?

One of the drawbacks of the job is I mainly become inspired during the day time, so I could have an idea whilst sitting at my desk at work, but don’t have the time to actually flesh out my ideas into more substantive form. It’s very hard to get into a flow on your lunch break too and then continue in that flow when you return home, as the creative juices are boiling up in your mind whilst you are on your break and when you go back to your work desk, they are lost as you are back in work mood and doing what you are paid to do.

14249127_10210576020780771_876710045_nQ6          Your art/craft is it a hobby/ a side gig/ your dream job/ your full time job?

At the moment, my craft is a hobby, but I would like it to turn into a full time job in the future. In an ideal world I would be rich and have all the time in the world to develop and hone my skills as a writer. Would be nice, wouldn’t it?

Q7          How much of what you do creatively is dictated by commercial consideration?

I can honestly say with my writing, I don’t look at it with commercial eyes. I am writing purely for my enjoyment and if others like what I’m writing it’s a bonus too.

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

 

Never had any writing commissions. Have been offered some singing commissions but that’s another story for another time!

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

Long term plans at the moment are to complete my novels Dark and The Block. I also need to go back to my projects The Fridge and The Possession Of Clearwater Falls and flesh them out into full length novels. I also have another project called The Broken Hearted Man I will be working on shortly, which will be exclusively for Wattpad. Have also contributed to a couple of film scripts which are in the works at the moment.

14287555_10210575983899849_531903297_nQ10        What do you think of your “industry”?

With the introduction of Amazon Kindle and Wattpad it has been a lot easier for writers to gain access to a larger audience and gain a following. Some have had astounding success, but this is down to sheer determination and sometimes pure luck. It is much harder to be noticed when there are 1000s of people writing in the same genre as yourself. You really need something unique to catch the attention of those browsing the internet as with one blink of an eye your project can be missed and someone else’s will take the attention away from yours. Whilst being a great platform for new talent, Kindle and Wattpad can also be seen as a curse.

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

I aspire to be myself to be honest. I have been compared to Stephen King mixed with Jess Franco, as I write in the style of a moving picture. I like to paint scenes in the minds of those reading my works and want them to be disturbed with fear but also by the though of what I am putting in their minds! Thanks for asking me these questions.

Artbiz with Dean Bartlett

Mar 3, 2017   //   by admin   //   artbiz, News  //  No Comments

 Picture2

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.

Artbiz plunges the depths of nepotism this time round, with my cousin Dean Bartlett. I identify strongly with Dean as someone who follows his passion while also being a loving dad, caring husband and a reluctant wage slave. Cheers to Dean for talking with us.

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

Dean Bartlett, I am married have two children, girls, aged 3 and 6. I have a mortgage and I’m the sole income earner.

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

I am a gigging musician, bass player, and have been playing for 29 years.   

16358696_10212095334758114_302654193_n

Q3 If you have one, what’s your day job? How long have had you that?

I work in a factory, blue collar worker, machine operator in a steel factory, been there 11 years.

Q4 What are the benefits of your day job?

I know what time I finish, overtime is optional, it’s not mentally taxing which gives me time to think/daydream.

16244546_10212095335638136_600360123_nQ5 What are the drawbacks of the day job?

I work with zombies, and it can be torturously repetitive.

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

Side gig and still a dream.

Q7 How much of what you do creatively is dictated by commercial consideration?

None.

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

Yes, usually charity gigs.

16295213_10212095336318153_1169102216_nQ9 Do you have a long term plan? A series of short term plans? Plans, never heard of them?!

No plans I rather stumble through life, in a good way.

Q10 What do you think of your “industry”?

My industry depends on audience, who can become apathetic, but I stay positive that people will always enjoy live music.

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

I have heroes but I prefer just to be myself , however always trying to get better.

 

16295901_10212095337078172_720904356_n

Artbiz with Gareth Evans

Feb 23, 2017   //   by admin   //   artbiz, News  //  No Comments

ge

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.

