sorry, no time to read full thread tho read quite of it and fully did with your post. yet so I thought I’d give shortly (Edit: ehm…not what I could describe as shortly, finally) my POV, as am the exact case and age. Am achrystie’s age, btw.
You talk bout CG, sort of a lot of people work in games as well, or swap in between (more than is already mixed with high end million pollies of displacement models and intor movies for games) industries. I’m from games world. There’s a sentence I keep hearing by old colleages there: after 10 years, loads of game ppl get wasted of it all. Main reason there is bazillion extra hours, some lost the health in the way, some the girlfriend, some the passion of it all (one o fthe main reasons is repetitive work, amazingly huge pressure that makes any sort of task non enjoyable, and I see more pressure, way more than in other jobs, that were traditionally thought as very stressed: IE, after years of being game artists, in 4 companies, am now art director, sort of designer for all in a company. Well, hugely less stressed and more stablished in a way, than I ever was in games. And still, I can tell you corporate design and being this jack of all trades, is quite a thing with pressure, so you can imagine how was the other world. )
In my case there was a moment I wanted to stop moving from towns, earning crappy bucks, no upgrade possible, loads of young bosses (no: not because knowing more stuff than me, I love to work with a clever boss. Is just a rare case. ) , the activity itself has more pressure than any other profession I’ve worked in. At the age am I , see no symptoms of what you mean, my brain seem to learn way faster than before, indeedy, coming from other backgrounds, and tools, in 2002 blender was not a prob to learn. And is easier each day.
I agree with the money concept as well. Even if you don’t have children, a lot of friends of your age have 'em, are married, etc. Even if you don’t have plans on that, it’s a bit tiring thing to make every month incredible things with incredible milestones and see not even propper reward. Let alone the one that’d really compensate it all, if that exists. Not talking about CG world, as I only have a lot of mates working in it, but have no experience, just games. Still, the thing may be similar. In jobs like design where I am now, illustration, drawing, etc, one can expect to grow in income and fame. In games, is way harder. You get lost among an army, lost in that lot. I was lucky to work in some occassions with small teams or companies: there one gets noticed in credits at least.
The whole matter, was not personally worthing at all. In this situation, many of my mates lost all passion about it. Or family and children forced a permanent swap to another industry. Lots of people don’t like moving from country to country (i don’t like it) . Some friends did like it, but not anymore, but they don’t see themselves so late moving to other industry. I moved before I would see me with no courage to learn a almost totally new profile. Been working as a teacher as well (i see you mention) with very good pay, but was not of my liking.
Right now, connecting with that of the age/learning dificulties, dunno I learn now faster than ever before…
about younger ppl…all the opposite…while in too many I see a culture of not giving enough value to actual effort, with most I carry on better than older dudes of my age: most of those were more worried on getting to be bosses (for just a minimal more earnings: is a matter of ego) than actually learning real stuff… Indeed, have a great relation with 22 year old ppl in companies… Rarely, i yet to remember some, any of those would know more than we. basicly the ones getting into in my area, we were all crazy bout 3d. been crazily learning all this years. And I was not born with computers, but started at 15 doing graphics. So, nope, I don’t see the gap. I do with some friend painters (am fine arts painter, also studied that career) which actually had the gap with all we interested in 3D, already in its moment.
To me it’s too little money, social pressure, stress in the company: you don’t get old and weak , is just you think it twice if it’s really clever to keep so, it’s also the need to move from places,(in my case, simply the thing got dry in my area, and helped in the decission of changing of industry) the silly bosses, way to crazy on crazy dreams of power and domination, and yep, age, but as you see how all your friends go other routes.
I have noted something strange about the age group for this line of work. It is like every 3D artist from 35 and older just fades away. Not
well, it depends. I may have moved to design, yet I do some 3D at work when is ok to do so, and do a lot at home for personal projects: Indeed, recovered the passion for it thanks to that. that’s not to be faded.
Another reason that certainly is related to different generations :Mine was not born with twitter and nor even forums. Am a rare case, most of my mates graphic artists don’t browse forums. And…a common matter is…they rarely do artwork if money is not involved. They could often not be able to explain the wife, not even to themselves. Am a bit of that kind.
everyone but a lot. Some start to teach and stop producing. Some
what i can tell you that fades is not the skills -all the opposite- , neither deep passion, what fades is the will to make a lot of art for free. At least, those are the stats of my environments. And my self feeling/situation.
might actually change career or interest. Dunno. The fact is that the industry has been dominated by young and very young people over the last 15 years and will so for quite some time , if not forever…
Dunno. In games, a company is lost without solid artists with loads of experience and crunch times ove rtheir shoulders…and as I say, many of the new coming people seem to prefer the no-effort way. While others are incredibly tallented, in some cases, a tallent unseen for me in older times. But are not -that-massive, ppl of that level…in any age. Indeedy, I learnt not to separate by ages. Is so much variety of cases, that I cannot really stablish a stats/rule about it…
About traditional media…yup, I miss it a ot. Am an oil painter and for some time, terracota modeller. Not missing the actual less inmediate result, but miss some stuff. And yep, uv mapping is way less of a passion than drawing a comic…
And there comes another reason, a conclussion I reached recently. Is not a matter anymore , since many years, if one can model, or skin, or rig, or animate. Is a matter that the story you have in your brain, no matter how good you are, if used many years and passion in painting and drawing, will come to life in the form of a comic or painting, in a really small fraction of time. And after all, you want to dump your imagination, in whatever the way. So yep, in that point I agree.
After 15 years you might get tired of sitting on your arse in front of a screen.
Exactly my case… actually more years…and yep, you get bored of it. (but very rarely would loose passion for 3D… be it convenient or not…)
I think we should remember that there is no joy in using our tools (3D) except as a methods to a means.
Well, still I really enjoy modeling, and even more, animating, a thing that I can’t have that easy and fast in traditional ways…
But when I press my fingers into the clay, when I softly brush the colours across the canvass I feel I can relax,
yep, it definitely is relaxing.
With 3D you have to impress someone, else why are you doing it?
I really enjoy to see a character I invented to see it come to life, once model is done, and once I see it moving in some anim test… Is a pleasure by itself alone.
oops, i wanted to keep this short…
Edit: And last reason, but actually very important: In a games company, dunno how is in CG films, one get rarely artistic control over all thing, sometimes not even in your area/task. Close to nothing is worst for an artist than that, imo…so much that i prefer to keep my passion as a hobby, even if quite dedicated to call it a hobby.