Thank yourself for not growing old

Animation. The pursuit of improvement is in the doing.

The most difficult part of jumping off a bridge with a large elastic band around the ankles is to jump.

Getting into an animation project, opening the software to start or continue work is sometimes a great hurdle for some. That is why it is good to form some basic habits in the studio.

Arriving at your work area open the software you will be animating with and open the project that is being worked on. Do it. Do it as a habit. Every work day for at least 6 weeks, that is, do it 30 times before even thinking about what you are doing. Do it before opening any emails or social networking pages. If you haven't done it yet, do it now.

It all boils down to the old animation adage, "Getting started is all about getting started".

A wise animator also said, "Jump in, don't over think it, just jump in [and animate]. Do that for awhile, then look at what you've got. That's when to start thinking. When you have something to think about." It's an interesting approach. Best not applied in some North Queensland rivers as the something worth thinking about may have hold of your leg.

Another wise animator used to espouse, "Beware of paralysis of analysis." Whereas marriage may be a thinking person's game, it would appear that animation is about releasing a subconscious flow of creativity, releasing the animation animal within, before caging it up with too much thinking.

Which brings us to thanking yourself.

There are a few things that an animator can do in the present. The first is mentioned above. The second is actually unplugging the modem from the computer, thus unplugging the Internet dopamine drip from receptors in the brain. Freezing winter farmyard fowl, going cold turkey. Some animators are now choosing to work at computers that have no Internet connection capability.

The third is to sketch or write down your goal for the animation in the next hour or three. Then repeat the process after each coffee sucked Tim Tam to form a habit. A good one.

The future you, who is the current you, will thank you, when the future you becomes the current you in a few hours time. Knowing that the goals have moved from the brain to page, and having made a contract, of sorts, with one of ourselves, is a great way to take personal responsibility to animate and get the job done.

In the alpha wave take off zone

As we all have found, once in 'the zone', surfing the alpha waves, a creative artist steps outside of time. While all those in the 'real world' are aging, animators remain young, youthful and timeless in the zone. You have yourself to thank for putting you there.

Work on your good habits. Happy animating.


Ian said...

Hehe - the future me of a few minutes ago who is now the current me is thanking me for reading this and you for writing it. I would be great if we could get a little future preview of acting or not when we needed it. :)

What we can see today is what's happened to those who have walked the path before us. I don't know a single animator (and I know lots) who wouldn't devote themselves to being more productive if they could do their study over again. Ya learn it by doing it :)

Alonso said...

glad to see the blog back up and kicking again :)

Jason Schliffer has a series of posts 1 2 3 4about how to get stuff done when you only have a minute to do it, seems like it dovetails with what you're saying here.

(hope those links work)

Frank said...

Thanks Alonso. Thanks for the links as well. Your blog "Monotreme Dreams" has been a constant source of animation inspiration.

Look forward to maybe you having a rant with the Gorilla at some stage (i.e. adding an itch for the Gorilla to scratch... still not clear... a post about animation)