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VJ for a Living?

Discussion in 'The Business Side' started by djtachyon, Jul 8, 2008.


What is your source of income?

  1. My 9 to 5.

    69 vote(s)
  2. VJ'ing

    41 vote(s)
  3. 50% Normal Job / 50% VJ

    42 vote(s)
  4. I'm rich and I VJ for fun.

    12 vote(s)
  1. djtachyon

    djtachyon Boh Selectah

    I'm curious. I have been a VJ hobbyist for about 5 years. I would love to get out of my bureaucratic Computer Engineering position and VJ for a living.

    How many of you out there use this as your sole or main source of income? What hurdles does one have to pass and what is the stress level like?

    I will throw in a poll too.
  2. vjair

    vjair Making Shapes

    hurdles - having enough work, keeping up to date with promoters putting on events, self motivation to keep your work fresh and interesting( if you dont, promoters can get bored and look elsewhere), having the capital to hire any extra equipment that might be needed for an event.

    stress - basicly the same but add.... if your sick you dont get paid... no holiday pay... having enough moneyt pay the rent / bills / eat, not having solid contracts for regular work ( unless you are lucky )

    just as well im a man of few needs and i live far enough out of a major city to have cheap rent but close enough for it to be cheap to travel in.

    you have to be much more open to working with any style or event that you are asked to do, cant realy just stick to your favourite stuff. i often end up doing nights that i wouldnt dream of going to but i still put as much effort in as i would if its my favourite type of music.
  3. cat

    cat Senior Moments

    I have to say although I vj less and less, I do still do visuals in different contexts, so I say Vj is my sole income, but really that should be, visuals is my sole income, recently it has been more interactive projections, and content creation for shows, but to me they're still visuals.
  4. vjBrye

    vjBrye yup

    "50% Normal Job / 50% VJ"

    My math is more like 25% VJ... Integral part of my income tho.
  5. Scratchpole

    Scratchpole Hmm still thinking...

    About 50% live video for events plus 50% video production.
    My overdraft gives me the biggest headache.
    Video is a normal job, innit?
  6. many2

    many2 Active Member

    When I VJ, I VJ for fun.
  7. Movement

    Movement Ne1co Member

    75% live
    25% video production
  8. djtachyon

    djtachyon Boh Selectah

    Interesting .. its a pretty level playing field so far.

    Only people I have met in the Biz are Kyle (quite randomly) and Spot Draves of Electric Sheep (did a gig with him). Rovastar responded to one of my other threads, always wanted to meet him.

    My gig on the 4th of July got me another gig doing a Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy Party in Sept. God I hope it's at the beginning of the month, I am going to Holland/Belgium/Germany for 10 days at the end of September. Woo Hoo for Oktoberfest in Bavaria.

    If anybody is in that neck of the woods, would love to meet up with some of you.
  9. Kyle

    Kyle "Hello my VJ friend"

    Make sure you post in the "Meeting Point" section when and where you will be during your stay. I have met many artists through this feature.
  10. vdmoKstaTi

    vdmoKstaTi Seems to be Right Now

    I think it would be great to VJ for a living entirely, especially as far your travel preferences are concerned. Yet finding a path which gives you a smooth ride without additional jobs is not easy.

    I'd say keeping your interests for additional work could sit somewhere close with video editing, film making, lecturing, event production, publishing, marketing, web, design... etc

    I think overall industry is growing rapidly and for those that attach professional approach to this there are some great opportunities across numerous levels of culture.
  11. sleepytom

    sleepytom VJF Admin

    i don't know anybody who solely VJs for a living - "Professional VJs" are almost always making money from content creation, event design, av tech work, video directing or whatever. I guess if you count these roles as being part of VJing then you could say that I make my living from VJing. That's probably not how i would describe it though. Non of the options really describe me - i ticked VJ'ing because i don't have a 9-5, I don't have a "normal job" and i'm certainly not rich!
  12. deepvisual

    deepvisual visually challenged

    quite simply, its the difference between being on a salary and being self employed.

    both have their advantages and drawbacks.
    there is an old thread on this issue here
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2008
  13. Gumby

    Gumby I've given money to VJForums

    what about us poor students?!

    source of income: Student loan/VJing haha
  14. VjSie

    VjSie New Member

    poor students!?!?!?! BAH!
  15. vjpixylight

    vjpixylight AKA Will O' The Wisp

    I'm living to VJ;)
  16. vj_jasper

    vj_jasper imagination

    Gumby, poor students rock. they make fresh content, mixes and vibes! :)

    as for me, i like to study occasionaly (b.a. contemporary music, cert IV media design, Java Programmers Certificate). however, have not studied at an institution for a long time, and the longer i stay away from academic institutions, the more money i am able to make. not sure exactly how that works - certainly is not related to "number of years of experience in a particular field" .. it is more about a body of work, and the Reality Theory (a theory by the art director at Previewlounge).

    vj for a living? possible, however i like to work in other fields too, like doing some filming here and there, editing and post production for music videos, graphic design for websites or titles, and occasionaly some video directing.
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2008
  17. djtachyon

    djtachyon Boh Selectah

    If I won the lottery, I would love to go back to school for Music Theory, Video Production, Audio Production, digital media, animation, etc.

