Saturday, June 7, 2008

Introspective inspirato

Alright, well, brace yourself, all you 3.4 people out there who follow this humble blogness o' mine!

I have been formulating a sort of blog in my head for months now, but I have not really had the chance to properly sit down and intelligently regurgitate it into the e-world.

So, before I attempt to do so - here's a couple pages o' warm-up sketches I did before work this week. The second page, top left - I did him during a meeting and he ended up being the inspirato for my highlight project of the week. Yay meeting sketches!

Alright here goes. Bear with me! [Bare? I never know.]

I have been working at Fisher Price for 4 weeks-ish now, and it has been really interesting. I have been able to happily combine my graphic design knowledge/experience with my animation schooling into one enjoyable internship parcel. The people are superb, the work is interesting, all that good stuff.

But I didn't anticipate the fact that I would have such a hard time re-adjusting to having to sit in one place all day. I suppose I just got used to the crazy norm that school brings - going to this class, running here, doing this, back to school for a meeting, working all night....yada yada yada. However, this abundance of time [in one place] has allowed me to rediscover something I had temporarily let slide:

The shear beauty and wonder that is the podcast. No, not doing my own [heaven forbid!], but listening to some I had on my iPod but had just plain forgot about. Think about how cool they are! We get spoiled nowadays with all this fancy technology, but HOW COOL is it that I can sit in and listen to 2 dudes at Pixar chat about process? Podcasts like Spline Doctors, Stephen Silver and the Animation podcast. I listened to a few this week, and wow - I never realized how re-motivating it is to listen to a couple of animators yammer on about how their thought process works when they storyboard, or what their favorite movies are, or what made them think of how to animate the scene of Nemo talking to his dad.....

And here's where I had my Aha! moment this week. In all the different podcasts I listened to this week, with all the different people from different studios/places/etc - they had a couple common pieces of advice. And they were all things I had been thinking/wondering about for quite some time, so I decided to share.

Correct me if I am wrong, but I believe that as you [or I] grow as a person, as I experience more and share more and see more, I grow as an artist. Now I know this may seem like an entirely obvious comment to make, but think about it. Does life experience make for a better carpenter? A better accountant? A better lion tamer? Perhaps. But I honestly feel that as an [aspiring] artist, my personal growth has a direct and immediate connection to my artistic growth.

For instance, this summer thus far. I have only been here a few weeks, but the experience of going somewhere new, living somewhere new, getting used to everything new and living alone - they have all been motivating factors for me to draw more, draw better, explore more, and listen better! I feel like in school, we have our heads down focusing so much on the tasks at hand, that we forget about the important things that we need to be doing in order to truly grow as artists.

So if I am gonna sum up my aha-feelings from this week and from those wiser than myself, here it is. My 6-step-program to becoming a better artist/animator. [I write this more for myself than anyone!]

1 - Go out and experience life. Notice as much as you possibly can. Travel to places, small and big. Observe situations, subtle and grandiose. How do the clouds change when the sun is setting? How does that person's face communicate joy or thought? Why does certain music make you feel certain things? Don't wait to "get somewhere" or "go somewhere" just learn from "where" you are!

2 - Just do it. Okay, so Nike may have branded it first, but it's worth reiteration! All us artists feel it sometimes.... the "ugh, I just don't feel like it today, I'm not nearly as good as this Mr/Ms Joe Artist anyway, why bother...." If you love art, if you feel it inside you, then go for it! Get it out anyway you can, and forget about everyone else around you. Make art for you and remember how it felt to have fun doing it! Grab a hold of that and run for it.

3 - KISS. Keep it simple STUPID! You have an idea? Don't flower it up. What are you trying to say? Why is the character doing that? What is he thinking? SIMPLE! Just communication. One idea can change the world, or do I need to quote Martin Luther King?

4 - Share. Share your ideas, share your experiences, share your feelings! No, not in a Dr. Phil sorta way - but if you feel like something you found or did or drew changed something for you - then don't keep it to yourself! If you feel inspired by it, chances are it will inspire others. And you never know when your little bit of inspiration is given to someone in the nick of time.

5 - Don't be scared to screw up. We all do it! We all fail, and it's impossible to avoid. But, really, don't you find when you DO screw up - it's when you learn the most? Don't give up! I also heard this week that JK Rowling apparently got rejected over 90 times [90 times!!] when she submitted the first Harry Potter book to publishers. That's insane. But she never gave up. And lookit her now - she's a multi gazibillionaire!

6 - Rent those movies you keep saying you want to. Almost everyone I listened to this week kept saying how important it is to study the classic films. After all, we may be animators, but more than that, we are filmmakers! Why not study the best? And it's one of the best ways to get inspired.

That being said.... I downloaded AFI's list of 100 Greatest Movies of All Time, and I am determined to put a substantial dent in that list by the end of this summer. Last night I watched #2 and #47. [Stay tuned for my thoughts and sketches on those!]

So forgive me if this has been old news, or boring news, or useless news, but HEY, it's my blog, I can do what I wanna. :) However, I DO hope it has encouraged someone! And I also wanna thank the creative peeps out there that sent a major inspiration station my way - and they may never know it!

Now get out yer pencil and get back to it.

1 comment:

Tams said...

I like #5 definitely something I could do more often. Awesome post - very encouraging!