Many shows follow a group that is working to achieve their creative dreams (like Saekano), but often times they show a much brighter side of the industry and veil the struggles that go into being #1. Girls Beyond the Wasteland embraces those struggles and highlights them, even in just the first two episodes!
After all, there’s more than friendship and club activities that goes into being the very best.
1. Only the strong can survive. Just hard work won’t get you through.
“This world is a wasteland where the innocent will only be devoured. Where one cannot survive only because they do it for their own enjoyment. Only those who burn ambition into their hearts will be able to contend for their dreams in this harsh wasteland!”
Most people want to become rich and famous while pursuing their creative passion. With so many people competing, of course hard work alone won’t get you there. You’ve got to strategize, form a team, make something marketable and work as hard as possible to climb the ranks. If you’re not seeing results at first, it might not be your effort or talent. It could be your marketing or you need a team to push out bigger projects.
There’s both solace and a lesson in knowing that it’s not easy to become #1.
2. No practice means no progress.
Creators need to create and practice to improve daily. It’s so easy for someone to call themselves an artist or a programmer. But the proof is in the work. Beware working with people who aren’t creating things on the daily!
3. Exploring your interests leads to more opportunities.
Kuroda: “Do you like bishoujo games?”
Kobayakawa: “Nope. But I’m a little interested in being a voice actress. I’m good at making voices, and I always thought I could do voice acting if I felt like it’d bring out my talents”
You don’t need to love exactly what you’re doing, but you need to have an interest to start with. Sometimes passion comes later or fizzles out. But exploring an interest is still progress towards your creative goal and might give you a better idea of what you want in your career.
4. There’s no space for unmotivated teammates.
Atomu: “But I’m not in any club and I don’t have any particular interest in anything…I still want to help you”
Kuroda: “That’s not a strong motivation. Game production takes a very long time to complete. If you aren’t attached to the work, you’ll only end up hurting everyone.”
If you want to make money and be the best, you need people with their own strong motivation. You won’t make fast progress if you’re having to motivate everyone each step of the way. And if someone leaves, it can hurt morale and make things harder on the rest of the team.
5. Traveling to places like Akihabara will make you stronger.
It’s hard work to make anything creative. Visiting places that can inspire, motivate and help you understand the people you’re making things for is essential. Plus it’s fun and exposes you to new things!
6. There’s a difference between making something for yourself and making something for others.
“You can’t make a game just for fun. We will put a game on sale and beat them all. That is our club’s final goal.”
If you want to break records and have millions of people enjoy what you made, you have to think of what people want most. You might even have to do research on current trends, learn how to market your art and even change things you like to fit what other people want.
The final product will be 95% you and 5% what you’ve discovered people love.
7. You can’t run away from things you’re bad at.
Working a big project means at some point you’ll encounter areas that you don’t have any skill in. This can be drawing, finding teammates, quality checks, or many other things. You might feel embarrassed or inept but it’s normal. You just have to improve your skill in that area.
8. People need many chances to discover you.
“I found it at the bookstore. The girl who drew it’s highly ranked on Pixi”
If you want to be found by other high achieving people, find ways you can get publicly ranked or get seen. Putting signs up at stores (like in Girls Beyond the Wasteland) might not get your work seen by enough people to get opportunities but sometimes luck strikes! The point is, putting yourself out there online or offline means someone who appreciates what you do will find you eventually.
9. Be clear or you’ll waste everyone’s time.
Being clear when you reach out to someone can get your project moving along. But if you accidentally intimidate them or aren’t clear with what your intentions are (like you want to partner on a game but they thought you were asking them on a date), your potential partner might just run away.
10. Make expanding your network a priority.
Telling people what you’re trying to do or asking people for introductions widens your network. This opens you to new opportunities and talking to people might unveil new info, like your friend could have a secret skill like programming you don’t know about. Act as if life is an RPG and talk to people to uncover ways to progress your story.
11. Don’t try to force people to join you.
Not everyone wants to go pro, forcing them doesn’t work but supporting them but giving them confidence can help! If you pressure your workers and their heart isn’t in it, it’ll fall apart in the future. If that’s the case, it’s best to choose someone else and only work with those who want to work hard themselves.
Give people space to make their own decisions and they may surprise you.
12. Always be ready for the next step.
Prepare plans ahead of time so when everyone is still hyped and the team is formed, you can start executing immediately. If your team loses momentum, sometimes they can fall apart before working on a single task together. With good planning, you and your team can execute on a groundbreaking project and have a great time doing it!
Sometimes you make art for fun and other times you make it to be the biggest thing the world has ever seen. What have you learned in your creative pursuits?