    I have plenty of computer engineering, software, etc. hmm .. if only.
  18. PilotX

    PilotX Tom syzygy, not Dan ;)

    yeah, same as sleepy and catweasel really - I put down VJing, but actually most of our money is earnt from equipment hire, video teching and running educational sessions teaching VJing and special fx. But it's not a 9-5 or a normal job and I'm certainly not rich :)
  19. flowershower

    flowershower New Member

    poor as anything, 75% lighting at venues, 25% visuals. but it overlaps ,really

    suffice to say i feel like a very lucky man at the moment.
  20. 6071842

    6071842 I've given money to VJForums

    im 50-50ish at the moment, having a real job and making money from VJ - Video production. i dont think i'd really want to VJ full time. i like all the different aspects of what i do and again im not rich i just save all my money for equipment and travel.

    are there any really prolific vj's who are making it solely?
  21. videoswitchboard

    videoswitchboard Pointless Crew-Glasgow

    voted yes-
    but you'd have me dead before i called myself a VJ!
    (spot the paradox)

    been self employed for 5 years doing all kind of (arty related - mostly real time manipulated) AV projects.

    I have a very cheap rent though.

  22. blank footage

    blank footage buen proveche

    full time vj ( vjing, content making, etc), part time graphic designer
  23. nutcracker

    nutcracker I've given money to VJForums

    I voted "rich" although i'm really not - bills are paid, roof over head...thats rich enough for me.

    I VJ for fun but not for free, most of the money earned vjing gets re-invested.

    My job pays the bills but its certainly not 9-5 being an AV technician.. more like 7am til midnight.
    nyfries likes this.
  24. SteveG

    SteveG Downstairs for Dancing

    I've put VJ'ing as it is the only work as such I do. Having worked hard for over 20yrs so I'm quite lucky and have an income from that, a wife with a good position too helps.....find one if your single;).....however she does like shoes and hand bags, so I suppose if I wasn't VJ'ing I would go out and do something else.....I dont sell many visuals as such or produce for anyone else...only on the very odd accassion and mainly for DJ's I know. It would be nice to be rich :D
  25. vj_jasper

    vj_jasper imagination

    yeah man i hear ya. often the main reason for a man striving to do well, is because he wants to make his wife happy. and that is one of the most beautiful emotions. sure, men are usually endowed with a natural competitiveness, and yet this basic nature is unrefined, and often does well to be refined, inspired, shaped and proved through the influence of feminine energy and attitudes.
  26. SteveG

    SteveG Downstairs for Dancing

    I dont buy her f*&^%$! shoes and handbags jasper :)...she buys my gear....lol Doing gigs to get away from tripping over shoes and bloody handbags she's happy to see me load up the car and disappear to another gig :D.....it also gives her the chance to go shopping for more whilst I'm out:(
  27. vjrei

    vjrei Miami Caracas New York

    Do not even think about living out of VJing.VJing is such unreliable work because you will get paid only for that show and depending of the taste of yor client who has a great variety of elements to choose from that are cheaper and need less pre production.

    In other words... do you remember the Rich Dad, poor Dad book? the goal was to make the money to work for you. Well, VJing is entirely the opposite, is one day job, very bad paid and if you get sick you won't get any money or if there is a cheaper VJ around you will loose your clients and you may get a lousy gig for $100 in two months.

    That is VJing. If a very fun thing to do but it will burn you out really quick. You will miss your days at your office and getting promoted and receiving a better paycheck at the end of the month. Not to mention dealing with educated people rather than a bunch of 30 year old dudes that never grew up.
  28. fata alex

    fata alex analog VJ

    bitter, bitter, boy....
  29. unjulation

    unjulation Moderator

    the great British artists fortnightly grant - the SS

    though i keep trying to go self employed but keep being dragged down by bureaucracy and haven't quite made the move successfully yet

    but there is hope on the horizon so lets see what happens in next few months

    but in relation to the question it would be some vj'ing, film/computer/vj workshops, a bit of crewing work and whatever else i could get me hands on at any given time -

    depending on whether i need the coin or not - if i dont need the coin then i'd rarther do my own ting which has a tendancey not to pay me anyting but its highly pleasurable ;)
  30. unjulation

    unjulation Moderator

    ah but surely thats because you went in to the job thinking that you would make loads of money and live the rock and roll dream of drugs, groupies and the rest -

    which it isn't, never was, and never will be once you get over that fact you can actually deal with the situation rationally - as rationally as working within this industry can be - and actually come out with something worth havening -

    personaly i could never work in an office it would just destroy me from the inside out and i'd end up doing something realy stupid - like i dont anyway, lol - and just get the sake anyway - mind i dont think i'm really empolyable within that sector anyway -

    ha ha ha
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2008
    Circuit5 likes this.

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