Monday, December 23, 2013

My diploma from Animation Mentor

Well, it's official. I'm now a graduate of Animation Mentor. Woo-hooo!

Congratulations to my fellow classmates--you've been an amazing source of inspiration. A special thanks to my mentors--Elliott Roberts, Jay Davis, Mike Gasaway, Jon Collins, and Jason Taylor. Y'all are pure awesome! I feel fortunate to be part of such a generous, talented community. Thanks also to my family and friends for all their love and support. Couldn't have done it without you guys. Major gratitude to all!

Many moons ago, back when I was first entertaining the crazy idea of going back to school, I remember sending an e-mail to my friends Mike, Charles, and Maurice, seeking their advice. I printed and saved their responses for future reference--their words of encouragement especially helpful during those moments of sheer panic when I was deep in the trenches at school feeling way over my head.

Diving into the unknown is always a scary proposition. But the questions Charles asked me really helped put things into focus:

"The life expectancy for the average American male is 75 years. You're now 42. It's quite likely you will be around another 33 years at least. How will you spend that time? 33 of the most well informed, wise and well disciplined years of your life?

"When you speak of financial concerns or concerns about your age or aptitude how much of that is fear talking? When you have made decisions in the past based on fear or a lack of belief in your abilities, how did that work out?

"When you are dying what's most likely the thing that would trouble you? Are you the sort that would lay there and think, 'I wish I would've pursued a career in animation.' Or, 'I wish I hadn't spent that money going back to school, I could have saved that money and accumulated more stuff.'

"What is the absolute worst thing that could happen?

"What is the best possible thing that could happen?

"Is education ever a waste?

"Why do you want to do this?

"What do you hope to achieve by becoming an animator?

"What do you hope to get out of it?"

Clearly, after some serious soul searching there was nothing to be done but take the plunge. I'm so glad I did! It's been an incredible journey so far. And I feel it's only just beginning. Onward to new adventures!