#75: Balancing a Career in VFX and Running a Business [Interview With Jasmine Katatikarn]

Welcome to The Creator's Adventure where we interview creators from around the world, hearing their stories about growing a business.

In today's episode, we are thrilled to have Jasmine Katatikarn, a talented artist, animator, and founder of an academy for aspiring artists.

During the interview, Jasmine shares her insights on being intentional with how we spend our time, the importance of designing our lives around our priorities, and the power of embracing AI in the creative industry.

Join us as Jasmine shares her advice on achieving work-life balance, maximizing productivity in your business, creating a unique message that resonates with others, and using AI as a powerful tool in her creative endeavors.

Jasmine Katatikarn is a creative leader and entrepreneur with 20 years of experience in animation, VFX, and tech.

She co-founded the Academy of Animated Art, an online school that brings in six figures in sales yearly. She manages this while working full-time at a Fortune 500 company. Most importantly, Jasmine is a mom of two young children.

She has designed a life that prioritizes what is most important to her - creating systems and strategies that allow her to excel in her career and business while still being present for her family.

Learn more about Jasmine and her academy: http://www.academyofanimatedart.com


Bryan McAnulty [00:00:00]:

Welcome to The Creators Adventure, where we interview creators from around the world hearing their stories about growing a business. People talk about being a solopreneur or having a career, and it doesn't seem like there's too much in between. But what if you have a career and wanna be a solopreneur but really enjoy the job that you have. We're going to talk about how that fits in and how you can do both. Hey, everyone. I'm Brian McAnulty, the founder of Heights's platform Let's get into it. Hey, everyone. We're here today with Jasmine Catatikarn. She is a creative leader and entrepreneur with 20 years of experience in animation, VFX, and deck. Jasmine cofounded the Academy of Automated Art, an online school that brings in 6 figures in sales yearly, She manages this while working full time at a Fortune 500 company. Most importantly, Jasmine is a mom of 2 young children. and she has designed a life that prioritizes what's most important to her, creating systems and strategies that allow her to excel in her career, and business while still being present for her family. Jasmine, welcome to the show.

Jasmine Katatikarn [00:01:11]:

Thanks for having me, Brian. It's always interesting to hear your bio like, stand out loud to yourself. It's like, yeah. I'm happy to be here.

Bryan McAnulty [00:01:21]:

Awesome. Alright. Well, well, did did they do it good with the bio? Do do you feel that that described you well?

Jasmine Katatikarn [00:01:26]:

Yeah. I think so. Yeah. approved. That's it. Great.

Bryan McAnulty [00:01:31]:

Yeah. So my first question for you then is what would you say is the biggest thing that either you did or you are doing that help you to achieve the freedom to do what you enjoy?

Jasmine Katatikarn [00:01:42]:

Yeah. This is an interesting question. The first thing that came to mind was freedom. Right? Like, every freedom is such a it's a word, but freedom means something different to everyone. So for me, you know, I came down, like, am I thinking? Financial freedom, work freedom, life freedom. But in general, in a high level, like, broad sense, the biggest thing, and this took me quite a while, is to just give myself permission to pursue what I really enjoy, not what others told me. I should go pursue to become quote unquote successful. I'll say it was I always love the arts. I always love being creative, but I didn't give myself permission to do so until after college. It wasn't until I was 21. I had graduated from college with an economics degree of all things. because that was, you know, the kind of proper way to go to go into finance that I gave I finally gave myself that freedom to say, no. This is not what I enjoyed. What do I enjoy? And I sat down. And I was like, I wanna do something creative, and that's where I think my freedom journey started. And the other thing would be to in the same kind of like, in the same kind of thinking is to think outside the box be beyond the social norms, because even as, you know, I embraced the freedom of what I enjoy, the creative, it took me a while to think outside of the 9th to 5. Right? To be like, okay. I have to design my life around, you know, work life, personal life. It fits into these boxes. they can't press over. If anything seems, like, out of the unusual, I felt almost strange. Like, I was doing so thing wrong. But more recently, as, like, ruin my career, ruin my personal life, I realized, you know, thinking outside the box creating my version of freedom. My version of how I wanna live my life is, like, really has brought me so much joy, especially the last year. So I think those 2 things just giving yourself that permission and then thinking outside of what we were taught, and what does it look like to you.

Bryan McAnulty [00:04:02]:

Alright. Yeah. It's a great answer. So back in, like, the early days of your career then, like, were you always in, like, animation and VFX then after school, or, like, did you do something else? And, like, what what were, like, the big challenges that you faced that, like, that transition that you're talking about of, like, realizing, like, oh, I wanna be more creative.

