Updated: Apr 2, 2020
This week, I got the fantastic news that I had made the Top 10 finalists list for the inaugural Hnry Awards. The competition encouraged freelancers to send in art of any form to convey their notions of 'independent earning.' The top 3 entries would go on to win a share of a $25k prize pool. So with that in mind, I thought I would throw my hat in the ring. You can find my entry - ENTRY I - and vote for it here (Votes close 11pm 5 April):
I had been aware of the Hnry Awards competition when it was first announced but I had been so busy with current project work and life in general, I wasn't really able to work on my submission until the day before the submission deadline. I already had an idea of doing a little comic talking about my work and side hustles and also the uncertainty of living a freelancer's life of 'independent earning.' After completing one of the Headlocked covers I needed to get done, I set to work on my Hnry Awards submission approximately at 6pm Friday 20 March. Deadline - 5pm Saturday 21 March. The original plan was for a two pager with the time left but as I started working on the comic, it occurred to me that it would work better as a three pager. Working furiously on the comic, I made sure to get at least the first page was 75% done before retiring to bed at 2am. Alarm set for 9am to hit the ground running and getting this comic completed. This high output/short timeframe moment is what we freelancers and creatives call 'The Crunch.' We thrive on these high pressure situations. How many of you are guilty of leaving something to the last minute and doing everything in that last 24-48hrs? That adrenaline buzz of knowing that you don't have the luxury of time to fluff about so you get into the zone to create. Pressure creates diamonds. With the hours of Saturday 21 March whittling away as I worked on my submission, I realised that my 3rd page of the comic wasn't gonna be as detailed as I'd like it to be. If you've read my submission, you'll see the difference between the finished product and my layouts:
I wanted to highlight some of the negatives of being a freelancer like overdue invoices, lack of job security, 'exposure' opportunities et al in their own panels but due to time constraints, I decided to go with the 'superhero' pose because it was quick and easy to draw and would still sell the point just more through exposition in text boxes rather than panels. With literally 30mins left before the 5pm deadline, I finished my 3 page comic, converted it to a PDF and uploaded it to the Hnry website. Of course, I would be remiss to say I took several shortcuts to get the submission done but as Jake Parker says, "Finished not perfect." It's funny that in 2020, I would find myself under the crunch creating a comic in 24hrs to submit for an online competition as this year would mark 10 years since I did the exact same thing and won the V Energy Drinks Pimp My Life competition in 2010.
How amazing and serendipitous if 10 years later, I am able to make lightning strike twice? But I would be remiss to not acknowledge the amazing support I've been fortunate to have from friends, family and fans. Without their support, I wouldn't be in the position I find myself now a decade after this V Energy Drinks Facebook competition. And with your help and votes for the Hnry Awards, I might miraculously be able to do it again. Vote here for ENTRY I (I as in I kae :P): https://hnry.co.nz/awards/top10 A lot of the great things that have happened in my career are due to just giving things a shot. Too many times people will talk themselves out of opportunities. As someone who's managed to thrive in an industry with not many avenues for success, I'm the kind of person to go out there and make opportunities happen. It's not easy but man, when things go right, it's the best damned feeling ever. Drawing comics, wrestling, gaming and everything else I do are things I've always wanted to do and through sheer determination, stubbornness and hard work, I managed to turn them into a career. The epitome of 'independent earning' is being able to make a living doing what you love with no restraints and I find myself often in a surreal and privileged position to do that. Remember my personal mantra: Do the work and don't be a dick. That's it. That's the secret to success. P.S: Don't forget to vote for ENTRY I: https://hnry.co.nz/awards/entry-i (Votes close 11pm 5 April)