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?