By armaan8014 23 Comments
As you might have read in my previous blogs, I've been pretty confused about the direction in my life that I should be headed in (career wise) I joined an Architecture college 6 years back, tried to shift to video games mid way (but gave up as there's no game scene in India, and the indie scene wasn't as strong as it is today I think) Along with that, I grew a passion for films - which I did pursue after college (but after experiencing the work process, I found it very dry and realized I didn't enjoy it) I still like making films and music videos of smaller scope. Also, keep in mind that I live in India (and would prefer to move out)
It's kind of hard to describe, but my life is all about searching for and creating beauty - that's where video games and movies have had such an impact for me. It started with Fable, and went on to include The Witcher 1, TES IV Oblivion, Dragon age origins and Mass Effect. These games moved me and inspired me. I also saw films like The Last Samurai, Into the Wild during that impressionable age of mine and later fell in love with films/ TV such as Memories of Murder and Twin Peaks. I call this feeling "magic"
A picture might describe my feelings better - Images like a monastery on a misty hill, where the hallways are dark and the monks converse in hushed tones get me excited. Imagine that monastery filled with the sounds of Gregorian monks chanting. A village below the hill is filled with rumors, myths, mysteries and legends. There's something beautiful about the unknown. Even in games, I like wandering off to dark forests or just sitting in a village in a peaceful spot. There's much more to what I find beautiful, but upon examination, I have found these kinds of images to be the core of it all.
Fog, mist, hills, evenings, grass, fields, trees, candle-lit stone hallways, medieval villages, myths and mysteries - Those words and images heavily inspire me. I also spend a LOT of time listening to video game soundtracks. Music is a huge inspiration too. This is why things like the Witcher and Dragon age have had such an impact on me (or maybe it's the other way round - they made me fall in love with these feelings/ images)
All of this has caused me to make films that try to capture this visually and through sounds. It has also gotten me into painting, photography and cinematography. I also sometimes blog about the beauty of games and make videos showcasing that. It has also caused me to travel extensively seeking hills, fog, nature, mystery and magic- to places around the Himalayas, and most recently, to beautiful, mysterious Bhutan. Here's a photograph I took in one of the places that looked like a location from the Witcher series -
And another one I clicked on a trek in the Himalayas:
In 2013, I made this painting after spending an hour watching the clouds and sipping tea inspired me. I later composed music for it and animated it as well.
I also have a band with a friend of mine, and we make music videos twice a year. Here's one of them that's about the feeling of mystery and how that fades away as you grow older -
I'm the happiest when I'm sitting in my room at home, with the lights dimmed, some beautiful video game music playing in the background, and me creating something/ painting/ editing a video or just reading about video games on the internet. That's literally the happiest moment of my life - and it comes every weekend.
This year in June, I joined an Architecture firm after 1 year of experimenting around after graduating. I did this to give myself more time to figure out what I need to/ can/ should do in my life. The plan while joining this was to figure things out in a year or two and transition to that. As expected, I've hated the 9-5 aspect of the job, living from weekend to weekend. I pursue my passions in the evenings and in the weekends, and that is all that I live for. I realized that I shouldn't end up taking too long in this phase either- therefore I've promised myself to earn more than my month's salary through one of my businesses and then transition into that full time. But I'm hoping to do this before June 2017 (one year in the job)
After graduating I tried to understand the concepts of money and entrepreneurship - cause whatever I end up doing, I need to fund myself. That led to me getting into the T shirt design thing, selling stuff on redbubble and the like. I make about 20$ a month on that - not much, but it's something. I've been trying to scale it up but have not had much success yet (I digitally paint footballers and try to sell them to football/ soccer fans) But one thing is for sure - I need to start my own thing and earn off it soon, so that I can focus on my passions.
Also in the pipeline is to make an indie game - an idea that lines up with my passions and my original dream that I had back in college. It's creative and I can make something beautiful. The problem is, my friend that is in with me on this idea lives in another city, and doesn't seem to want to work a little bit on it everyday - we just talk about ideas and get nowhere (he's the programmer, I'm the artist/ story guy) I'm putting a lot of time into it but I barely get any replies from him. The lack of communication is frustrating, and I almost want to just do it myself. Let's see where it will lead. But as an idea itself, I would love to spend all my time working with dedication on a video game. It's been a dream forever.
What should I do next? Getting down to what would be the best for me -
Yesterday, as I grew frustrated by the lack of T shirt sales, I decided to sit and re think everything I was doing and what really matters to me. I wanted to chip off all the extra stone on the block I have to get to the sculpture inside, and get to the core of my motivations (which I did and described it above^) I am focusing right now on starting a business. Why? To earn enough money. Why? So that I have the freedom and not be tied to a job. Why? So that I can do whatever I want whenever I want. What are those things? The passions that I described above. The core of that?
I thought about it, and realized that my biggest inspiration is to move people emotionally. To create things that show them extreme beauty. The world and life is so beautiful, and people and artists have created such amazing things - I wanna be a part of that and completely indulge in that. Most people may find this weird, but I think the Assassin's creed series is exceptionally beautiful. The epic scope, the history, and the tragedy that seems to exist in most of these stories is almost perfect for me. It's not the story, but the way it is told that moves me. Here's the best soundtrack I've ever heard, from ACIII, and it describes everything I said. The bit at 1:26 kills me everytime I hear it-
A possible plan in alignment with these motivations -
If I think about it, maybe starting a blog where I share my thoughts about and explore the "beautiful side of gaming" would be something that fits the core of my motivations. I also have a Youtube channel, which I could focus more seriously on and make videos analyzing the beauty of particular games as a series. I could immerse myself in this magic everyday, and share beautiful game related things (like orchestral performances of certain video game soundtracks) on it.
Thing is, it's difficult to grow these things, and I have mostly failed at it before. It's not really the most lucrative option anymore - the internet is noisy as hell. It's a slog to grow these platforms in the early stages, and can be very disheartening to talk to yourself when you don't have an audience. It's like talking to an empty classroom. But if I know that this is a good idea that people would eventually flock to after years of work, then I would be motivated enough to just keep putting in the work. What do you think, would it work?
Also, I could use this as a platform for my other endeavors - mainly I could gain a following that agrees with my thought process and therefore would be interested in playing the games that I make.
I think since I feel so strongly about all this, I should lean heavily on these passions and focus on it - mainly video games (rather than trying out different business ideas for earning money) I also really feel that I'd be better off in another country - there's not really a scene for all this in India. Of course, the internet makes it easy for me to do this regardless, but I want to live around people with similar passions. This also includes places like Sweden, Germany, Poland and Denmark, (places that have those medieval festivals, that atmosphere that inspires me, and places like Germany seem to make interesting PC RPGs) apart from the US.
(My brain feels like sludge after typing all that out. Hope I was able to convey my thoughts clearly)