In fact the one thing I found that was more rewarding was working for a small insignificant studio because they just didn’t care what you did so you had an opportunity without it being cut out or altered because they had a rigid notion about something. You’d get that chance to do it.
I realized this about myself some years back and I came to see that I'd be a terrible fit at a big studio- so I stopped looking for work in one. Every now and then a person (often a student) asks me why I never worked at one of the big film studios. Like there's something wrong with me (some folks maintain it's because I'm a 'failure'. Whatever narrative works for your worldview is fine with me). But I know myself well enough to understand that it's just not my bag o' bagels, ya know? And if it's not mine, then there's a good chance that there are others out there who feel the same way. The animation biz doesn't do much to validate those outside the big film studio systems, which is kinda sad, but understandable on a base human level. It's for this reason that I find non-conformist stories like Hawkins' to be refreshing and even a little liberating.