Why Animators Must Fail Upwards
Animators are made, not born. All of us are likely fail in most of the things that we do, at least at first. The key to success is to keep at it, and fail faster.
Great animation doesn’t emerge fully formed, it needs to be tweaked, revised and perfected. When you see a Pixar or Disney film, you see the finished, polished result – you don’t see the pain the animator went through along the way.
Everything we do can be done better. If you don’t keep trying, and practicing, and getting feedback, you will never create anything good. Your animation does not have to be perfect; you just have to get on with it and keep practicing your craft.
Make Mistakes – and Keep Making Them
This is one of the great things about studying your craft. Your work does not have to be perfect, or even near perfect. You just have to keep doing, and trying, until, at the end of your course, having made plenty of mistakes along the way, you start to do seriously good work.
So keep at it, and trust in yourself – you will get there, and you will succeed in the end. What we all need to do is learn to fail faster.
Animation is like a Video Game
Game players love it when they get “The Epic Win”, that feeling of success that makes them feel great. Games like World of Warcraft gives players the chance to be tested – not too much, not too little, but just beyond their abilities. Game players get challenged on the tipping point of their ability. So it is in the classroom; at the end of a day’s work, students should feel the thrill of a “Level Up!”.
Successful video games give us “a fair chance” to get past the monster, and that it is this that makes them work. In order to succeed, we have to fail first.
Walt Disney – The Failure
Everyone remembers Walt Disney the success, few recall his failures. In fact, Disney failed with his very first character – he created the character Oswald The Rabbit, only to lose the copyright to an investor. To recover his business, he then created the famous mouse – which made his name and his fortune. Consider the case of Steven Spielberg, who was rejected by film school three times. And don’t forget one of Winston Churchill’s most famous sayings: “success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm”.
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