We had the good fortune of connecting with Kelsey Hunter and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kelsey, how has your work-life balance changed over time?
For me, working in an artistic field has its pros and cons. I feel lucky to work in the industry I dreamed about, I am paid to do some thing I love, but when I come home I just spent all day using a lot of the same artistic muscles I would like to use on my own projects and don’t have the same drive I did when I was working in a different field. This used to bother me because I felt like I had something to prove, and that I had to create work that I felt proud of all the time. I would start big projects in this mindset and never finish them. As I’ve spent more time in my field I feel comfortable being satisfied within my work life. It makes me happy to work with other people and be a part of larger projects and then come home to enjoy the company of my family and dive into new hobbies that are different from my main artist practice. My comfort with this may have also come from a push against this side hustle monetization that’s becoming quite main stream these days. I create for myself and for my future and privately work on projects with longer term goals then the gratification of likes on Instagram. Generally I put myself first over the need to always be producing work. I allow myself to take it easy when I need to, and then I have a solid multi media practice that fulfills my expectations and aspirations for myself while maintaining dedication to my job which is important to me but not my whole 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.
Currently I am in the process of creating a animated solar punk television show. Solar Punk is a positive vision of our future made possible through green energy and cooperation. I use the science fiction format as a way to build fresh worlds and tell stories to ignite our imagination and show what our own world could be like.
Creating a positive show about the future is really important to me. A lot of our media is stuck in a dystopian tone, making it seem like our planet is doomed to be overrun with toxic wasteland and death. I believe that we can still create a better future by conscious thinking and a good way for me to put my skills to work is to create content that inspires us.
During the day I am the “right hand” at a Visual Effects company that has a high specialization in miniatures called Creation Consultants. I enjoy working in this space because of work flow. I am able to see projects through to completion, often having my hands in every step of the process once it comes through the door, and sometimes even on to set to film the asset we created. In other shops they focus on specialization and you are stuck doing one thing painting, or construction etc but I get so much enjoyment being able to have a part in so many parts of the process, digitally sculpting to painting to construction and getting to experiment on the way, becoming a more skilled and capable artist while on the clock!
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
My favorite things to do with out-of-town friends are: taking an ocean view drive up to Malibu Seafood to eat lunch on the beach, people watching at Melrose Trading post, dressing up and hitting some art openings, sunset picnic in palisades park, trying to hit up every rooftop bar in town, and going on at least one hike with a waterfall.
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?
I want to thank my fellow working artist friends that are also navigating this tricky balance of creating as work and pleasure. Being open and talking about how we each deal with personal pressure and expectations helps so much, especially knowing we are all there for each other.
I want to shout out my boyfriend for generally being a wonderful light in my life who both encourages me to be the greatest at what I do, and then making me relax and chill out.
I would also like to shout out my boss for seeing my potential 3 years ago and allowing me the space to grow as an artist, a leader, and collaborator.