So on the 31st of July 2010, I officially graduated from Animation Mentor.  As I wasn’t able to attend personally, I ended up having to watch it online. Seeing people that I’ve only really known from their profile picture up on stage collecting their diplomas was quite an emotional moment, even though I wasn’t there in person. I think it’ll be a source of regret that I never made it out there.

How much of that is my own fault I don’t know at the moment. I’ve been wasting my time so much recently. So this is my statement of a change in direction and a change in attitude. Watching the graduation speech from Lee Unkrich, and hearing him talk about his own crippling fear of failure, was a bit of wake-up call for me. I am never going to achieve the things that I want, and get what I want out of life, without working for it – and being scared of failing, and so never trying, is a horrible self-fulfilling prophecy. Things that I have said in the past and not acted on. So this is my statement of getting my life turned around and headed in the direction that I want.

Firstly, I will spend my time more effectively. No more sleeping in until noon and staying awake until three in the morning noodling around on the internet. I’ll also be spending more time on the Animation Mentor site, getting involved in the forums, getting involved as a peer buddy, for at least an hour a day. There’s a book I’ve been reading recently called 59 Seconds that suggests laying out a step-by-step plan, saying this has been more successful than just visualising your perfect life (which can actually be counter-productive). That’ll be up as a post later today or tomorrow. I’ll also be using this blog more often, as a kind of public documentation of what I’ve been doing and how I’ve been spending my time. Hopefully that’ll be another thing that’ll keep me on the straight and narrow.

I want to end this little missive with a massive congratulations to all of those who graduated from Animation Mentor on the 31st. Well done to all of you, I know just how hard it was, and a massive thank you to all of those who ever gave me feedback and kept me going. Thank you to all the mentors that got me through the last 18 month of work, especially Kenny Roy. You are all a massive inspiration to me. Finally, thank you to Shawn, Bobby and Carlos for creating AM in the first place and giving me a chance at getting the life that I want.

7 thoughts on “Graduation

  1. I’m with you, man I definitely need to start working harder if I’m ever going to get that dream job. Will try my best to work on some animation every day from now on.

    • I’m going to post more stuff here, embed Vimeo links, that kind of thing. I’ll also be posting my goal plan and the steps towards it, all from that book. I’ll see about laying out the actual steps to writing the goal plan as well.

  2. Pingback: Game Plan « Animation Seven

  3. What was it like being on animation mentor. I’m thinking of working as a runner and do the course at the same time. you think that is possible or does animation mentor take the life out of you lol

    • AM is great; it’s definitely one of those situations where the more you put into it, the more you get involved in the community and effort you put into your own work, the more you’ll get out of it.

      I was working in an office right up until the last month of AM – if I had the choice, I’d have done it full time, but that wasn’t something I could realistically do. Again, the more time you spend animating, the better you’ll be.

      If you can get work as a runner I can’t see any reason you can’t do both, but be aware that AM is strict in terms of the weekly deadlines – that’s the one note of caution I would give you.

  4. Awesome post. Congratulations on completing AM this summer! I just wrapped up Class Six a few weeks ago myself so I can appreciate the dichotomy of enormous pride coupled with losing a structured curriculum to keep you going toward a goal. I’m still in the process of finding myself as an artist as well. It can be tough staying the course and keeping your motivation high while you await bites and nibbles from your reel. It is, however, a dream come true to finally say, after all these years, I’m an animator. I’m thrilled so far with the journey. Keep going!


    • Thanks for the comment Spike! Putting a new reel up on this site in the next couple of days, so I’m hopeful that will open that critical first door for me. I still feel hesitant referring to myself as an animator just because I’ve not done this professionally yet – but I’ll get there.

      And congratulations on finishing Animation Mentor, that’s a big deal in itself.

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