Jasmine Katatikarn [00:04:24]:

Yeah. So it wasn't a straight path for me. after I after I honed in and realized what I wanted to do, then I could be focused and put it in. But before that, you know, growing up, I was encouraged to be a doctor. I should say strongly encouraged to be a doctor. So when I started college, and I still remember I wanted to apply to art schools. Like, in my like, I remember thinking, oh, I'm just gonna apply to, like, risdi for fun. Right? But I can't take it seriously. So I always had that inside me, but I was like, no. I gotta be practical. I have to do this round. So I was premed my first college. And then I realized I did not love it enough to pursue that whole, you know, medical trajectory. And I was like, what can I do next that won't, like, cause too much chaos in my family's life, and that's why I chose economics. I I like math. You know? I thought it was a practical route. I still like numbers, But so that's why I went to economics. And so when I graduated, it was there's a key point in my journey where I was going to i banking interviews, my senior year of college. I still remember Downtown New York City and, you know, the big from taking those interviews. And there's one interview where they asked me I still remember wearing that business suit, and they're like, why you wanna go into finance? Why do you wanna go into i Banking? And my my I think the inner voice probably got, like, frustrated with me enough at that point that I could hear it and be like, don't wanna do this. You can't do this. And I remember I gave that b s answer. I gave an answer. I was probably, like, pretty good answer. You know? And I left that interview, and I did not go to another interview. I was like, enough. It's been enough. Let me pursue what I actually enjoy. And that summer, I I didn't know anything. Like, I had done I've done arts all my life, but as a hobby. Right? On the And finally, I'm like, where can I start? And this is back in the early 2000, And I was like, let me learn, like, Photoshop, Illustrator. So I took some, like, super basic photoshop, Illustrator classes in my hometown. And I started building a portfolio just that summer. I was super motivated because I finally, like, took the sleep I think about it now, and I was like, would I have that much courage now to make such a big change? I don't know. Probably. But And so I made a portfolio, and looking back on it was it was a hard pull portfolio. But it got me in the door to become a junior package designer at gazyra Chocolatiers, the chocolatier. And At the same time, the person that taught me the photoshop, the 2 d software, the photoshop, and illustrator was actually a 3 d person. And he was like, no. You're picking this up really quickly. You wanna look over here to this 3 d software I'm working on I'm working with. And I had never seen 3 d before, like, in in a software. It never occurred to me. I don't have that origin story of, like, why watching, you know, monsters inc or something and knowing I needed to be in 3 d animation. A lot of my colleagues have that story. I just never had it. And then I saw this software and what the he was doing in it. I was like, wow. That that's amazing. And then we've seen that, and that seed stuck with me. So I was even though I was doing junior doing packages on it, which was really interesting at the time for me. But I was like, you know what? that 3 d over there was really interesting. So the following year, I applied to NYU for a master's program. in digital imaging design, and then that's how I gain that 3 d expertise. I end up working for a year. This is ironic at NYU Medical Center for the medical school doing 3 d animations for the medical school. So I joked that I always like, still trying to, like, bring in my past experience and kinda combining it. And then, eventually, I went into into all effects where I worked on a lot of commercials, some film, and then to feature animation. at Blue Sky Studios where I worked at only, like, the ice age movies for her nan. And, yeah, that's how I so it's not super straightforward, but I think once I saw what I like, it took me 22 years or 21 years to see what I actually wanted to do. And then once I saw it, I was like, okay. let's go get it.

Bryan McAnulty [00:09:15]:

Right. Yeah. So I think the like, the course and everything that you have built now is something that's a really interesting topic in the sense that, like, what you've created is, like, A lot of people I feel would have a similar thought of, like, wow. VFX animation, like, this is a cool thing to learn, and maybe they they even start to experiment it with it like, learn it. But then there's a huge gap between, like, okay. I've figured out how to do this, and, like, I'm skilled at it versus, like, how do I make a career out this. And from seeing your courses, it looks like you're, like, bridging that gap. And I mentioned this because I feel like if somebody else is listening or watching this right now and they're thinking like, okay. Well, I know I'm good at this thing, but, like, where where is how I like, what do I need to teach people about? It might not actually just be like, oh, like, this is the exact technical thing of how you do it, but it could be, like, things like, well, this is how you can make a career of it. These are the things you need to know. And so, yeah, I think there's a lot of potential and and things in, like, building that kind of course. But I'm more interested in, like, what's the story of why you decided to start the academy of animated art.

Jasmine Katatikarn [00:10:34]:

