The advice in the video above from guitar legend Dick Dale is geared towards musicians, but everything he says applies equally well to animation artists. To paraphrase, Dale suggests, “Save up your money, create your own films, build up your following by continuously getting your work out there, learn to market yourself and sell your own films. And most importantly, never surrender your creativity to studios because you’ll get screwed every time.”
Many artists in animation have followed the path that Dale suggests, whether it’s John and Faith Hubley back in the day, modern independents like Bill Plympton and Don Hertzfeldt, or contemporary studios like JibJab and Brothers McLeod. The results: the Hubley family still earns money from films that were produced fifty years ago and Bill Plympton earns money from films that he produced twenty years ago. Which creator in the industry can say that his work still draws income 20-50 years later? Not many, that’s for sure.