Animation (a) Compulsion

Play the clip and ramble through the animation bramble with a song in your head.

The words were writ while listening to the music. So in attempt at communication amplification, if the mood set for writing is matched to the mood set for reading, hopefully the communication achieves a greater clarity.

While many animators are spending time worrying, some are animating. They need to.

Each morning they wake dreams driven by what they wish to animate.

In the moments before the (grand) opening of an animator's eyelids the scraping and plonking of life's hurdles penetrate the deep creativity of dream sleep to needle the animator into the day.

Fuelled with creativity and hastily scribbled thumbnail sketches the animator is ready to leap, side-step or barge through the everyday to get nestled in the timeless alpha zone and start (or continue) animating.

Animation is a compulsion in a rare few creative people rather than a career choice.

They take it into their grasp and hold it like a malleable hot chocolate hug mug. Either the animation forms around the animator, or the animator forms around the animation. In some cases they blend so that the creator is indistinguishable from the creativity. Animation is no longer the illusion of life; it becomes life.

A life spent in a timeless state is to touch upon eternity.

I have spoken to a few recent graduates of the animation course recently. They have tried other things. They have found work and scrape together crumbs. Now, with real-life jobs and tasks pressing sticky fingers, and looping coils like a crushing python upon them, find themselves back to exploring the magic of creating animation.

1 comment:

Ian said...

Beautiful words Frank. I like where your posts are heading, I have some more practical bits and pieces about spacing and whatnot to get out of my system, but I want to come along too. Less how too's and more what if's I think. :)

I suspect your perspective on animators is slightly skewed by your immersion in the world of students, which is of course understandable. If you find yourself in a context where there are mostly experienced animators around, there will not be many there focussed on career alone, they tend to evaporate, the true animators become the majority. :P

Only those motivated by the "compulsion" will last more than a few years in the industry or as a consistent guerrillas.

In the case of the students you mentioned I find myself a little saddened, if animation has wormed its way into their hearts, then what was it that pulled or drove them away in the first place. That young people are often so indoctrinated by the time they arrive at study that they put pressure on themselves to meet 'goals' incompatible with being an artist in the 21st century, sometimes in defiance of a teachers guidance. That financial, parental and peer pressures can turn a young animators mind away from dreams and towards careers. :(

What in the long term are any animators achieving when they customise their animated offerings to feed the career machine? When the only in depth animation education available is intertwined with a career 'pathway' and commercial expectations?




Before they even start, the die has been cast. These are slogans to satisfy the pressures, not help artists grow and mature. Its all irrelevant to finding real satisfaction of course, but the truth is harder to define in a leaflet or commercial, harder to market.

Where is this all taking us, our readers and students/friends who will listen? I don't know. But I know its different and I like it :)