never give up

Demanding Excellence by Nick Neon

I pitched an idea to one of my favourite people, Nikolas Kite of Kite Flying Robot, to direct a music video for one of my favourite songs, "On Your Merry Way."  It was a very spontaneous + ambitious undertaking.  But it was so vital that I make this piece to set myself free.  

It would be a very simple fairytale with an even simpler lesson:

No matter how much you love someone, sometimes all you can do is let them go.

I promised myself that I would not settle for anything less than my exact vision for this clip.  My twelfth music video project.  I would demand excellence from my team.  I wouldn't settle for good enough.  The final clip would use a mix of live action miniatures, watercolour, CG animation + practical effects to tell a story of endless hope + the acceptance of loss...

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Struggle Vs Hustle by Nick Neon

But here we were.  Struggling.  I imagine that this must happen quite often to anyone who is moonlighting to make a dream into a reality. We're all day jobbing it and taking every free moment we have to further our art or that business we're trying to get off the ground.  It's easy to feel left out of "life."  

But then it hit me.  Why am I the one struggling?  I'm hustling.  I'm working for a bigger, badder Saturday night.  The one made of Movie Premieres and Awards Nights.   The Saturday night chilling on a beach of clear water in the middle of nowhere with my team after wrapping a shoot.  The Saturday night with my kids + my hubby in the house that I bought with my money doing Game Night...

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nickyneon dotcom by Nick Neon

Coming to the fork in the road, this time, I drove straight through it.  

I've spent too much of my life being defined by labels (American, Korean, Artist, Filmmaker, Gay, to name a few) and listening to direction from both peers + well-wishers, and even from some naysayers (Seriously, wtf was I thinking?  I guess I wasn't).  

But none of these labels or choices made under outside influence have ever made me more of myself.  They did the opposite.  They isolated me from my truth.     

Truth: I have never been happier than when I have listened to my heart + my gut, regardless of failure.

In 2014, I found myself unable to sleep most nights...

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