Yeah. I mean, it's very much in that same kind of story where I was going on recruiting trips for my studio, Blue Sky Studios to recruit students. to, you know, get a job in the industry. And, you know, I was going to great schools like SCAD and, you know, some really good at schools. And I was looking at the student portfolios, and I realized specifically in lighting. So my specialty for the past 20 has been lighting. There's many there's many different departments within animation. And lighting is a is a specialty within it. And specifically for lighting, no one had the work, the portfolio, to get that job. that ensured job. And I was thinking and I came back to the studio. I was talking to one of my coworkers at the time. How sad it was that you know, students spent spent so much time, so much money on this education, and then they come out without the knowledge they need to just get that first job. And he also had gone through and gone to recruiting trip soon. He was like, you know what? I saw the same thing. And then I got back to my own education. And while, you know, I learned the basics, I basically kinda, like, push it's very much focused on software and, like, pushing those buttons, but they didn't really teach you what you needed to know to get into a job. And it's, like, it's kind of by luck. Right? It's, like, people that have talent or have the grit to, like, go go and, like, get those jobs. So we we kind of looked at each other in one part. We're like, you know what? You know exactly what studio guys are looking for. what you need to become a successful artist, why don't we just teach it? And that's exactly what we did. So that's where we started the academy. And that's why our focus is because I'm a very practical person still. Like, I need a goal. I don't wanna just teach someone to teach one. Like no. I'm gonna teach you exactly what you need to know. To one, become a great artist, not to just learn a software, learn the foundation so you can use any software. But then number 2, to get that job. Like, just, like, super focused in, not deviate you at all, get you that job fast in the door, and that's how you grow. So that's that's how that we created. That's the start of the academy, and that That's what drives us. I mean, it's great to just create to create, but even better to impact lives with actually getting them a job. And, you know, then they get their dream their dream job and their dream life.

Bryan McAnulty [00:13:21]:

Yeah. Awesome. Well, I I think you described it really well, and it's so important because what you're doing is, like, you're providing this result for people. Nobody wants to, like, just learn the software. There's a reason they wanna learn the software, and it's because they they wanna become this great artist, and they wanna be able to build a career out of that. Yeah. Exactly. Excellent. Yeah. Alright. One of the things I wanna discuss is that and we talked a little bit quick about it in the kinda pre interview that other than being a cofounder, you also are still at this full time job. And so and besides that, you're also a mom of 2. So I'm curious how do you achieve optimal work life balance But, also, like, what are your thoughts about that? Because some creators I feel like think, like, okay. Well, I am doing this job, and then maybe I'll I'm gonna quit it, and then I wanna become this, like, full time entrepreneur. And Yeah. So I I feel like there's a distinction where some people feel like they have to be, like, one or the other. What do you feel about that?

Jasmine Katatikarn [00:14:29]:

I have lots of on that. So first, I'll start with yeah. So I still I've always had a full time job while creating, you know, my academy or any coaching or anything else I do. you know, if you asked me 10 years ago, I would have said my goal is to quit my full time job, and success looks like running my business completely, you know, full time and, you know, having a great life. Like, that kind of romanticize, like, ideal scenario of an entrepreneur. And what I realized through the years is it's and this is kind of also, like, thinking outside the box, out of the social norm. Like, a norm that's like a norm with entrepreneur. Right? That's the ultimate goal. When you start on the side, you quit, And not to say I'm not gonna do that in the future, but I've kind of reframed it in my mind that, you know, I I no longer think of it as a sale that I'm working my full I do it by choice. I don't have to do first of all. Like, I could do that path of just going full on into my academy and all my other endeavors, but I do it strategically. Like, what I look at it now is I try not to say full time job. I just look at it as another Almost like another business. Right? Like, everything has its part to play. I I looked at things as a kind of like a puzzle piece. like, a big puzzle. And this is an analogy that, like because it kinda makes and it makes sense. It's like, we have these puzzle pieces of life. Right? We have work puzzle pieces. We have personal. We have kids. We have all the things that make us, and we're kind of the big puzzle. And the puzzle changes throughout life. Right? Like, a piece that was what once important, maybe not as important anymore. But instead of leaving it there, then it's like, let's get creative. What what puzzle piece do I wanna put in there now? And puzzle pieces changes in size. Right? So the way I look at it is my like, for instance, my full time job now brings in a lot of things that I can't get from my academy. Right? Like, it nurtures a lot of the business. It won't a lot of the leadership things that I probably couldn't get in isolation. And if fosters on, like, the tech side that it, like and it holds together in a way to create this master puzzle that makes me really happy, like, kind of that freedom to enjoy. it's like, you don't depend on one person to bring you, like, pure happiness. Right? If you did, then that's actually a problem because that's a lot of pressure on that one person, but then it's it's probably not at it's not gonna be possible. That's why you have friends. That's why you have your significant others. That's why you have your family. Everyone kinda plays its part. So it's what I think about work now too. To just have one thing that you work on, Why would we do that? Why wouldn't we do put multiple things together? And I found this a lot, especially in the creative field, when I was working as an artist that, you know, you have all these creatives under a studio, and they're amazing. But what happens is they put all their creativity into that that job. And then but it's a job. At the end of the day, it's still a job. And then a couple years go by, and they feel themselves, like, deflating a little creatively. And they then they wonder what happened. And I was like, because you put all of your eggs in that one puzzle piece when, really, that is one piece of the puzzle. Right? It gives you, you know, money, but it also gives you kinda, like, creative freedom in one way. but you still have to embrace other things. Like, I used to take wood making classes. I used to take the most random things while I was a computer artist because I was like, I need to keep that going. Yeah. I took, like, a stained glass like, things that don't relate at all, but we'll keep on sparking that that puzzle. So a long winded way of saying, think of your life as a puzzle, and that's how I've been doing it. And that's when I realized, you know what? If I just had only my business, my academy, I'd probably be missing something somewhere else, and I'm also wouldn't be growing quickly and learning as quickly and gaining those different perspectives. So that's why I designed it the way I do now. And that's why I kinda feel like this is my my version of success and freedom because I have that freedom to kind of figure out the different areas I want and put together. So that's that answer. That was kind of long winded. I don't know if that made sense.

