Creator Owned: Pursuing Your Passion panel

Next panel is Creator Owned: Pursuing Your passion.
We’re here with Ted Terranova, Eric Lang, and George and Ayleen Gaspar.

Ayleen: the reason we’re here is to talk about creator-owned IPs.

I grew up with gaming. Family game night was D&D.
Then I went to school for relations and business and have become that side of things for the company.

George and I started our own line so we could work with new artists and get our own things made.

You must have a deep passion for what you do, because you will lose sleep and drink a lot of coffee getting to the point you want to be at.

You need to really find your voice. We all have a lot of passions, but you have to narrow it down. When you do find it though, you’ll really feel great.

A quick tech search will help you to find a group you can use as a sounding board for your ideas. We’re all here because of tech. And Kickstarter is a major way to break into owning your own IP.

By all means, start on your own, but find a company to help you along with your project.

Last but not least, Always Read The Fine Print. Contracts are tough, but be sure you understand what you’re getting into.

George: I went to school for special effects, then moved to LA. I sent my resume out to everyone and was contacted by a toy company. I’d always collected toys, so it was a great first job with Macfarland toys. Then I moved to freelance work.

Start out by learning how to mold and cast, because you have to know that process if you ever want to become a sculptor.
I’ve done wrestling toys and Henson toys and all sorts of things.

You must at some point put your project out there, even if you don’t think it’s done. You will never feel it’s done, but that will never come. You’ll always feel there is more to do. But if you never share it, you’ll never go anywhere.

Technology has created a lot of avenues, but you have to try and be on as many as possible to spread a wiser net to get that large audience.

Ted: I originally went to school for architecture. The training I got was the process from that. Breaking down problems into parts helped a lot. From 3d design, that went to model design in video games. From there, I’ve moved to game design. I was influenced into it a lot from Toy Break and the encouragement from the community around the show.

All our backgrounds have brought us to our passions. Eventually we just ended up where we are.

Luck is actually a lot of hard work and being ready to take that leap when it’s time.

Feedback from the right people is key. Look to peers in the industry you want to be in. Surround yourself with people who are honest with you about your project. Putting your stuff out there is extremely important. You’ve gotta keep trying.
You’ll eventually find people that share your idea.
You must temper your reaction to criticism. It’s all meant to help.

Technology has created a great environment for creativity. You can get a lot more feedback from a lot more diverse group. Forums, websites, and blogs really help spread your ideas to everyone.

Be consistent with being creative. You must work at it regularly.

Innovation comes from experimentation.

Eric: I have no talent for art, so I design rules and such systems, along the world. My specialties in school were psych and math and so forth. I’ve been doing this for quite a while, but was not trained in this. I just know enough to be dangerous.

Luck is a D20 roll, but with modifiers, and doing that over and over again.

The way I got to the place I am is by lots and lots of trying. Do what you want to do over and over and over again. At some point, you will meet the right people at the right time, and good things will happen. You have to make your stuff known and out there. Be ready for every opinion you are given by others. Feedback is critical.

I look for people to try my game who don’t know that I made it so as to get the most-honest opinion possible. This is a scary, but necessary thing. Even after this long doing this, it’s still scary, but you have to.

95% of what is created is garbage! but that means that 5% is good. So create just all the time and you’ll eventually get there. Partnering with others will help find that 5%.

There are always companies always on the lookout for new projects. So you have to have your work available to be found.

If you’re passionate about it you can not worry about the business aspect of it. But if it’s going to be a living, there will be compromises along the way. You need to distinguish between those two as early as possible.