Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Personal Development

Animation Mentor have posted a blog about what key areas of personal development they have seen in successful animators. It's always really nice to see what/how/why successful animators have done to... well, succeed. I firmly believe there's always room for improvement and that applies to yourself too, not just your work. Here are the six key areas:

  1. Be humble. Attitude plays a MAJOR role in your success. Who wants to work with a jerk? I don’t, and I’m sure you don’t. This does not mean that you need to let someone walk all over you, either. Build confidence in who you are, share your thoughts, and respect those of others. Remember, there’s more than your way to tackle a challenge.
  1. Be thirsty. I LOVE this one. It’s also been called “the beginner’s mind.” At Animation Mentor, we call this Continuous Improvement and it’s one of our core values. Never feel like you have “arrived.” There’s always more to learn. When you get stuck, look for ways to pivot your thinking and you will find renewed inspiration.
  1. Share everything you know. There’s a famous quote that states, “It is in giving that we receive.” I really love this and find it so applicable. Those who give comments and share their knowledge are those who seem to accelerate quicker. Those who hoard information only go so far. When you learn something that accelerates your skills — share that knowledge. You’ll be surprised at what comes of it.
  1. Never give up. Don’t lose focus, it’s just a matter of time. This may be easier said than done, yet remember that you cannot ever stop learning, practicing, and growing. Be sure to water your mind and feed it goodness whenever possible.
  1. Beware of the “gremlin voice.” Most likely, there will always be a "gremlin voice" in our heads that expresses our insecurities — and most likely, there’s no way to ever fully turn off that voice. So think about "turning the volume down." If it's blaring at 10 max, then what would it be like to turn it down to a 5? Or even a 7? Over time, learn to identify the voice and slowly begin to turn it down.
  1. Nurture balance. The life of an animator should not be all about the latest animated movie. Those who succeed have a passion for life just as much, or more, than they do for animation. Be sure to cultivate YOU.
My favourite is number 2; Be Thirsty. One of the main reasons I want to get a job with a company is because I want to learn. I love learning. In animation, you can never learn everything there is to learn. There will always be new ways/thoughts/methods to what could be anything. I would absolutely love to just sit and watch a professional work because just by doing that you could learn something. Imagine how much experience and advice you can get by being surrounded by these people.

The one I am already working on at the minute is number 6; Nurture Balance. At the moment, I have to fit in a part time job around my Masters course and I won't lie; it hasn't been easy. I could not do the job at all but I need the money as me and my partner are supporting ourselves. Every little helps. Then I have all my friends who have already graduated and are all in different places (in terms of personal lives and careers as well as actual location) who I want to still keep in touch with. There are other things I want to do. Sometimes it can feel a bit like I'm drowning in all of the things I feel like I'm trying to keep up with while doing my university work. But lately I've just stopped doing that. I realised that I need to have a life. I need to see/do other things because it's from life we as animators get our inspiration and knowledge of how everything works. It's also important to have a goddamn break!

So I've made it something I need to think about from time to time and learn when to recognise that I need to step away from the computer and go outside, see some friends or even just play a video game. Have some fun. That way I can come back to my work, feeling refreshed and ready to tackle it again.

The next one I need to work on is number 5: The 'Gremlin Voice'. I have gotten a lot (a hell of a lot!) more confidence in myself and my work but there are still the times when I'm working and I'm thinking 'this isn't good, no this is rubbish, what if my tutors hate it, what IF I need to change everything, will I have time, I HAVE NO TIME!!' As I've said before, I'm learning when just step away and take a break and this would be one of those times. However, sometimes I come back and though calmer, I'm still thinking about all these things and worrying about my work. I even worry about home life in the background and such things as my sorry looking bank account. The worst worry is what if I don't get a job in animation and all this will be for nothing. I think this is the next thing I need to work on a bit for my own sanity.

The rest I'm mostly already working on. I just wanted to highlight a few and talk about some thoughts that run through my head from time to time.

Link to Animation Mentor's blogpost: Click Here!

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