Gareth Evans is a hero to many independent filmmakers. When I moved to South Wales, Gareth had just completed his first feature Footsteps (aka Vengeance Day) in Cardiff and was freely giving advice to other filmmakers just starting out. He went overseas to make a martial arts documentary and while there ending up making a martial arts film which was equal parts brutal and dynamic. Not one to forget the struggling filmmakers back home, he put on a screening in Cardiff with a Q&A. Jump forward a couple of years and Gareth has just made one of the most exciting action films in decades: The Raid. Again he kindly invites a bunch of us to the UK premiere of the film. And again Gareth has very kindly agreed to answer some questions for Artbiz.

Footsteps-poster-Gareth-Evans-721x1024Q1 First can you introduce yourself? Who are you?

Gareth Evans

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

Filmmaker. 8 years.

Q3 If you have one, what’s your day job? How long have had you that?

Live project by project for the last 8 years.

Q4 What are the benefits of your day job?

It’s what I have always dreamed of doing. Always feels like a privilege.

wRxpSCorVpPzBfnkO7LTnvJcC96Q5 What are the drawbacks of the day job?

The near constant uncertainty of knowing if you’ll earn enough, if you’ll work enough (or again), if your career will last.

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

Its a hobby that has become my full time job.

Q7 How much of what you do creatively is dictated by commercial consideration?

None. I’m a miserable old fuck who doesn’t understand other peoples tastes and fashion so i wouldn’t know where to begin if I tried to cater for / imitate them.

 

The-Raid-posterQ8 Have you turned down commissions? If so, why?

Yes. Sometimes a project can be tempting on paper and could be good for the advancement of my career – but I always believe I have to have total conviction in every page of a script. If something doesn’t work for me on the page, I’ll never be able to sign off on a “good take” – once I foresee a problem like that emerging – I’m the wrong person for the job.

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

Just to hope that the stories I feel compelled to tell will still have their place in the market, and that I never let down an investor who shows faith in me.

the-raid-2-2014-07Q10 What do you think of your “industry”?

Mostly a frustrating, soul crushing place to work. But the pockets of magic make it worthwhile.

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

Many, many filmmakers – but I assume that is more because when I watch their work I can be fully immersed in their world. Whenever i watch my own films all I can see is the artifice – all the cracks and creases we work to hide from the audience.

 

 

 

ge2

Artbiz with David Moody

Feb 10, 2017   //   by admin   //   artbiz, News  //  No Comments

dm

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. 

This one’s a biggy. I first heard of David Moody when picking up the paperback of Hater in a Waterstones bookshop in Cardiff. I knew nothing about the book or the author, but the blood-splattered cover and blurb pulled me in. Jump ahead years later and mutual friend Wayne Simmons, recommends my first film Night of the Living Dead: Resurrection to David. David gets in contact to say how much he enjoyed the film and asks if he can interview me over on his site. I was blown away. Firstly the sick mind behind the Hater and Autumn series had heard of me. Secondly he actually liked my film. If you want to read my rambling answers to David’s questions, they’re over here. I’m a big fan of David’s work, do yourself a favour and check out his Autumn series. Its the sort of long form epic that The Walking Dead wishes it could be. Also David’s put together some great science fiction as well, check out Straight to You and Trust.

Many thanks to David for his frank, honest, insightful answers.

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 David Moody, author of a number of horror and science-fiction novels. I’m married with a lot of kids (three of which still live at home, though one’s currently at university). I do have a mortgage. It is far too big. I’m not the sole income earner, but I do pay all the household bills.

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

I’ve been writing for twenty years (which feels more like twenty minutes). After a spectacularly unsuccessful first novel with a traditional publisher, I began independently publishing in 2001 – way before Kindle and iBooks and Print on Demand etc. I hit it big with a book called AUTUMN which I originally gave away for free. It spawned a series of sequels (which I charged for) and a notoriously bad movie starring Dexter Fletcher and the late David Carradine. I wrote a book called HATER in 2006, which was optioned for film by Guillermo del Toro. The movie adaptation is still rumbling slowly forwards… I launched my own publishing company in 2005 – Infected Books – which I’m still managing today. Sometimes that feels like a full-time job on its own.

