There’s been so many influences on my life that have taken me down the path I am traveling today. I consider myself the wealthiest person in the world, especially with experiences and love! To give you a little glimpse into my personal experience, here are 5 things that have made a huge impact on my life:
I’ve always loved to draw! My parents were very supportive and sent me to art classes when I was little.
In middle school there was a show on Cartoon Network called Toonami, and they played anime.
I fell in love with the style and wanted to learn how to draw like that. I followed a ton of website tutorials showing how to draw and how to use Photoshop. I learned to draw really terrible anatomy and put anime eyes on everything, I loved it!
Luckily, I grew out of it and learned to draw from life.
Now I’m back into it! (while still practicing life-drawing and perspective)
Going to Art School
Ah, crippling student loan debts… It was expensive going to the Art Institute of Portland. But I wouldn’t trade my art school experience for anything!
I am still friends with the people I met at The Art Institute of Portland, and even got my first job working as an Adobe Flash animator because of it!
BUT– Art and Animation Schools are very expensive!
Many like The Art Institutes, Full Sail University, and are for-profit and some have even been sued for fraud by the U.S. Government.
Here’s some great online animation schools I’d recommend:
And this article lists all the greatest animation schools in the U.S., these schools produce some seriously amazing work!
Should you go to art school? A very important question! One that should not be taken lightly. Student loans debts are very serious!
I would say if you don’t really know what you want to do yet, don’t go to college.
Whether you go to school or not, at the end of the day, it’s about the work you put out, and how pleasant you are to work with. Nobody has ever asked me what my grades were in school.
Listening to Audiobooks
Specifically self-development books about the parts of my life that were difficult for me. Being happy, socializing/relationships, and marketing my work. Changed my outlook on life and helped me deal with awkwardness, shyness, and anxiety.
How To Win Friends and Influence People specifically really changed my life and ability to talk to people more than any other book I’ve read. I found it by accident in a “free” box, and it’s changed my life ever since for the better. But what will help you, will be different for what helped me.
Recording Myself on Camera
Helped me to come out of my shell and get over being embarrassed. I still get nervous every time, but that’s why it’s a good thing to practice!
If you have social anxiety like I do, or if you’re just shy around new people, I highly recommend recording yourself and watching how you act on camera. See what works great, and what you could improve on with your body language and voice.
Recording my voice also helped me to have more fluctuation and emphasis to my voice, and even to sing a little bit. I still suck at singing, but I still practice at it to get better!
Helped me decide what I wanted to do with my life. Cleared a lot of distracting thoughts in my head, and help define questions to myself more clearly.
For a long time I was doing 3D animation for the show Grimm, and for a long period the only kind of work I could get was 3D animation work, which was fine and I was extremely grateful.
But it gave me the false impression that the only work I could do was 3D animation to get jobs as an animator. I was convinced that it would be better to learn and practice 3D animation, even if I didn’t like it as much.
Then one day, while meditating, I realized… I fucking love cartoons! I’ve always loved cartoons, and I made a promise to myself when I was little that I would never grow out of cartoons, and I still haven’t!
I love shows like Stephen Universe, Looney Tunes, and Ren & Stimpy, and animating in 2D brings me to a really happy place. I love to draw and make people laugh. This is when I knew what my passion was, and what felt right in my heart.
I hope these few things give you some idea on what have brought you to the stage you’re at now. I’m so grateful and lucky for everything I have in my life, these are just a few of the things that have brought me to where I am now. I can’t wait to see what I discover next! :)