Bryan McAnulty [00:19:28]:

Yeah. No. It does. Well, I just wanna say that I I think it's it's interesting because you have like, you mentioned the woodworking class. Right? And it might sound silly, but, like, I'm sure that, like, there was something that you did there that you made a connection with that even though it's completely unrelated that, like, sparked some kind of inspiration in what you're doing with other things and with the animation and VFX. And I found that to be true myself in in things that I do and other hobbies and things that I I do. I think it's completely unrelated things can really help spark ideas in other things that you're doing. So I think, yeah, it's important to to not only like, people say focus is important and agree it is. But but doing these other different things really help you

Jasmine Katatikarn [00:20:16]:

expand your creativity in your thinking. I couldn't agree more. I recently just came from a sound exhibition last night, and someone asked me about why to go. And I was like, you know what? I think I don't wanna go because you never know. not a sound per I'm not a music or a sound person, but I was like, I bet I can get something out of, like, something's gonna happen. I'm gonna think of something, and it's great. It's just like, It doesn't even have to be that specific thing. It could be whatever you see walking to it. Right? Be like, oh, that's interesting. Mhmm. Yeah. So just keeping keeping open. I totally agree with that. And then on the point of, like, the work life balance, having all of these things, especially with the family, I have 2 young kids, 7 and 5, so they still are quite dependent. the big thing for me, and this is an iterative process, right, is will one to be clear, to be clear on what your priorities are. And, you know, I know we all say what you know, be like, what's your priority? I feel like this by default everyone. If you have a family or even if you like, they're like, oh my family and my kids or whatnot. But then sometimes you look at their schedule and it doesn't really show that. Right? So I think the big thing is, like, be clear in the life that you want because one thing as an entrepreneur I found is and I talked to people about this, when they're deciding what path what type of entrepreneur they wanna be, I was like, what lifestyle do you want? Right? Because the person that opens up a restaurant, let's say, is gonna have a very specific type of lifestyle versus a course create an online course creator or someone that wants to open up a big tech company. Right? It's And I was like, before you invest into whatever vision you have, make sure it's a life you want. because often, you know, what about the restaurant owners that doesn't like to work nights or, you know, wants to take that vacation but fines for the 1st couple years, they can't take any vacation. They're working 7 days a week, and they're working late evenings, and they're not an eight person. It's like, These are, like, the things you should think about before. So one, be clear. Be clear about the life you want to have and then design whatever you're planning from there. And I think in that vein, the way that it really helps me, especially as a mom, is I carve out time for my kids and my family because that's, like, easily the first thing to go, especially when we get busy. But this might sound not, like, organic, but I will actually put it in my schedule because I joke now. Some things are on my schedule. It doesn't happen because I'm always looking at it. So I'll I have blocked out times for, like, each of my kids essentially, like a one on one. needing the same way you do one on ones at work, why not do that with your kids, and then you have that dedicated focused time So, basically, carving out that time to actually prioritize. So it's on your calendar. When you get busy, you see it, and think of it as, like, the most important one on 1, the, like, the one on one with the CEO. Right? You're not gonna miss it. It's there. and that's how I prioritize that. And then the biggest thing is think of yourself as the CEO of your life. And I know this is it's kind of like, of course, you're leading your life, but I feel like a lot of people don't think of their lives like that, especially if they're not a leader per se in their in their job or whatnot. Like, I'm not a leader. Like, everyone's a leader. Everyone's a leader of their life. So Imagine your seat the CEO of your life, which you are, how can you maximize your time And I think time is the most precious thing that is the first thing to go out the door. And the biggest thing when you're trying to balance all this stuff out is look at what you're doing. What can you delegate? What can you stop doing? Because as long, and that's the way of thinking of, like, a CEO. Right? Like, a CEO is not doing everything. It's kinda looking at the high level view. So look at the high level view of your life, and look at all the things you're doing. Even, like, you can get even super tedious and, you know, put it all out there and then see what can I delegate, What can I stop doing and then get that time back? And that is when I feel like the work life balance really comes into play. And and then and then life's good. And then you're enjoying it exactly how you designed it. So there's a lot of things in there, but overall, yeah, just be clear about what you want.

