Thursday, March 29, 2012

Sketchbooks 1-3

It was sometime back in the summer of 2009 when the idea of doing a major career shift first came to mind.

I was working on "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" at the time, and had become somewhat disenchanted by certain aspects of the live action filmmaking process. I remember going to see "Up" one weekend--and was just blown away. Less than ten minutes into the film I was already incredibly moved by the characters onscreen and sucked into their world, eager to know where the story was leading. I'd been an animation lover since I was a child, and a Pixar fan/admirer since "Toy Story," but this really cemented the deal for me. I was amazed by their ability to breathe characters to life to such a degree. These guys were obviously passionate about what they were doing--telling positive, character-driven stories. That this was a labor of love for them was evident on every frame. I wanted to be a part of that.

I was determined to find a way to get into the animation industry. Scouring the internet I stumbled across Animation Mentor. Suddenly the idea of becoming an animator didn't sound that far-fetched. 

It was clear that if I was serious about becoming an animator I would need to start drawing again. It was something I could focus on in my spare time while I worked to save the money to go back to school.

I hadn't drawn in 20 years, so to say that I was rusty would be a ridiculous understatement. Seeing those first crude attempts was a painful experience. It was very discouraging.

Walt Stanchfield's Drawn To Life books (which were recommended to me by AM) were my saving grace. I immediately took Walt's battle cry to heart: "Don't be afraid to make a mistake. We all have 10,000 bad drawings in us so the sooner you get them out the better!"

For anyone interested in animation or just drawing in general I can't recommend Walt's books enough. His lectures are filled with nuggets of wisdom and are incredibly inspiring. They literally helped me see the world around me in a new way.

I consider Walt Stanchfield my very first animation mentor. I'll be forever grateful to him and the AM school for helping me rediscover my joy of drawing, which I thought I'd lost long ago.

These are the greatest hits from those initial sketchbooks, done back in August 2009 thru September 2010. Unfortunately a few of the images are a little distorted. Hopefully I'll be able to iron out that technical kink in future postings. :) 

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