Thursday, November 24, 2011

Watershed reflections

I recently came across some student projects by some of the great animators out there in the industry today.Its a weird feeling when you see the work of these people,whom you had always looked upto for inspiration ,and see what they had done so many years back, when they were your age.To see the kind of experiments they did and the level of perfection they sought in their creations.The first ever animations and student films or the first ever time a soon to be claymation giant made a film in clay....

Once the awe and admiration dies down a bit,you slowly turn your gaze inward.A question slowly floats down and settles on your heart,"What have I been doing all this while?".The self pity that follows is countered only by your mind trying to logically find an explanation for your ineptitude for all these years.Your mind argues and blames all the counterproductive circumstances you had to live through trying to pursue this career.
'I mean,its not like i didnt do anything,right?'.

Cut the crap.Being an animator in India is hard.Damn straight f!@ckin hard.And if you've decided to become one, you darn well have to learn to live with it.

As an artist you gotta be intensely honest to yourself.Not that you lie to yourself otherwise on a regular basis.But am sure we all know there is a huge difference between lying to yourself and not being entirely honest with yourself.When you become absolutely honest with yourself you become an embodiment of all those ideals and convictions that you stand for.You come to realize that your actions and thoughts have meaning in this world(or you find meanings for them) and that you are not at anyone's mercy,if you chose not to be.This almost always means that some people would end up liking you and some would end up loathing you.

No matter what we believe in we always have our justifications for them.(And you SHOULD be able to justify them). Only then would 'it' start flowing out from within you and make itself seen in your work.And for an artist that 'it' is everything.

From what I've gathered in all these years of running around in a design college and otherwise,there is just one absolute truth that rings true for any thing you pursue in life.A simple straight forward law.Tried and tested and never failed
- 'The more you do something the better you get at it'.

Its a universal law!Something you know for sure works!Just find what you enjoy doing and keep at it.Eventually you'll get good at it.Don't bother thinking about those prodigious talents out there and all those who had lady luck shine on them all too often in their lives.Skip it.Focus.Remember the "spend 10,000hrs on it to become world class" theory.And indulge in your artistic pursuit.

I know it aint easy,but think of it this way.Imagine this line as the premise of your life's story.'The more you do what you love the better you get at it'.Everything else is built around it.From fame and fortune down to keeping your family happy,everything will happen.Believe in it and just keep at it.Now you decide what should remain in your life's script and what should be chucked.Which character needs developing and which needs pruning.If it goes with your premise retain it,else remove it.

When your reel ends lets see how the film plays out.Hopefully it will all turn out to be a fairy tale.

1 comment:

Nikhita said...

Am in the same boat. And you know me more than anyone. Thanks to you I saw Jonathan Hardesty's growth and I'm inspired to be a better artist.

Damn right, India is not a great place to practice being an animator, but heck, lets be fighters.

Cheers, and Jai Laminasun! :)