Bryan McAnulty [00:25:12]:

Yeah. I like that. I I would say to one of the earlier points about, like, the the scheduling time and even, like, putting it on, like, the calendar for spending time with your kids. or kinda challenge anyone who would, like, have an initial reaction to that and say, like, oh, Jasmine's doing that. That doesn't really feel like organic or whatever. But, like, the point is, like, it's not about, like, if you if you have your own way of scheduling things that you don't have to use a calendar or whatever, that's fine. But the The point is that if you really sit down and look at, like, how you're spending your life, that you should look at, like, are there things that you're doing where you're spending time? That's not actually what you would wanna be doing. Like, you sitting there on your phone, like, scrolling through social media for, like, hours when you could be doing all those other things. Right? And so by you going through that exercise and saying, like, this is actually on my schedule, you're ensuring that, like, the things that are important to you are where you're actually spending your time. And so I think that's really important to for everyone to think about, and I like that concept of, like, you're the CEO of your own life. because I found that, like, it applies to so many things of, like, lifestyle of, like feel like it applies to even, like, where you spend, like, investing your money on, like, for for personal enjoyment even, not just, like, business. But I I find that, like, if you ever feel that you're comparing yourself to somebody else that you see. Like, let's say, like, oh, they have this cool thing or they have this cool lifestyle, whatever it is, and you think to a second for a second, like, oh, well, I want that. Realize that you're actually looking, like, into yourself and finding out maybe, like, did you have the wrong priority, like, priority of what what you really wanted? Because I think, like, even if you're not, like, like, super wealthy or something that you can just go and spend money and say, like, oh, I want this. Now I'm gonna buy that. Now I'm gonna invest in that. It's still, like, everybody has some kind of some kind of time or money that they can invest into changing their life. And if you see something else from somebody, like, think to yourself, like, do you really want that above everything else that you're doing? Or is it something that, like, it's just nice to have what what you are currently doing is more important? And, like, realize everybody's making those those same, like, choices and trade offs. And so I think, yeah, it's really important to to really think more deeply about that because, yeah, time is the most valuable thing that everybody has. and you you are in control, like, no matter what, in some way, of being able to decide how your time is useful. I couldn't agree more. I mean, we all have same amount of time. Right?

Jasmine Katatikarn [00:27:59]:

And I like to speak to the structure of, you know, putting something on a calendar. I get this all of the time stuff she working with creatives, they're like, can't give me structure because I'm creative. I need that, like, freedom to do whatnot. But, you know, speaking, I am very creative myself, but that I think that is something as a misconception where people, like, they don't want structure because they want freedom. But it's in the structure that gives you that creative, which is kind of our it's like an odd thing to say, but it's totally true. Right? And it also gives that freedom of mind to not think about something. Like, we only have so much in our minds that we can process every day, and the more we make things a habit or automate, then it becomes easy, and it opens up our minds to creating, to be innovative. So -- Yep. -- anyone that It's it's really the opposite.

Bryan McAnulty [00:28:54]:

Like, yeah, I I would argue that as well as a a creator of myself that when I started my business, I used to think, no schedule. Like, that's that's I'm being an entrepreneur. I can respond to an email whenever. I feel like like, it doesn't matter if it's in work hours or not. And I feel like I relatively quickly learned, like, oh, actually, it is better. have a schedule. And, yeah, like, as you're saying, I would argue that it's the opposite because if I have all these different meetings or or tasks or whatever pulling me these different directions, where is the time to be creative and focused? Right? And so then I'll purposely schedule, like, an interview like this, what we're doing now. Like, I have multiple scheduled today. So that way, like, this is the day when I'm doing those things. And then, like, the next day, I can go and sit down and be creative without distractions. So, yeah, super important.

Jasmine Katatikarn [00:29:46]:

And then one other thing I'll say, if someone's, like, not sure about you know, what what their life what they want their life to look like or their priorities that have a really fun exercise that I have people do. is go down to your favorite coffee shop, whatever, pen and paper, and write down think about what would be your ideal workday and then workweekend Day? because I think they're 2 different things. Right? because in that way, you can also put in a little bit more of the person But just write it down, like, you're every day. And what that does in BS detail is possible. Like, you know, I'm drinking or Portado. Read I don't know. Reading the new space. Like, just break it down. What would your ideal day look like? And then what that does is you can look at that and analyze it. And then you can see just, like, subconsciously, what your priorities are right now and what you would like your day. It kinda gives you a direction to go into, and it's a really fun exercise. And then I have people highlight like, what they can do right now. because I think that's another misconception. Like, people like, one day. One day I'll live this life. One day I'll, you know, make it or do whatever. but why not start today? Why not start living the way you want today? And what this simple exercise does, the way people highlight, like, well, I, like, challenge them. Like, what can you start doing today? And they're like, well, I can start doing this today. And then before you know it, most people's page is, like, at least have highlighted, and then they can take action right away towards that ideal, that work life balance that they you know, think is in the way in the future. It could be starting tomorrow. And then they progress, and then you look back, and you're like, oh, look. I'm living. my ideal day right now. And it's kind of this fun thing to do, and it's it's super low lift that anyone can do. So that's a little fun exercise that I like to kinda challenge people to.

