Friday, February 6, 2015

Merging Passions Into Purpose (even if one of those passions is antiquated)

On my drive to work today (the place 40% of my ideas come to me, the other 60% arriving in my shower) I got this bee in my bonnet to start teaching an animation class. No, I don't mean Maya or Renderman or Flash ...because I don't know any of that. What I do know is the old-school, draw it on paper and flip between the frames sort of animation. Stuff that look s like this:



(Granted, this needs some cleaning up, but you get the idea.)

Someone might ask, "Who needs to know this? Isn't it just a novelty, this day and age?"



Well, it's true that you aren't likely to get a full-time job making hand drawn animation in the U.S. But 1.) Not everything worth learning points directly to employment. 2.) The principles you learn working on hand-drawn animation translate directly into 3D, computer generated animation, should that be a pursuit you undertake. 3.) Retro, high-touch processes are cool in this streamlined, tech-dominated world.

For those who don't know, I recently turned 40, and that has lit a bit of a fire under me to do more of what I love and less of what seems urgent. Statistically, my number of years on earth are waning. Maybe I'll live to be in my mid 90s like my grandmother. But maybe I won't. Waiting until the circumstances are absolutely permissive of doing something you are passionate about will leave you with a lot of time fussing wistfully while hoping the planets will align.

Now, granted, I have a healthy dose of cautious planner type in my personality which is magnified by the responsibilities of feeding kids and paying a mortgage, which will keep me from taking extreme, unmeditated leaps. I also happen to have a schedule that is packed out with 50-60 hour work weeks right now. So why would I even think about this?

I have a strongly held belief that God expects me to use the gifts he's given me, My art and storytelling gifts are my two strongest suits, followed by teaching. Life necessitates that I generate a portion of our household income, and so I am seeking ways I can do that, through my giftedness, because I truly believe if you can find a gainful way to apply your passions, that's where things explode. I'm so ready for an explosion this year. I want to come into my own, which I know I have not yet. It is a process of becoming that I want to take another step into.

So, here's to seeking opportunities to be more of ME than I've ever been in the past. What about you? What types of things do you do, practical or impractical, that you feel come straight from the core of who you were made to be?

5 comments:

  1. At the moment, primarily mothering and wife-ing (if that was a word, lol). But I also feel story-telling is a strong-suit of mine as well as international ministry of some sort. Right now that means being a friendship family to international students through ISI.

    Have fun! I'm sure you'll have many interested students if your idea works out!

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    1. Even if wife-ing isn't a word, it's definitely a full time pursuit. :) It's great that you have found a way to do international ministry from home, at least for now.

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  2. See the demo video for the animation software Spine for an interesting example of digital animation. Looking at that video, I imagine strong basic art skills are still very much needed in order to design a sprite capable of being animated at all. It looks like it derives from the hand-drawn animation method.

    I'm still young enough that I don't feel legitimate pursuing my own passions. So many older people I know have spent their whole lives without doing much that they really believe in. That's why I'm trying to help my old teacher write a Biblical fiction book and why I'll soon be working earnestly on setting up a guitar enthusiast website for my father.

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    1. It sounds to me that perhaps one of your passions is helping others bring their ideas to fruition.

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  3. One of my strongest passions is the desire to learn--but not just to learn facts, to gain understanding. I want to see the big picture of the way the world works, the way elements of truth like theology and history and science and art all work together in the story of the universe that God is telling. And the more I do that, the more I realize how simple and clear the big picture can be. It's absolutely amazing doing it just for my own benefit, but I've also discovered a passion for sharing those simple fundamentals with others as well.
    Great post, Becky! And good for you on pursuing your gifts even if modern technology and culture do think they're a bit "old fashioned". God can still find a way to do amazing things with them!

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