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Balancing the Grind with Foxfrd, Video Game Animator & Multimedia Artist

Foxfrd is a video game animator and multimedia artist, who has worked for notable gaming studio The Game Band, where he helped create the award-winning game Where Cards Fall.

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1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?

I am a lead animator in the gaming industry and I have been in my current role for the past three years. Since I also make music and apply my skills as an animator to the music videos that I create, I would consider myself to be a multimedia artist.

2) What does a day in your life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?

My days are primarily work-driven. I tend to wake up at 9am and start things off by trying to do a 30 minute workout. After that, I hop on my computer and start my work as an animator.

The first eight hours of my day are dedicated to my video game industry job and I spend my remaining hours working on various music projects. I typically work until 2-3am while taking breaks throughout and trying to eat when I can.

I have so many things to work on, so I am consistently behind my computer. Always animating, working on renders, making music, and knocking out any project that I have on my plate. 

3) Does your current role allow for flexible or remote working? If so, how does that fit into your life and routine?

My current job is fully remote. That works perfectly with my work schedule because I can just pivot from game animation work to personal projects without having to commute anywhere or set up any kind of workspace.

My day job workspace is also my project workspace at the same time. While I work long hours, my set-up is super convenient so that I can dedicate as much time to all projects as possible. I built my computer by myself to support both my gaming industry work as well as the work I do as a musician (creating animated videos, production, etc).

4) What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?

I struggle a bit with work-life balance. I’m aware that I’m sacrificing certain things that I could be doing in life (traveling, going to social events) so that I can reach my work-goals sooner rather than later.

But I do think it’s important to have a proper work-life balance. I think it’s necessary to understand that you can pivot each way as needed. Sometimes work needs more of your attention and at other times, stuff outside of work needs to be a priority. So far, I’m surprisingly pretty good at avoiding burnout.

The life balance part for me is taking breaks at home and looking forward to the time after I’ve reached my goals so that I can dabble in more ‘life’ experiences. But I’m happy right now; work is fun for me!

5) In the past 12 months, have you started or stopped any routines or habits to change your life?

Over the past year, I started working out at home with resistance bands to save on my commute time to the gym. I’m still able to get a workout in, but working out at home has proven to be much more convenient so that I can dedicate more time to my work.

I also started cooking this year! I am subscribed to a meal service plan that sends ingredients for rather elaborate dinners and lunches. Although I’m spending most of my time working, I still want to have a healthy diet and practice cooking different kinds of food.

Cooking was always a skill I wanted to work on and I somehow found the time amongst everything else on my plate. (No pun intended)

6) Do you have any favourite books, podcasts or newsletters that you’d like to recommend?

The Definitive Book of Body Language by Allen and Barbara Pease – This book is incredible. It’s about subliminal messages that people give off based on their body language.

Most of what we say to each other aren’t the verbal words that are coming out of our mouths but rather, the things we do with our bodies.

This book has proven to be such a useful tool for me as an animator. But the knowledge that I’ve gained from this book has bled into my real life situations as well.

7) Are there any products, gadgets or apps that you can’t live without?

I can’t live without my computer, since that is where my work lives. My piano, my monitor, etc are all tools that would make my work impossible if I didn’t have them. Everything I do involves some sort of computer work so it’s necessary that I have mine!

It would also be hard for me to live without Instagram. I communicate with so many people through IG and I use it as a central way to contact people while I’m working. It’s currently my most useful social outlet. Oh and memes – it would be super strange to live without memes. I need a little humor to break up the day!

8) If you could read an interview about work-life balance by anyone, who would that be?  

I read a lot about the schedule of billionaires. It’s strange to think about the lives that people like Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg live on a day to day basis. If I didn’t have to hustle to make a living, I know that my schedule would inevitably change.

That being said, I do have to hustle, so I want to see more articles about people who are working day in and day out to become something. I want to learn more about artists who have to invest in themselves.

People that are working 20+ hours a day instead of the people who are already at the top. I’m tired of reading about people who have already made it to what we consider an ‘end result’ rather than the steps that it took for them to get there.

Media tends to overlook the people who are currently on their journey’s. We are so focused on the destination that it becomes difficult to relate to anyone in the news.

The rapper Saba is a great example of an artist who has been transparent about his journey; this is so helpful to other aspiring artists because we know that we are not alone in the climb and I appreciate the opportunity to learn from someone who is further along than me, but who is still aspiring for more.

9) Do you have any last thoughts on work, life or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?

I understand that my answers don’t necessarily reflect a great work-life balance; however, my focus is to eventually level things out. I wouldn’t necessarily advise taking my workflow and implementing it into your own life.

However, I will say (going back to my previous answers) that I find it’s okay for work-life balance to be at an 80/20 or 60/40 ratio sometimes. As long as you make a mental note to always attempt to balance the scales in a direction that will serve your life to the best of its ability.

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About Author

Balance the Grind is a work-life balance publication on a mission to showcase healthy work-life balance through interesting stories from people all over the world, in different careers and lifestyles.