16357956_10154114401661746_808925598_oQ3 If you have one, what’s your day job? How long have had you that?

I wrote full-time for just under seven years, but went back to work in 2014. As pretentious as it sounds, I found it increasingly difficult to create to pay the bills. Additionally, my books are predominantly concerned with people, and how they deal with extreme, usually apocalyptic, situations. In my home-office-bound isolation, I realized I’d lost touch with the rest of the world so I went back to mix with people again and be inspired! Bizarrely, as I live on the outskirts of Birmingham, I’m a Charging and Enforcement Policy Manager for Highways England.

Q4 What are the benefits of your day job?

A reliable, steady income which covers most of the bills and takes the pressure off financially. Since returning to work, although the time I’ve had to write has dropped dramatically, the quality and volume of my writing has actually increased. Also people. My colleagues provide much inspiration. Interestingly, in a weird example of life imitating art, when I wrote HATER back in 2006, I put the main character in the worst possible job I could imagine, working for a council’s parking fines processing department. To all intents and purposes, that’s what I’ve ended up doing!

Q5 What are the drawbacks of the day job?

I have absolutely no spare time. The writing job is increasingly demanding. I finish one job and start the other, then crash into bed around midnight.

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

I think I’ve already covered this. It’s my main source of income, and both my dream and nightmare job. I think I’d like to balance things out a little: write more, go out to work less. There’s also a massive amount of administration involved in running a business, albeit a very small one. It’s a further drain on the time I have to create.

16358715_10154114402386746_220017671_nQ7 How much of what you do creatively is dictated by commercial consideration?

That’s quite hard to answer. Although pretty much everything I do comes from a creative perspective, much of the time it’s also a commercial decision because I have publishers paying me advances to write. I’d love the freedom to be able to write whatever I liked, whenever I wanted to. At the moment it’s a balancing act. I tripped myself up a few years back by spending far too long writing a (still unpublished) novel to the detriment of other, more commercially viable projects.

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

I have. Usually it’s because of a lack of time, but also because I don’t think it’s appropriate to automatically say yes to everything. If it doesn’t fit with my plans, I usually don’t do it. I’ve found that I can’t write to order. I have to be excited by the story to want to tell it. I wish I could write romance or fantasy, because it sells by the bucket-load whereas my nihilistic, miserablist dystopian novels don’t!

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

I do, but they change continually. Maybe not a plan… more a tenuously strung together series of ideas which might or might not happen at some point in the future.

moodyleicesterQ10 What do you think of your “industry”?

Publishing is constantly changing, and has been doing so at pace for the last fifteen years or so. The marketplace is now wide open (to an extent) as a result of the rise of self-publishing, but that also means the competition has increased dramatically. It’s harder than ever to get noticed. Additionally, traditional publishers are dealing with a smaller market share, and that means it’s harder to get signed by a mainstream press. I still think it’s important to do so. If nothing else, they tend to give you a foothold in bricks and mortar bookstores which you generally can’t get as an indie.

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

The late James Herbert, who taught me more about writing and the business of writing in the couple of hours I spent in his company, than I’ve learnt from twenty plus years in the business. And because he sold nearly sixty million books!

Artbiz with Tommy Creep

Jan 20, 2017   //   by admin   //   artbiz, News  //  No Comments

tc

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.

Tommy Creep is a creative entrepeneur who does it all, runs a cassette label, makes music, organises horror conventions, designs posters and flyers. He is a one-man tour de force. He was kind enough to find the time to answer the artbiz questions!

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

Tommy Creep. I share a small 2 bed flat that I rent. No children, just a hamster named Mary Shelley.

