Saturday, June 25, 2005

Connect the Dots

Here's a great inspirational article at on the value of living life "just cuz".
The premise is pretty simply presented: get outside of the narrow confines of your field of expertise (in our case animation) and broaden your horizons by adding a multitude of varying life experiences. In is recent speech to the graduating class of Standford University Steve Jobs called these variety of experiences "dots". Only later in our lives are we able to "connect these dots" to solve the problems before us in our field of expertise.
Basically... get out and live. Take that scuba diving class you've always wanted. Go on that trip. Visit that place. Read that book. Take that walk. Go to that concert. Talk to those strangers on the train. Visit that museum. Go on that mission trip. Dance that dance. Teach that class. Volunteer at that hospital. Live life just for the sake of living it, collecting the experience as you go. Someday later you may find that one moment will bring you a unique solution to a problem facing you.
Stuff like animation training is very good and helpful. There are many students out there ardently studying animation in great programs and their zeal and commitment is admirable. But we need to open up our field of view to see a bigger picture. I know my own personal faith has brought me into contact with many, many different people and life experiences that only much later present themselves as unique solutions to my everyday challenges as an animator. Without those life experiences I'd be the poorer animator, and worse, the poorer man.


Lars van Schagen said...

man that's a great article. thanks for posting both articles btw. it just shows that you should get out and do more stuff than just aim for what your doing.

to refer too my own life i sometimes feel that i'm missing stuff because i'm only focussing on animation and maybe i should get out more and do other stuff :) because frankly your brain just gets numb and does'nt know what its doing when you keep beating it on the same slab all the time.

cool article btw how did you find both articles?

juist curious

Anonymous said...

Veyr very good advice. Personally I play guitar in the local bar every week or so, compose some music when I have time etc, I try to do not close myself only to animation.

Adam Green said...

I talked to Bobby Beck at last year's Siggraph, and after viewing my reel, he asked me how much time I spent away from the computer or animated films. Being over-zealous, I said "Aww man, if I'm not animating, Im watching animated films or modeling my next cool character." He just said, "Man, go to the park. Go outside. Relax, have fun-do some crazy stuff, and then come back and animate." So, I took 3 weeks off from using the computer and just hung out at the lake and went wakeboarding and had some fun. I came back the follwing week and won the 10SecondClub. Best advice I ever got. Now, on weekends, Im trying to stay away from the 'puter as much as possible and go and do stuff. (and there plenty to do in the Bay area)

I whole-heartedly believe in being a well-rounded person. If you dont have tons of interests and experiences, how are you going to animate for different subjects and situations? (much less, have a fun life?) Good stuff.

jeff said...

that was an inspiring speech- i didn't start animating until I was 30, so I know I drive myself mad in the endless pursuit of trying to catch up - good to know those 30 years weren't such a waste of time after all ;)