I still remember the first time I met Brittney. At the time she and Bill worked together at Three Rings. It was my second time meeting Bill ever (OG readers will remember this as “Parts II & III – The office and burritos.“), and I made a complete fool of myself uncoyly revealing that I had read about his steampunk office in some blog on the Internet. Right then and there, he invited me to see the office and I clapped my hands like an Asian schoolgirl, instant regret filling my heart. Brittney was there and she was even kind enough to remember me when I visited the office a second time as Bill’s date (not yet Facebook-official GF) for my first Three Rings Game Night. (I forever regret being too painfully shy to play trivia. Bill identified Yul Brenner as Ken Watanabe and I started to question what I was getting myself into.)
Anyway, Brittney now works at Disney inspiring Disney animators in Visual Development. She is kind, talented, hard-working, and absolutely deserves all her accomplishments. Hearing her talk was really eye-opening for me, because she was well-prepared (unlike me with a bunch of eighth graders – I still ponder it.) and also spoke to the amount of preparation involved in making kismet work for you.
I’ve just received a book on mastering the elevator speech (Yes, Business Reading and I are giving it another go!), and thoughts of being on your toes while having the cases to back you up perfectly synthesized with Brittney’s experiences. It made me reflect on where I see artist friends not creating their chances and opportunities, and of course made me take a look at what I need to create more time for in my life.
As a packed room watched Brittney cut and slice her way to a curvy whimsical cockatoo, the social media manager inside me did what it does best, and I started tweeting. I must point out how odd it feels to be in a room full of people who are concentrated on one thing, and to have none of them hopping on Twitter to share it. Brittney was sharing so many concise, valuable gems, it was a pity to let it all live on only in individual sketchbooks. A lot of Brittney’s seemingly serendipitous timing was thanks to an approach to work that could just as easily be applied as an approach to life, so I started sharing it with whoever would listen. (Hey, it’s gotten me a job before.) I’ll try to retell Brittney’s story through a selection of my tweets from that day:
So there you have it. When an experience closes, you must create opportunity for yourself. Great job, Brittney!
While I don’t want to beat up on a fledgling group, it is worth noting that at time of writing, the organization that coordinated Brittney’s talk has one blog post, two tweets on an account that has a different @username than the title of the group, and yet advocates how its mission is to get artists to “make luck happen.” You’ve got to get yourself out there if you want to create your own opportunities – This goes for groups of individuals, too! Give no one an excuse to not know you. I’m sure the people starting the group are just tight on time, but I hope they gather more personpower soon, because their organization’s message could definitely benefit the creative community at large!
One final note that Brittney brought up, unrelated to chance but just an oft-forgot suggestion that people in visual creative work neglect all the time:
I think it could be seen as a metaphor for life, too. People like drama high and low. Complacency is boring. Look to the right, look to the left, look to the outer forgotten thirds.