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

Music, performing as Tommy Creep/with my band Lupen Tooth also putting on Bristol Horror Con and other smaller events. Been doing pretty much the same thing for about ten years.

14218249_10154087266888401_342900805_nQ3 If you have one, what’s your day job? How long have had you that?

I work on the exams team at a music college. About a year.

Q4 What are the benefits of your day job?

Stability also it’s compatible with the rest of my projects as it sort of relates to the same industry.

Q5 What are the drawbacks of the day job?

45 hours a week working for someone else.

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

Essential creative fulfillment, the dream is to only have to work part time for someone else.

14218469_10154087266883401_1230635566_nQ7 How much of what you do creatively is dictated by commercial consideration?

Almost none of the original vision, then just try to do it in a way that makes sense financially.

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

Have started to limit the amount of graphics/art that I do for free.

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

Sustain the day job to continue to fund my art/projects.

Q10 What do you think of your “industry”?

DIY is best! Trying to exist outside of the industry is best whilst understanding how it works for when being part of it is unavoidable.

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

Rob Zombie, Elivra – business-savvy horror icons!

14194295_10154087266838401_177429723_n

Artbiz with Rob Ho

Dec 1, 2016   //   by admin   //   artbiz, News  //  No Comments

rh

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.

Chances are you will have seen Rob Ho getting beaten up by Hollywood Celebrities.

As an action performer in such big budget fare as Doctor Strange, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Kick Ass 2 and the upcoming Ready Player One, Rob has worked on a number of professional shoots. But Rob has also worked on his own material too, including Landlord: Time to Pay the Rent as writer/producer/star.

Thanks to Rob for chatting with Artbiz.

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

My name is Rob Ho and I have no dependents, save for an elderly mother who I visit regularly, and keep a watchful eye on. I am 43 years old and in a relationship. Two older sisters.

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

I work as an Action Performer: first in Independent Movies since 2007; and Mainstream from 2011 to date.

14285570_10153933045396608_1124893428_o

Q3 If you have one, what’s your day job? How long have had you that?

I am a Landlord to Student Tenants and it is a family business; although I did practice for six years as a Solicitor.

Q4 What are the benefits of your day job?

Apart from the obvious of paying the bills, it allows me the flexibility to work in film, if the opportunity presents itself.

Q5 What are the drawbacks of the day job?

I think universities should re-introduce a ‘life skills’ course that’ll include (though not exhaustive), “operating a boiler…..understand how and why we heat and ventilate a flat….correctly identifying meters….etc”. I often get bemused when a generation of tenants, for example, don’t know how to set up a service provider account ‘per se’ on the telephone.

Sometimes, parents have an unrealistic expectation for their child as well. Trying to ‘keep it real’, so to speak.

I am pretty much ‘on call’ 24/7, and I have been known to head to flats in the middle of the night when tenants have reported concerns of an Intruder. It does take its toll sometimes, as I find trying to switch on and off the Fight/ Flight Syndrome draining. I also see the distress on my tenants’ when they fear something and I sometimes feel as if I’m their Surrogate Uncle.

14218504_10153932844706608_1399117492_nQ6 Your art/craft is it a hobby/ a side gig/ your dream job/ your full time job?

Out of choice, it is a secondary occupation for now.

Q7 How much of what you do creatively is dictated by commercial consideration?

Not so dictated by commercial consideration, but rathermore the quality of the production.

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

Yes, purely owing to a potential overlap between productions. I stayed with one and politely turned down the other to avoid the stress of trying to work out how to work on both at the same time.

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

I have set myself a yearly goal of trying to work on one reputable film production a year, be it for a day, number of days or more. That is all it takes for me to be content.

14249037_10153938017886608_1679617657_nQ10 What do you think of your “industry”?

There is room for Everyone .

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

Just to strive to be a better person than I was yesterday…..

LANDLORD – Time to Pay the Rent from Robert Ho on Vimeo.

 

Pages:123»