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Artbiz with Wayne Simmons

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

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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.

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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

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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.