We had the good fortune of connecting with Phoenix Rose Hoffman and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Phoenix Rose, so given that most of us are stuck at home due to the crisis, we’ve been asking folks about what they’ve enjoyed doing during quarantine. We’d love to hear what your favorite thing to do has been.
Quarantine has given me all sorts of opportunities to learn new trades and develop previously lost skills. For instance, one new activity I’ve started is writing letters. Over the last few months I must’ve sent at least 50 letters to various people, friends and family alike. I send letters to my significant other at least a few times a week and sometimes even daily for a few days at a time. I have gained various pen pals- the first of which was a follower who reached out to me on social media from France asking to write back and forth- from all over.
It’s a great method of stress relief as I find it very meditative to reflect on life through the point of a pen on paper. During quarantine I’ve found myself reverting back to old activities I use to enjoy doing a lot but for one reason or another, stopped for years at a time. The biggest of which has been bug collecting. I always did so as a kid- so much so that my parents assumed I’d be an entomologist- but stopped around college when I moved away from home.
Since returning due to the virus, I’ve caught and raised various forms of caterpillars, larvae, eggs, etc. Mostly, I’ve collected caterpillars as it’s become somewhat of a family tradition to keep them until they transform to protect them from spiders. This year we’ve raised Mourning Cloaks, Monarchs, Ladybugs, Tussock Moths (don’t worry, I’m not releasing them because I know they can be harmful to trees), Mantis, and more! All of which were found by simply looking around the neighborhood. I’ve even started to keep a nature journal to collect information on the bugs we find and their growth journey. In a lot of ways, when so many people feel trapped in their houses and unable to grow, it’s really reassuring to play an active role in the growth of others.
Lastly, I’ve gotten back into writing music. Some friends and I had talked about making a band and while I dabbled in song writing before, since the pandemic has started, I’ve written at 7 songs- most of which now have full chords and lyrics. It’s very cathartic to let out all the stress that comes with being stuck in one place for so long in a creative way that others can enjoy.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I am currently a college student which means all my art is freelance. I do a lot of stop motion and 2D animation commissions (though I also Know CG) as well as a lot of graphic design/ logo commissions for businesses. I’m currently studying at LCAD though that may change soon because of cost with the virus and all. I work a job on top of lots of scholarships and loans in order to afford the education I am receiving. It’s not easy but I don’t regret it. I’m currently looking into other schools to get the same level of education but with a lower price.
There’s a lot of challenges that come with being an artist. You only get jobs when people see your art so a large part of being in the art world is self publicizing. Especially in animation, a lot of people don’t understand how much work goes into it. For 1 second of full animation, an animator draws anywhere between 12-24 drawings. It’s a lot of work and a lot of the times I like to have meetings with my commissioners to explain this so they understand what they are asking for when they say they want a 5 minute ad or a 3 minute music video. Yes, I’ll do it but it will take time and a pretty penny to make a reality. Another big issue I’ve personally had to overcome, as I know many artists do, is underselling yourself.
At first it can feel like “being rude” or “selfish” to try to get attention for your art or even charge the real price a piece of work should cost. It’s easy to under-price work in the name of “kindness” or for “publicity” but doing that can become really detrimental when you aren’t making enough to live off of. Remember to time yourself, see how long it takes you to make a piece and take that into account when making a price. Look up what people in your field generally charge per hour and keep your price around that. Don’t let yourself be talked down to pennies when your work and time is worth so much more. It’s something I have to constantly remind myself. As far as my ‘brand’ of art, I try to be flexible.
I definitely prefer drawing certain styles over another but I always want the customer to be (at least) satisfied with what they receive if not totally blown away by it. I always make each piece to the best of my abilities and use the skills I’ve learned to really push a piece to the next level. I’d say my ‘brand’ stands with determination and consistency to always provide only quality work.
Any great local spots you’d like to shoutout?
Well, I always end up taking people to Mira Costa College. Even though I don’t attend school there, it’s near my house and has a lovely horticultural area that’s perfect for walks and picnics. I’d show them The Backfence Art Society and all of Downtown Vista as there’s so much history there and always fun things to do.
I’ve helped paint a lot of murals around there and it’s nice to look at the art. The Backfence Society Clubhouse is down there and they’re always having new events. Lastly I’d take them down to Panels, which is one of my favorite comic and coffee stops. It’s just off Mission Avenue so you can take the scenic route.
After some coffee and comic reading, you could easily walk right down to the pier and see the water or partake in whatever events are going on around the area. There always seems to be something afoot around there to explore~
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I want to thank my parents for being so supportive and encouraging of everything I do. I really couldn’t do so many of the things I do without their belief in me constantly fueling me to go the extra mile. Thank you Don and Lisa Hoffman for your help~ I also want to thank my friends and by significant other for constantly being a shoulder to lean on and reminding me not to take life too seriously. Lastly, I want to thank Sarah Spinks and The Backfence Art Society for making me aware of Voyager and constantly offering me new opportunities to help Keep Vista Weird!
Other: All other Links including my Online Store and any new events: https://ivoxusrose.carrd.co/