The difference between a hobby and a career is an investment in self and few creatives understand this methodology more than esteemed video director Colin Tilley, the cinematic mastermind behind Kendrick Lamar's "Alright" and "These Walls," DJ Khaled and Rihanna's "Wild Thoughts" and Future's "Mask Off," among countless others.
During a recent interview with Jinx for The Culture, a new video series produced by Complex, the Bay Area native was asked whether or not, at the start of his career, he was able to pay his bills strictly off making music videos.
"I was literally charging $200 to $500 per video, just to be able to reinvest into the next project," Tilley told Jinx. "To be honest, like, the first three years, I didn't make a single cent. I was completely investing every single bit of that money into being able to make my productions look that much bigger."
It would be irresponsible to suggest anyone should attempt to live for three years without banking a single cent—Jinx didn't ask Tilley how he managed to survive for 36 months, but it's quite possible he had a side job or secondary income stream—but Tilley's early career approach to his craft is Economics 101.
You have to spend money to make money, so who better to spend it on than yourself?