We had the good fortune of connecting with Jason Evanko and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jason, how has your work-life balance changed over time?
Work Life balance is one of those hard things to figure out, especially in the creative fields, and doubly so during these crazy pandemic times that we are currently living in. Most places think that since you’re working from home, all the time is work time, but you need to learn and figure out where to draw that line. I always struggled with that line because I enjoy working. Whether it’s the long hours in a studio finishing up a project, or burning the midnight oil at home on freelance my “Life” balance was just to work. But that has very much shifted for me over the last year or so. Throughout the pandemic, a lot of people started to realize, myself included, how important it is to take time for yourself. To unwind, reconnect with nature and yourself, and to find a balance where you can step back and breath. Before I was all about the 10 hour day’s 6 day weeks because I love what I do, and loved the projects I worked on. However now I have to set up boundaries with employers because I value my “me” time. I need those weekends to refresh and go hiking, or to go out and get those taco Tuesday dinners with friends. Because as you build your career, you see the things that are truly important in your life, and your job, no matter how much you love it, isn’t one of those. At the end of the day, no one ever said “I Wish I spent more time at work” or “I wish I bought that new gadget”. It’s always “I wish I spent more time with the people I loved” and the sooner you realize that that’s what is important, you learn how to balance your work and life.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I think one of my biggest strengths, and what sets me apart from others is just how wide my verity of work is. As a main source of income, I am a VFX artist for feature films and TV, which to get where I am professionally today has been quite the path. It’s been a winding road of job after job, and evolving skill sets. However I believe once you stop evolving, whether it’s in your personal life or in your career, you will get left behind. Not in a bad way, but you need to be able to keep up with what’s going on. It had it’s moments of being easy, but overall it’s been a continual push forward to the next best and greatest thing. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. In this industry you need to always be pushing and striving for the next best thing, and bettering yourself. I think that’s one of the biggest challenges and lessons I’ve learned along the way. Once you stay somewhere for too long you start to have your skills stagnate, and you mold to whatever studio you’re working for needs. However that does provide a unique opportunity in that you can always find new skills and better yourself because everyone around you is so eager to help you.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Oh boy, if a friend was coming to visit I would first and for most tell them that they need to spend at least a month here to see all that I want to show them. But! If you’re giving me only a week, I’m going to give them as best a taste as I can, which includes 3 very specific categories, as most trips do, and those are nature, food, and nightlife. Starting with nature, I would show them the lesser side of Southern California. Sure, I’ll bring them to the Santa Monica pier, or Venice because as a tourist you need to do the touristy stuff. However my biggest recommendation for a nature walk would be a nice hike up to Sandstone Peak in Malibu. Get up there early and hike before lunch, and then on the way home we stop by Paradise Cove beach Café. Then it’s off to East LA for the best taco I’ve ever had at Manuel’s El Tepeyac. Being from the east coast I was deprived of what a real, good taco was until I moved here, so I need to make sure everyone I know gets to have the same experience I did. Then back to Hollywood for a little sightseeing before we go barhopping for the night! There’s too many for one night but while I have friends in town, but the important ones that I need to make sure my friends make it to are No Vacency, Good times at Davey Waynes, and Eighty-Two. Among some other classics like every rooftop bar in downtown.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Honestly, to pick one person or thing to attribute my success to is impossible. The past 6 years of adventure in my career, from Job hunting and endings, to creating a business and growing as a person is thanks to every single person who’s graced my life with their presence. Whether it’s for the better or not, it’s shaped me into who I am because at most times they all have supported me. From ex’s and friends to my parents and roommates. I want to shoutout every person who’s supported me in my efforts to be the best me I can be. If I truly need to pick one single group/person/people, I would have to say my parents. As corny and easy as that answer is, I feel like as a whole they are my biggest supporters with whatever I have going on. Whether it’s a crisis of faith in my career choices, to supporting me in whatever crazy new project I have coming, they’ve been there and will always be there to cheer me on, and I am so grateful for that.