August & September Recap & Some Thoughts on Improvement

Blog_photo-sept-aug.jpg

September is coming to a close and I definitely feel like I'm racing towards the finish line for my thesis (count down to 90 seconds of full color animation has begun!) September feels like its been a pretty productive and successful month, but I am definitely feeling the rush and panic of being in the semester again.  Even though summer has almost the exact same schedule as fall (animation every weeknight and then marathon work sessions Wednesday and Saturday) the summer still feels more relaxed.  This week low motivation and burn out were definitely on my mind enough tough I feel like I've only bee working for three weeks (but really its been an intense schedule since I got back from my Pittsburgh trip.

Here are some highlights from August and September

AUGUST

  • Weekends Short Film warped (I helped out in coloring the animation and some very simple compositing for this film back in July--it was an awesome experience! & I am also credited on the website...and the film too!)
  • Completed tie-down of 3 scenes (minus a few edits I'm still working on)--Including a HORSE!
  • Read "Steal Like an Artist"  which was an awesome confidence boost about sharing art  work and helped me start thinking about how to be more professional about my work

SEPTEMBER

  • Completed tie down on horse run cycle & made major improvements
  • Progress on two backgrounds
  • Re-analyzed my shots & strategized about what's best to finish before reviewing this semester
  • Made schedule for when the review/presentation materials will be completed this semester
  • Found time management schedule that *mostly* works for me
  • Listened to two awesome podcasts about young women creating their own careers & navigating life that really got me thinking (Millennial & Real Talk with Rachel Antionnette)

July Recap

I just got back from a wild and crazy moving day with a few friends.  These friends have literally moved me from every apartment I've ever lived in and let me sleep on their couch in the in between times so I returned the favor this time.  It was one of days that reminds me why these are my people--moving was not exactly smooth, some plants and a bookcase didn't make it out alive but it was more fun than it was stress...but mostly it was just hot....and they bought me food and cake afterwards which could have also improved my mood.

My July has felt less productive than I would have liked.  I feel like this one scene is taking me forever (because it is!) but I should be able to finish it before I leave on a mini-vacation at least start the tie down on a second scene--that leaves me about one and a half scenes behind.  However, looking back through my journal notes from the last year I think what tends to happen is my summer months move a little slower in progress (but maybe with more consistent results?) as I am processing my critiques and gearing up mentally and physically for the next semester and then I dive into the semester like a crazy person and try to come out a live!

Here's a recap of July progress on this thesis film -thing...

The good:

  • One scene cleaned up
  • 2nd largest scene tied down with issues addressed
  • all scenes in rough (except the intro that was corrupted on an old HD)
  • One background color corrections completed

The Less good:

  • Scenes are taking longer than I anticipate to tie down (especially when there is a horse)
  • Did not meet pre-vacation goals
  • still trying to shake post-semester burn out
  • A little worried I'm moving through my tie down too fast 
  • Worried about maintaining exercise & a normal-ish bedtime for next semester ....or if I even care...?

I think that my August will go better and I'll actually come back feeling refreshed from my vacation and ready to pour all of my efforts into finishing my thesis and come out at the end one tired but happy heap of an animator and then FINALLY be able to focus on updating and maintaining my website/blog/etc.

 

Hello again!

Today I my thesis program director that “For SURE! I want to graduate in December”  So... That’s it I’m committed!  over 5 years in grad school (I’m part time btw!) and I am done, I just needed to set a day and make the deadline.  Even though my animation has been going MUCH better since last year (and probably the last time I wrote in this blog), completing that deadline will be HARD! (really hard!) But at least now it seems achievable.

 

While now I know that even though it will be difficult December IS a realistic deadline (should everything go as planned and I stay focused/motivated)   However, what’s not helping me feel confident about this deadline is  that I’ve been in a funk of animation/grad school burnout and exhaustion for probably over a month.  There’s no other way around it --I AM DONE.  I want my life back, I want to see my film finished and most importantly I want to move on to other projects and develop some new ideas! So there I said it, for everyone to read and hold me to it! I WILL finish by December and you can watch that playout here--in my blog, where I’ll finally start updating it regularly (and also on a youtube channel soon!).  Catch what its like to do grad school & work full time, from someone who’s finally started to figure it out. (Maybe)  

 

Sometimes you have to just decide to do the hard thing, just decide to find more confidence in your decisions at work or decide to finish your thesis and decide to BECOME an animator.  I have struggled for a long time when it comes to defining myself professionally.  I work as a Graphic Artist but would also like to be seen as creative illustrator and animator.  But for some reason when someone asks I shy away from the creative part and use lots of ‘umms, kindas and I’m still learning’’s  I want to feel sure that I am good at those things before I claim that I could do them professionally but the longer and deeper I research this career the more apparent it is becoming that people who are successful didn’t just wait for others to tell them they were good, they just started--good or bad.  So here I am, starting again.  Follow along for a more regular look into find out how this thing goes, my thoughts on animation, and any tips i can offer along the way.  I am not an expert yet, but I think a lot about animation and DO a lot of animation (even if you haven’t see it yet!) and I think it’s time I started owning up to that for real--I’m an animator.

 

SO--For the rest of 2017 I will be posting regularly as well as updating my portfolio and website. Please be patient as I try new things in the layout and organization!  ALso stay tuned for thesis progress updates and other projects as I try (for real this time!) to build my own creative life!!