Some years ago, I gave a talk about motivation and to earn the interest of my students started with that punchline : “Animating is frustrating!”(Well, “frustrating” was not exactly the word I used…)
It is true that we spend a lot of time and energy animating and not always the results are reflected.
Those who had worked in the industry probably brought some friends to the cinema to show a film them in which they have been working and often have encountered this kind of conversation:
YOU : “Look, Here goes my shot!”
FRIEND : “Which one?”
YOU : “Eh! Too late…Well, I'll show you when they release the DVD”
In the day to day of the animator job, we have to go through a series of frustrations that make our moods look like a real roller coaster:
• Dejection / Stagnation
• Frustration because of working for someone else
Those frustrations make us forget how lucky we are to work in the animation industry and being able to give life to characters…
To avoid falling into these traps, here goes some tips that will allow you to raise your spirits:
In the first studio I started, I use to have a friend who wakes up every morning wanting to go to work, as we enjoyed of a very good atmosphere and those days were full of surprises.
• Dream Job : You are lucky to be able to work on what you like and doing what many would like to do instead of being working in a factory.
• Team : People you are working with got the same passion. Take advantage of sharing, learning and laughing!
It is important to find several pillars in your life and not devote yourself exclusively to work.
• Balance : Seek for balance in your life and dedicate time to all activities necessary for your welfare.
• Charge your battery : We are not made to work non-stop. Seek for moments that you'll desconnect totally from your work and come back with batteries charged.
• Sport : Try to spend some time to be fit and clear your mind.
• Hobbies : Search some hobbies that make you escape from your everyday life.
Seek for inspiration every day to improve your creativity.
• Digital coffee : Start your day watching animation material, drawings or just watching the work of your colleagues.
• Board : Place any things on your wall that will be inspiring for your artistic work (Pictures, notes, checklists)
As I already wrote in another article, art is a big puzzle. Do activities that will allow you to grow as an animator and give you another approach.
• Observation : Take the time to watch people to look how they act and move.
• Drawing : Drawing will allow you to get more appeal in your poses.
• Dance : You will understand better movements thranks to dance lessons.
• Improvisation : Sign up for some improvisation classes to feel more comfortable in front of a camera and improve your actings.
• Storytelling : Write down some small stories to understand the structures of a good script and the character development.
The greatest satisfaction in the life of an artist is to feel that you are learning and improving.
• Keep Learning : “An artist who does not want to learn is a creativly dead artist”. Always think that you have a lot to learn and keep training throughout your career.
• Quality : Definid a quality goal and try to overtake it with every new shot you are creating.
• Feedback : Be open to constructive criticism and try to understand your weaknesses to improve them.
Stay focused on your work.
• Hard work : We are surrounded by many distractions (Internet, Facebook, teammates, phone calls…) Try to focus as much as possible on your shot while you are working on it.
• Schedule : Fix a time during the day in which you handle your email to avoid been distracted during your work. In the same way, define an hour during the day in which you are open to interruptions.
• Headphones : Consider using your headphones to block out sounds and voices that can take you out of your environment and distract you.
Note : Beware of black holes…For example, listening music allows you to be more focus on your work but if you're changing the playlist all the time that will have as consequences the opposite effect . Same with internet: You can rest a few minutes and look at an article, but we can fall into distraction and lose precious hours of work. Try to analyze your day-to-day, create a schedule and follow it accurately.
Develop tools and methodologies that simplify your life and makes you more effective.
• Planning : Plane your day in the morning to be clear about what you are going to do.
• Workflow : Work on your methodology to avoid getting lost.
• Desktop : Organize regularly your desktop to sort your tasks.
• Fresh Eye : If you are lost with your shot, change to another one. you will come back later with a fresh eye.
• Little by Little : By having a huge task (Retake, long shot, etc…) divide your work into small achievable objectives.
And last and probably the most important : The self-esteem!
• No Doubt : Choose an idea and stick to it. Don't waste time in doubting about your abilities or concepts. Be strong in your decisions!
• 50%-50% : I have often seen that an animator was going through a bad patch just by observing a drop in the quality of his shots. Never forget that creating a good shot depends from a good technical job and a good mood.
• Critics : Not all feedbacks are good. Learn how to select those one that goes with your vision or don't do a medley of all the opinions coming from everybody.
• Tell me how good I am : Do not hesitate to congrats your colleagues. You will cheer up the spirits of the team and they will probably give it back to you.
I hope that was usefull…