Bryan McAnulty [00:31:45]:

Yeah. I think that's a great exercise because, also, I think there's things that you might initially consider to be, like, almost a luxury or something that you don't really need, where it feels like hard to to say, like, oh, well, actually, I I could do this. But then once you do it, like, you realize as well. And so, like, what I'm talking about more clearly is, like, it could be things like listing the things that you you realize you're spending time on right now that you maybe don't enjoy spending time on. It could be, like, things around the house, like, related to cleaning or, like, yard work. and, like, realizing, like, oh, well, actually, I could, like, pay somebody to help me do those things, like, once or twice a week or or whatever it is. and or it could be things related to your business and saying like, okay. Well, I'm not I'm not getting enough time to create because I'm I'm constantly talking with these customers, and I know that's good. but maybe I could use some help with that kind of thing. And I think, like, sometimes in our minds, we have this this thought that, like, oh, well, that's a that's a luxury. Like, it's an expense that I I can't really do right now. But if you challenge yourself to really think about it and you do invest in that, like, it can be life changing for, like, allowing you

Jasmine Katatikarn [00:32:55]:

to actually do what you care about. Exactly. And that goes back to being the time validate, like, taking your time into account and then being the CEO. Right? Deligate, like, what you said, the cleaning or just the the interaction email. You know, it took me a year to finally say, like, okay. I don't need I don't I don't wanna be doing this. let's delegate this out. And now I'm free, yeah, free to create, like, free to do what I love and then delegate out what, you know, is of busy work that someone else can do for you. So, yeah, totally agree.

Bryan McAnulty [00:33:33]:

Definitely. So you've had an impressive career in animation in VFX Industry. You mentioned, like, you worked on projects like Ferdinand, Peanuts, ice age. How would you say, like, the experiences in that and, like, affected your current business?

Jasmine Katatikarn [00:33:49]:

or maybe even still, like, affects your current business. I mean, the obvious one is, of course, my expertise and experience and that led me to create the academy to then teach you know, people that same skill set and share my experiences. Right? And advise and consult and coach So that's the obvious. The other thing that was not so obvious that I realized is animation and VFX taught me the power storytelling, which, you know, seems like, now that I sound like a course, animation is all about storytelling, but then it made me realize that everything's about storytelling. Like, even my tech job right now, it's it's about storytelling. What kind of story am I trying to tell to get buy in on investing in this product? Right? So I think,

Bryan McAnulty [00:34:46]:

you know, coming from the entertainment industry where everything is based around the story, the way I light, like, what kind of story

Jasmine Katatikarn [00:34:53]:

am trying to tell and lighting? Like, where am I directing the beer as I? The same thing holds true with every single industry. like, marketing, you know, sit like, you're trying to tell a story. You're trying to, like, share what you wanna share with whoever your audience is and have them, you know, share their own stories too. So I think when it comes down to it, that's the biggest impact in my current, and I continue to think about you know, whenever I'm writing even, like, a business staff or, like, what's the story? I, like, step back and, like, what's the story am I am I trying to tell? We're all storytellers, and I think that's how you really engage with people. and get them involved and excited. Right? And what's their story? What is your story? Right? I think that's the connection that one can never also be replaced by, like, AI or something like that. Like, we're all unique in our own ways, and that's where I'll encourage also entrepreneurs, like, even if we see someone doing something similar than you. They're still not you. Right? What's your unique story to that with the spin? It's going to be different. and tap into that. So I think that's that's the biggest impact that working in the animation field has really help me with and continues to help me with. I almost think of, like you know, I think of the story lines of animation sometimes. MMC's smile. Yeah.

Bryan McAnulty [00:36:26]:

Yeah. No. There's so many great points there. And I think you brought up a really good one about, like, course creation in general. Like, it's your unique message is what people care about. And that's so powerful because if you had, like, an ecommerce business or something like that or selling, like, these these, like, physical widgets on Amazon or whatever, like, you might be selling exactly the same thing as somebody else. And, like, you can tell a story around that and, like, try to sell it better of why they should buy yours, but it is the same thing. Like, there is no difference. And so people worry about competition But, like, that's when you have to worry about competition when, like, you're really, like, competing with exactly the same thing. When it comes to, like, a course business, a community, Like, no one can compete with that that, like, what you have is completely unique. So even if it's the same field, like, there is no one that has your message. And I I think that's a a really good way to frame it and to look at it that creators should keep in mind if you're you're worried about, like, the competition out there. Absolutely. And and the storytelling, though, like, in general, I agree is super important as well. And I think we think to ourselves sometimes that, like, oh, this this isn't like I'm not, like, trying to, like, enter people here or something. But, like, really, you are, and that's still important because, like, you want to have people's attention and, like, investment in whatever it is that you're doing with them. And so even, like, you mentioned, like, the business document and everything or, like, proposal. Like, I think that's an excellent example, but I find myself more and more thinking about that, like, with everything Like, to be honest with this this interview here, I was thinking, like, okay. Well, what's what's the best way to do it? And I'm I'm actually, like, been questioning myself as go through it because I think we have a really good engaging conversation now. And I was wondering, like, well, should we have started more with this part and and then told, like, your your background later or something like that. But I think, like, it's always important to to think about this and, like, how you're telling the story because everything you're doing, you're you're telling some kind of story behind that. Yeah. Absolutely.

