John Fegan

Flame Artist
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What do you do for work and give us a few reasons you love it?
I am a flame artist, and I mainly work on commercials. It’s a bit hard to describe what specifically a flame artist is, mainly because we have a lot of responsibilities that include visual effects, color grading and technical aspects. I love my job because I get to work with some of the smartest people in the film industry, as well as the large scope of responsibilities I have which constantly challenges me and keeps me on my toes.

Your current company aside, name another companies that you admire and explain why.
Industrial Light and Magic, because they are always pushing the bounds on what we can do with visual effects, and Lola because they are geniuses at what they do.

Where do you expect to be in 5 years?
I expect to be at least 5x better at what I do, if not 50x better.

In your opinion, what is wrong with the corporate world and how would you fix it?
I’m more on the creative side, so not corporate, but I think the biggest problem in my industry is the opinion that if you work tons of hours that you are more productive and a harder worker. In my experience just about anything can be accomplished with the right team and only working 8-10 hours, 5 days a week. If you are working 60+ hour weeks then there is a problem, and you should really take a step back and evaluate what that problem is.

What are the most important lessons you’ve learned in your life?
In Proverbs there is a great verse from King Solomon that I believe rings true for every aspect of life: “The one who walks with the wise will become wise, but a companion of fools will suffer harm.” I have found that it is never a good thing to be the smartest of your colleagues, and if you haven’t surrounded yourself with people that you can learn from then it’s extremely hard to grow. Secondly, you always want to underpromise and overdeliver, and I mean ALWAYS. Third, asking for help is never a bad thing. Lastly, you should always treat everyone with dignity and compassion, no matter who they are or what position they hold.

How do you measure success at work? In life?
I have always told myself if I am not constantly learning and growing, then the money and job title are useless.

What are your priorities outside work? Where do you spend your time? What do you care about?
My family is the most important priority. Outside of work I love to watch classic films. I pretty much have my TV locked to TCM. I also love to draw and paint, and visit museums to learn from the masters.

How do you want the world to be different because you lived in it?
I would hope it’s a more compassionate and loving world.