Are You Part of the S5 Audience? A Must Read for Any Creative!

s5graphicMy goal as a Creative Career Coach is to help creatives find their calling and plan their education and careers based on their core marketable strengths, while living a fulfilling life and making the world a better place. S5 Represents the 5 key seasons a person in the creative industry needs to intersect with a mentor or Creative Career Coach.

High school and college career counselors are a great resource, but they have to be more concerned with a students credits, applications, grades, and requirements than they do helping creative students find their calling and core marketable strengths. Some colleges have great job placement and internship partner programs, but many do not. Once in a specific career, there are very few resources around to help people transition into the creative field from other fields, or to help struggling creatives find their way again.

Here’s a description of each of the S5 categories. Pinpoint which one you belong to and leave a comment below to let me know what resources you need to thrive as an artist!

1. SENIORS (High School)
Choosing a creative career track begins with the college or post-highschool training a senior picks. My goal is to get great resources into the hands of high-school seniors, school career counselors, and high-school art teachers.

2. SOPHOMORES (College)
College Sophomores have a critical window of opportunity to declare a major, switch majors, or even switch schools. Many sophomores realize they are in the wrong track, but are afraid to pivot because they have 2 years invested. Nothing could be worse than going 2 more years down the wrong creative track when they sense a change is really needed. I want to get advice, information, and resources into the hands, heads, and hearts of college sophomores to empower them to make sure they are being educated according to their core strengths, passions, and calling.

I know first hand that college training, though crucial to gaining employment, is only half of the education they need. Beginning a creative career and working “hands on” in the industry is the other half of the educational equation. I want to help prepare creatives for real world work, track down internships, help them develop relational skills and work habits to set them apart from the crowd, and find ways to get a foot in the door of their dream job! This is also a critical time to decide if graduate school is a good option.

After 13 years in a graphic design and illustration career, I found myself discontent and, through a process, wound up quitting my job to start an animation company. I’ve seen many people take the courageous step to transition into a creative field that better fits their passions and core strengths, or even transition from an unrelated career to one in the creative arts.

For example, one of our TimbuktoonCloud Team Members flew helicopters for the military for 12 years, then decided to pursue her dream of working in the animation industry! Another great friend and long time Timbuktoons Team Member actually went to Seminary and planned on working in a church, until he felt called BACK into the creative arts where he has thrived for over 12 years doing tons of meaningful work for churches, great companies, and great non-profits. Starting over can be scary and overwhelming and I want to help creatives who are making, or thinking of making, that transition.

Creatives are usually multi-talented. Creatives usually jump from one creative passion to another. Creatives often doubt their capability and have a hard time seeing their best creative strengths. Almost every creative I know gets to a point of frustration and confusion sometime in their career. They get stuck and need some help. I want to help this group of creatives get clear on their calling and core marketable strengths, and I want to help them develop a concrete game plan to help them thrive again.

I’ll have some great resources for my S5 audience in the near future, so if you know anyone who fits one of these categories, PLEASE encourage them to check out the blog and sign up for my e-news. If you are like me, you wish you had a creative mentor or coach intersect your life at one of these critical seasons of life.

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Let me know what you think. You can leave a comment below. If you leave a comment, do me a favor and list your creative arts field, and whether you are a student or a professional.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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6 thoughts on “Are You Part of the S5 Audience? A Must Read for Any Creative!

  1. Hello Mr. Hampson,
    Wow. This is the first time in my short career that I’ve heard of another animation/media production professional wanting to help out other artists… Is this free, or will there be a fee?
    I fit into both the starting and struggling categories, and would love to see resources that help artists in these career stages.
    One of the things that might be cool to see is a resource for receiving helpful feedback on demo reels and ways to tailor them for specific jobs—and maybe even for specific studios.
    After that, resources on networking for specific skills sets would also be a huge help.
    One other observation from my short experiences: there may also a niche need for connecting new animators from
    lesser-known (and often financially cheaper) schools and geographic areas with mentors/work opportunities.
    For those of us without the financial ability to relocate to where the entry-level jobs are, or go on to grad school,
    it can be a struggle to secure paid remote freelance gigs. Simply finding an animation/design community to plug into that is accepting of new artists who aren’t in the top 2% of talent
    (seems like that anyway where I’m from) is also hard in urban areas unknown for media production.
    I realize the industry is small and competitive as it is, but I feel that there are many artists who never reach their full potential simply because it isn’t practical financially,
    and because they lack a community to keep them motivated and growing despite the lack of financial payback.
    Thanks for reading. It was therapeutic to write this, so it’s ok if it goes unread.

    I’m a recent graduate with a BFA in Applied Media Arts. In my case this translates to traditional digital animation.
    I’d like to consider myself a professional someday.

  2. Todd, If I had had a creative coach, like yourself, right out of college, I think it would have easily put me five years ahead of where I am now. Take advantage everyone, this guy is the real deal!!

  3. Hello Todd, my daughter is going to be a senior in high school this fall and wants to go to college for animation. We live local in Evans and am wondering if you would be willing to mentor her. Starting off her senior year working on her senior class project and thru college where hopefully she can work for you as an intern in the summers. If you are willing to help shape here career please email me at

  4. I have not read for a while but another great article. I enjoy reading your articles to inspire me, weather that be writing, art, etc. I’ve gained a lot of knowledge in different areas of creativity. I’m not sure if I’m in the starting over stage or struggling stage. But I’m pushing forward in a new and scary venture of blogging, I’m trying to launch and push my own blog. I wonder and would be honored sir, if you would consider guest writing for my blog? At the very least would you consider reading some of my work and letting me know your general thoughts?

    If not I understand. God Bless