I’ve missed most of the sessions for this task and I genuinely have no idea what I’m supposed to cover with the 1K word-count... but I’ve been making some efforts to reflect on the way I work and learn during this crappy time.
One of my first steps into DPS, and as a more proactive 'creative’, was enrolling on a motion course to finally understand some basics animation principles, in the hope of figuring out why my work sucked (it still does most of the times).
Going through the painful (but often rewarding) process of brainstorming, animating and sharing my developments, every week, for 3 months, made me realise some stuff. It won’t make a ton of sense to you, but I’m writing this after a long work day, so forgive me.
Animation Bootcamp Notes
- For the Brainhole logo animation, you jumped into developing the first idea that you knew you could execute but didn't consider alternatives that'd give the boring-looking logo more personality. While you did ok in your own right, many others used (and duplicated) elements to create more playful and unique animations, giving the whole thing a ton more personality, even if it took them longer - when you have the time, use it to create something with personality.
- For the Space Explorer, you took your time to really get the very BASICS done, following Joey's instructions, then once you felt more confident you tried adding a bit more nuance to it, whilst following the principles. That was smart: copy the exercise to reinforce the principle, then step it up to give it your style.
- Unlike with the Brainhole exercise, you solely focused on executing YOUR concept, without stressing about what others had done from the FB group chat. That was smart, because it removed that constant comparison of skills rabbit hole you usually fall into. So always do your own thing at the BEST of your ability, then share and see what everyone else was up to, which might give you ideas for a v2.
- With the Step Three exercise, you could've kept it pretty simple, and used more linear position movements, but instead you tried making those motion paths work, and they kinda did after a while. That's the whole point, try things you suck at. Though some others definitely did even more impressive work, recognise you tried YOUR best.
- With the Dogfight exercise, it was smart to plan ahead of time what to do based on how much time you had available, which gave you some time to practice with the Speed graph before tackling the final assignment.
- Another important thing to keep in mind was that you could've altered the final design to be cooler, but instead you kept it super simple and focused on NAILING THE BASICS FIRST - keep doing that!
- Eventually, as you worked every day between Bootcamp and other work responsibilities, you burnt out multiple times (Brainhole pt. 2, Eye trace exercise), mixed with that same feeling of the Dip.
- ☝🏾Now when this happens you feel at your lowest, losing creativity and ideas, producing something that feels like a sub-par idea that sucks compared to what you did the last time. The thing is, when you're in this rut and you're running out of time you still gotta BEGIN SOMETHING, ANYTHING, even if you don't like where it's going because 1) it might eventually improve as you develop it on the fly or 2) at least you've tried and done a v1. Don't dwell and complain about having no ideas, it's a waste of time - take a proper break with that time, then get back up my dude.
- When planning a complex shot, try to break it down by the primary and secondary actions. You want to spend as much time nailing the primary action (e.g. an anticipation followed by an impact) then once you've nailed the movements and timing, focus on the secondary motion to help emphasize it.
My New Agency
Prior the many changes caused by the pandemic, my hopes for this year were getting out of my social comfort zones; travel to more places for both work and leisure, but also get out of my professional comfort zones and get a foot in the door in a field that I care about, at my own terms, without the pressure of being the generalist that can do it all. I wanted to prove myself that after being a ‘design student’, I could become an employed ‘designer’.
Since we’ve been locked in, left to our own devices and our own thoughts, I’ve often spiralled into thinking that this was it. This is how far I could get, and whether I make it out of this pandemic or not, no one would dare hire some guy with messy hair that can barely come up with creative ideas for simple briefs.
This downtime also made me reflect on the importance of personal projects, and most importantly, the way I learn, and my unrealistic pursuit for overly professional or ‘perfect’ outcomes, as a result of my ever-evolving creative taste, that while helps me strive for (what I hope are) good outcomes, have sometimes been detrimental to my approach at learning and failing. The latter of which I’m so terrified of I’ve held myself back from trying new things, experiment and ultimately learn from the inevitable failed attempts that come with doing something new. Two sides of the same coin.
Sometimes waiting is not about what's on the other side. It's about what you become, before you get there. - Source
I try not to drop overly optimistic/inspirational quotes, but I believe the above words from a recent short film I watched gives a brilliant perspective on how to get through this time and what type of “New Agency” comes from this crisis. A collective of individuals that take a negative situation they’re in and make something worthwhile of it, without necessarily waiting aimlessly for something or someone to save them, but doing the best with what they have, even when it feels pointless, to be better than what they were when they got started.
That's all for now. Thanks for stopping by.
Stay safe and have a nice day 👋🏾.