Hey everyone! I'm doing a little research and would love your thoughts. Here's the thing:
I got into MoGraph as a 22-year old who, like everyone else, wanted to "run my own studio" and spend 16 hours a day getting amazing at After Effects. Around age 32 with a wife, 2 kids and a mortgage I realized I wanted out of the grind. I couldn't imagine being 45 and working as hard as I was moving pixels around. I never saw any examples of middle-aged MoGraphers except for those that rose to become high-level CD's and ADs', or opened their own studios. It was WEIRD to come across a freelancer in their 40's, and I never met anyone aged 50+ who wasn't a top-3 person at a company.
I ended up leaving production to focus on teaching, and I've seen many of my peers go into other industries like Real Estate or Software Development because those industries have mature career-paths that can take you into retirement.
So, my question is: What do you all think you'll be doing when you're 45 or 50? Are any of you that age yet? If you don't end up running a studio or becoming a CD somewhere, what's your plan to make it to 65 in this industry?
I'm also curious if any of you have had that "Oh shit, I'm at the top of the wrong mountain" moment where you actually DO open your own studio or become the thing you've always wanted only to realize that now you just want to make a decent living, play with your kids and go hiking on the weekends? That happened to me, and it threw me for a loop. I was a CD, I ran a studio I helped to start, and I was miserable because I'd set that goal 10 year prior and never adjusted it based on my changing reality and life-goals. I'm not sure what I would have done differently knowing what I do now, but I'd love to start a discussion about this topic.
That was a lot of rambling. The TLDR is: What is an aging MoGrapher to do when their lifestyle goals don't mesh with the realities of working in this industry anymore?