Jasmine Katatikarn [00:38:36]:

And then, yeah, and then I have a joke. It's, like, the power of editing. You can't edit it. No way to tell. To go back and and kind of play with storyline. But yeah. And it's I mean, your story is it's a continuous process. I think that's what's so interesting about anybody's journey is Probably, no one could've I know I couldn't have predicted where I am today 10 years ago or how I got here. Although, I I love my plans and whatnot, my spreadsheets. I'd love to like that, but there's something about kind of organic conversation, right, to of figuring out where you're going. And I'm all about making plans envisioning out where you wanna be, but then also being open to the other things that will pop up. kind of the similar thing that you were saying. We were talking about, like, woodworking or, like, taking these other things that will spark something that you might not have expected. So my thing too about it about, like, entrepreneurship or just life in general, like, make your plans. I'm I'm I'm completely about you know, having that idea of what you want and focusing in because, otherwise, you have to speak to aimless, but then like, have that vision around you and keep your eyes open because you never know what's gonna happen and then be opening to pivoting. or adjusting and being flexible. So I think that's also really important in in white as you're going through the burning. Yeah? Yeah.

Bryan McAnulty [00:40:13]:

Yeah. I would definitely agree. So I think speaking of that, one of the things that's rapidly kinda evolving in the world today is AI. So I think it's interesting to see how creators begin to leverage that. Can you share any examples of how you have started using AI in your creative Yeah. So I know AI is a very, you know, hot topic,

Jasmine Katatikarn [00:40:37]:

and especially among creatives. Right? And for me and my perspective of AI is I see AI as another tool. Same thing when the camera was you know, first developed. How can I utilize this in my creation process? And I know you know, it is a bit different from that. But instead of instead of fearing it or fearing the possibilities of, like, especially from the creative perspective, you know, I've heard a lot of, like, jobs are gonna go away. And this is for every sector, actually, you know, attack everything. It's so early in in AI. If now is a time to explore, be curious, and just learn. Like, digest as much as you can, and leverage it. So for me, on my personally, I've been playing with it. Like, if you go on my Instagram, I have, like, some AI stuff, gen AI stuff that I've been playing with just to, like, get a feel of what the capabilities are. On the business side of it, been playing the you know, speeding up my productivity for all these things. And, basically, how can you leverage it. So I think AI is a great tool. I do think there a problem there needs to be regulation around it, and, hopefully, that will be coming. And in the meantime, just deep dive. Go into it. Be curious. Think about if you're in if you're doing a horse creation, for instance, like, the easiest thing is help have AI as your assistant with your course outline. Right? And I've done this. I was I was actually just doing this the other day for a new thing. it's amazing. And you can, like, talk to it and give it specific notes and then use it as, like, a brainstorming session. and it's a productivity tool. I mean, at the end of the day, I feel like AI is just a super power productivity tool that can optimize your time, your output, and 10 x things that would yes. Would probably would have had you outsource out for a certain expertise, but it's the time to utilize it because I think as an entrepreneur, sure, when I'm so lean, and we don't have that many resources, especially when you're starting up, it's, like, an amazing tool. that you can utilize. If there's anything -- Yep. -- I will say, whenever I run into a headache of, like, ugh. This is taking me so much time. now my go to is like, you know, I bet there's an AI tool that will help me, and then I'll go on to Google and do this. And I just did this the other day for editing a video really quickly because I was doing something super tedious. And I was like, you know, there's gotta be a better way. And within 5 minutes, I found this amazing tool, and I think it was about Descript AI. And it, like, I my mind -- Mhmm. Yep. Where is that? And it's, like, It's amazing. Right? And I was like, okay. Well, this just saved me 5 hours of my life today. Like, huge. So the thing about it yeah. So that's what drives me for your audience of entrepreneurs, especially solo ones that, you know, there's only going back to time, so much there's only so much time in the day. Go and dive into AI. Learn it. Learn how to leverage it. And yeah. And then as a creative, it is a great creative tool. I have to say, I was I was playing with a stable diffusion last with my kids, which is a local, like, a stand alone genai. And, oh my god, they were having so much fun. Like, we were all having fun. We're like, Let's create a what was it? A peacock, sea monster wearing a gold party hat. and I could share like the output. It was hilarious. It might get We were up way too late. And we're like, let's do this one. Let's do that one. So, it it's like a way to kind of bring your vision to life in, like, a quick iterative visual way. And as a creator, I'm just like, my mind is, like, going in the middle. I'm like, I wish I could say I'm all night. It's like I'm in college again, and I'm like, wanna pull on how you work on a project. And it's I mean, talk about another kind of spark. Right? Like woodworking or whatever. It's like, then now I have all these ideas with the possibilities. And to speak to, like, AI replacing, you know, creatives or tech, or, you know, engineers or whatnot. I mean, I still see as a tool. You still need an expert in there. Like, I run a team of engineer like, programmers, And if you're not a programmer, you can't like, you can get you can teach something into AI, but need someone, you need that x for it still to, like, go through. And there's bugs. There's things that you need to troubleshoot. So at this point, I'm not seeing it being like anyone could go in and do all stuff. That's why I say I see it as a productivity tool. Like, someone with an expertise already, how can you then, like, 10 x that. So, yeah, that's my view on AI so far. But it's super fun. We haven't gotten into it. I highly encourage it.

