One chapter ends, another begins

September 11, 2017

by Drea

Just an hour ago, I finished drafting down an announcement and a new Facebook banner image for D&D Creations. For many of you it’s no longer a secret – on the 23rd of August, after some health-related issues and long discussions between Michel and I, we decided to temporarily stop our services, and take some time off to recharge and experience new and bigger things. We are both very excited about the future, and instead of being sad about ending what we’ve built in the last 4 years, we are actually very positive about the new possibilities life might bring. Still, I couldn’t help feeling a little down while montaging a banner image of our projects. However, I know I made the right decision.

A still of D&D Creations’ logo animation, made in 2014. Created and rendered in VUE.

The Decision

During my last RSI episode (which lasted another 4 weeks), physical pain was the least severe issue I was dealing with. After the initial “Ohh, not this again”-sigh and being scared of boredom, I started evaluating these last 4 years, and, while I truly loved my work, enjoyed serving our Clients, and took each new project as a new exciting ride to an unknown destination, I also realized I didn’t really mind being off work again. That rang a bell – is it perhaps time for a change?

Being your own boss, choosing your clients, developing your own products most certainly has a bright side, but after a while, especially if this is basically how you started your career, you might realize it’s not as fulfilling as it was for so many years. I’ve learned more in the industry and in life itself as never before, still there is a lot more to learn. I’ve worked with dozens of brilliant minds, but I was never truly a part of their team. I signed up for being a professional artist, but all my other obligations (contracts, administration, billing, more administration…) kept me from fully dedicating myself to what I was – an artist. My office, the place that meant so much to me, and where I felt awesome for being able to work with great people from the other side of the world became a place of isolation. I was thinking of the opportunities I might have missed because of being bound to this tiny place, and I was thriving for something new. A new team. A new challenge. Bigger. A place where I can grow further. Where I can improve skills I didn’t get the chance to improve before.

My ultimate favorite project of the last 4 years: Anxiety RelieVR – Guided Relaxation (Clients: Studio Transcendent, AppliedVR, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center)

I was thinking of the time when we were laying the foundations of our Training Center. These plans brought me together with the most amazing, talented and dedicated people – Brothers – I’ve ever met, and I was really excited to be in a leading/coordinating role. But then the reality of my brain struck. How can I be a good leader without ever working for a company? Without ever having a boss, a team and orders to follow? I jumped on this ride without any previous work or life experience, I was young and enthusiastic, and I thought it would be fine. Then – thanks to the “fine” – I grew up. And I realized I needed this change so bad.

So one night, I told Michel “We need to talk”.

Starting a career by starting a company was perhaps not the wisest choice, but I didn’t regret it, not one bit. I’m happy I did it, and I’m extremely grateful for the experience, our clients, our projects, everything I’ve learned, everything I’ve created, each and every single person I’ve worked with made me a better, stronger and more confident person (even if that was not the plan – I’m grateful). I’m grateful for the constant support of family and friends, and especially to Michel for understanding and supporting me through this big step.

Another favorite: Insurgent – Shatter Reality VR Experience (Client: Kite & Lightning, Lionsgate. © Lionsgate)

So… What now?

First of all, I need to get my right arm enough rest to recover. This doesn’t mean I can’t work or make art, just not 16 hours a day, if possible! 😊

From now on, I promise I’ll dedicate more time to connect with the community, share tips and ideas, and help wherever I can. As soon as I recover, I’ll be a lot more active in our group, and pay a lot more attention to you guys!

I’ll keep looking for the new challenge that will fulfill me. There have been a couple of great opportunities I missed in the past, because I didn’t have the courage to try (and DDC was a perfect excuse and safe haven…). That is something I regretted. So, whenever the next door opens, I’ll be there shaking your hand. Or giving you a high five. Or a hug. Whichever you prefer. 😀

Learning, learning, learning. New techniques, new art forms, new software – right now it’s PlantFactory. It’s an awesome tool. I also want to get back to DMP trainings, as well as real-time development, mainly for developing VR content for therapeutic use.

But since your first love is something you will always cling on to a little bit, I secretly do hope that I can continue using VUE as my primary tool of trade. I hope I can dedicate more time to record my own trainings (because you guys have been asking about it), and who knows, maybe I can team up with some good friends to record a larger training, each of us covering sections we are experts in. I just came up with this one. 😀

This was one of my best trips ever. Short, but awesome. And definitely not the last one…

The bottom line is, I made a difficult decision, we shut down DDC for a while, a new chapter begins, and I haven’t felt so excited in a long time. I want to personally thank everyone who was a part of this ride, and all the fellow artists, especially our VUE Galleries group who keep inspiring me.

For D&D Creations Clients & Customers, read the company’s official annoucement on our Facebook page here.

Cheers!