“What I really want to do is direct.”
Yeah, I was that kid.
I spent my high-school career as the ghost of the art room, passionately constructing a portfolio that would provide the first step toward a creative occupation. Luckily, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago didn’t consider GPA when selecting applicants, so I was immediately accepted into one of the most prestigious art programs in the country.
Unfortunately, the only thing I learned in art school was how much I hated art.
But I found myself! And that’s important, right?
I graduated with a BFA in 2006 and moved to Los Angeles to harness my dream of becoming the next Ingmar Bergman (thanks a lot, art school).
In LA, I began writing screenplays as a means to direct. I found a job reading screenplays for the same reason. I read a lot of crap. I wrote a lot of crap. But little did I know… I was learning.
In the three-year process of creating short films and pursuing funding for features, I learned that directing came naturally to me, but producing did not.
I wasn’t able to get a project off the ground. When my father was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2009, I moved back to my hometown of Grand Haven, Michigan with nothing to show but three screenplays.
One day, while working as a stage manager for a national dance competition, I had an epiphany that only a repressed, depressed, living-with-his-parents artist could have: what if I wrote books? Unlike screenplays, a book is finished when it’s finished. When the final draft is complete, a book becomes a marketable product. If I work my butt off, maybe I could actually make money doing what I love!
I’m not a millionaire yet… but I did write four novels in three years and I’m proud of the accomplishment. Currently, I’m engaged to my soul-mate, self-publishing all four books, and developing a sequel to The Accidental Siren.
Dreams, here I come.
on March 20, 2014 :
Put the Cat In the Oven Before You Describe the Kitchen
By Jake Vander Ark is a great little guide book. With 20 important and helpful tips that are clearly explained, this free book is a must have for any author, whether as a new learning tool or a refresher.
(review of free book)
on Sep. 14, 2012 :
This book is SO incredibly helpful! It's simple, straightforward and easy to understand without talking down to you. I love that this practical, non-fiction book on writing is somehow also witty and hilarious. Vander Ark confronts common issues that people run into all the time when trying to write, and I've never read a writing book that explained things so well. This book is perfect for beginning writing all the way up to advanced. After reading this, I will buy every book Vander Ark ever writes.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)