Bryan McAnulty [00:46:01]:

Definitely. Yeah. I think that it's such an incredible time and for, like, the individual entrepreneur, the small team, especially AI is so powerful in being able to leverage that. And all of a sudden, you can do so much more now. And, like, to be clear, like, we're not talking about, like, having it do everything for you. because, like, as we said earlier, like, it's your unique message is what's important, and, like, AI can't -- Yeah. -- be that. Only you can be that. but it can do all of these things to help you, like, do these tedious things, brainstorming. Like, one of the things I did is we took all of our podcast episodes, and, like, we embedded it into the AI so then I could go and ask it, like, what's the most surprising thing I ever said? Or, like, what are, like, top, like, 5 interesting things I talked about? Like, all this kinda thing that, like, it would take hours of yourself or somebody else to, like, go through and, like, try to figure that out and start to list it and rank it. but you can just, like, ask AI about that right away, and, like, that will give you ideas for, like, more content that you can create and more things that you can build. I agree completely. Awesome. One of the things we'd like to do on the show is have every guest ask a question to the audience. Jasmine, if you could ask our audience anything, whether it's something that you kinda want them to think about or something that you're just curious about, what would that be? Interest staying.

Jasmine Katatikarn [00:47:22]:

So one, I think my question would be going back to, you know, that simple exercise anyone to do, like, right now would be, what does your ideal work day or weekend day look like? Write it down, highlight what you can start doing tomorrow or today, And, also, take a look at it and then see if, like, where your priorities are. because then you can kinda see what's important to you. You might surprise yourself. You're like, oh, I don't realize that would be part of such important part of my day, but it is. I need that you know, walk in the park for an hour or something. Like, that's where I think the work life balance really helps kind of play a part in how you envision your unique version of freedom and your balance in life. So, yeah, think that would be my question. What's your ideal day look like? And then feel free to send it to me. because that that's a funny thing. It's like, I'm asking you this question, but yeah, will I ever get the answer back?

Bryan McAnulty [00:48:29]:

Yeah. But we'll have it on this premier is live, you'll be able to see on our -- Okay. -- YouTube. But but, yeah, definitely. Also, like, if if depending on when you're watching this or if Jasmine doesn't see it, like, please send it to her. And, yeah, then to to finish this off then, where can people find you online? Yeah. So for

Jasmine Katatikarn [00:48:51]:

the academy, the animation academy, our tag is Academy of animated art. and that's also our website, academy of animated art.com. And then for me personally, and then for my creative creativity coaching aspect of my career. You can find me at jazzcatat. So it's jazz k a t a t. It's my tag on Instagram would be the best place. There's also a website. I always think I should change that tagline, but my name is so long, so we'll see. To my full name, but I'm always, like, my name my last name feels really daunting to people. But, yes, Jaskets that for now.

Bryan McAnulty [00:49:36]:

Alright. Awesome. Well, thanks so much for calling the show. Thanks for having me. I'd like to take a moment to invite you to join our free community of over 5000 creators at creatorclimb.com.

Bryan McAnulty [00:49:47]:

If you enjoyed this episode and wanna hear more, Check out the HEIGHTS platform YouTube channel every Tuesday at 9 AM US Central. To get notified when new episodes release, join our newsletter at the creators adventure.com. Until then, keep learning, and I'll see you in the next episode.

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About the Host

Bryan McAnulty is the founder of Heights Platform: all-in-one online course creation software that allows creators to monetize their knowledge.

His entrepreneurial journey began in 2009, when he founded Velora, a digital product design studio, developing products and websites used by millions worldwide. Stemming from an early obsession with Legos and graphic design programs, Bryan is a designer, developer, musician, and truly a creator at heart. With a passion for discovery, Bryan has traveled to more than 30 countries and 100+ cities meeting creators along the way.

As the founder of Heights Platform, Bryan is in constant contact with creators from all over the world and has learned to recognize their unique needs and goals.

Creating a business from scratch as a solopreneur is not an easy task, and it can feel quite lonely without appropriate support and mentorship.

The show The Creator’s Adventure was born to address this need: to build an online community of creative minds and assist new entrepreneurs with strategies to create a successful online business from their passions.

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