Guest Blog: Stan! on “It’s Never Too Late to Chase Your Dream”
Recently I have invited several colleagues to submit guest blogs for me to highlight. This one is by Gaming veteran and cartooning luminary Stan!
If you are involved, or getting involved, in tabletop games and are interested in having me feature a guest blog of yours, let me know! You can drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Heya, folks! I’m Stan! … yeah, one name with weird punctuation … yeah, there’s a story behind that … but that’s not why I’m here. I’m here because Owen said that he could use some pinch-hit blog posts and he figured I’d have something interesting to say. I guess we’ll see about that.
Those whose gaming memories stretch back more than fifteen years might recall that I used to have my name on a bunch of products and had a bit of a reputation for work done on D20 Modern, Marvel Super Heroes Adventure Game, Dragonlance: Fifth Age, Legend of the Five Rings, and a bunch of other lines and titles. I did game design, wrote novels, and drew comics … heck, I even got nominated for awards in all three categories. But of my own volition I moved on to other types of work—a fair bit of it in the managerial side of gaming, but also doing the kind of writing work where my name doesn’t go on the cover of the product.
Since 2005 I’ve been doing “English Adaptation” for various manga published by Viz Media. Basically, I take literal translations of the books and smooth the scripts out so that they’re fun to read and fit in the pre-existing word balloons. By my count I’ve done adaptations for more than 200 volumes that include titles like Ultraman, Gundam, Legend of Zelda, Pokémon, Demon Slayer, Monster Hunter, and probably a dozen more. I’ve also been doing voice-over scripting for various computer games whenever the opportunity presents itself.
Suffice it to say, I’ve had a pretty good career so far doing a lot of really cool things. And yet … of all the cool things I’ve done professionally, there’s one that gives me more satisfaction than the others and still calls out to me to spend all my time in that pursuit—cartooning. For whatever reason, that is my true passion. And as cool as it is to be able to make a living doing game design, or writing … and as much as I do love doing those things too … no matter what I’m doing, I’d rather be cartooning.
To be honest, I struggled with that for a while. I mean, how ungrateful was it to get a “dream career” and still find yourself wanting something more? After all, I was able to do cartooning AND get paid for it … sometimes. And gaming and writing were definitely passions of mine. How could I want more than that? And after pondering that in a self-flagellating kind of way, here’s what I came up with:
No matter where you are in life, you’re always going to dream about where you’d like to be next!
And as a corollary:
Once you know what your current dream is … it’s never too late to chase it!
During the pandemic year I’ve spent as much time as possible doing cartooning of various sorts—single panel cartoons, illustrations, caricatures, and sequential art stories. And after much hemming and hawing I’ve finally pulled the trigger and launched a Patreon so I can create a community of folks who want to support my cartooning and encourage me to do even more of it.
Having a Patreon reminds me that if I want my dream to be real, I have to WORK at it … and it shows me that there are people out there who want me to succeed. I have to push myself to keep producing work at a regular pace and to hopefully keep honing and improving my skills. I have to be responsible to me AND my patrons to make sure that I’m not just fiddling around (though some amount of fiddling around is part of the package … as it is with any creative work). My Patreon is still in in its initial months, and already I’m feeling the difference it’s making in my life. I only hope that continues.
If you want to join in, I’ve got a little reward for those who join in as founding members of my Patreon community—a group I’m calling the “Stan!dard Bearers.” I’d love to have you join us. But more than that, I hope that what I’m doing can inspire you to take the time and effort to pursue your own dreams. No matter where you are in life … no matter what your dream may be … it’s never too late to CHASE it down and make it real.
Because once you catch it … you may find there’s an even BETTER dream calling out to you! And you can chase that, too!
You can support Stan!’s Patreon here!
And, as always, you can support Owen K.C. Stephens’s Patreon here!