Insights: Animation Procrastination and Fear
Below are insightful posts from Digital Media FX forum posters
on the subject of animation procrastination and fears. Some posts
have been edited for length or spelling and grammar.
Gordg on May 24, 2001:
This is my theory:
is only a symptom ... "fear of failure" is the disease,
and it's often accompanied by bouts of "perfectionism".
is a simple one if we don't finish, we can't fail.
be an easy ailment to cure, if we weren't such clever, creative
people. But because we are, we have an amazing ability to fabricate
plausible excuses and endless diversions, while denying our fear.
It works like
supports our inertia, while at the same time strokes our egos.
By constantly seeking better stories, images, characters etc.
we are effectively preventing people from judging us ... and as
a bonus, it forever hints at our potential greatness. If someone
is brash enough to tell us "You never finish anything,"
we dismiss them as being ignorant of the complexities of the process.
This also hints at our greatness and continues our denial.
If our project
is completed, we fear it may not be as great as our potential
suggested it should be. This would expose us as charlatans, and
banish us forever to live among the gray undifferentiated masses.
(a loss of our sense of uniqueness). Or more pragmatically speaking
... we wouldn't get a job (which would ultimately reflect on our
sense of self worth).
And all of
this happens subconsciously.
procrastination for what it is ... fear of failure.
perfection ... it doesn't exist and it's only a distraction.
remember the three rules to getting started... location, location,
location. So pick up a pencil (or start your computer), put your
rear in the chair, and start doing something ... anything.
It doesn't matter - what's important is the doing.
theory ... unfortunately I've never got around to trying it out.
Post by Gordg on May 25, 2001:
I didn't mean to suggest my solution is a "get tough"
approach. I really think it's the opposite. We need to ease up
We need to
look past the procrastination, and address our fear. The fear
to fail. Why do we carry this albatross around?
We need to
give ourselves permission to fail. Failure is a natural part of
learning. We need to embrace failure and imperfection. In fact
we should laugh and celebrate our mistakes, because they're a
vital part of our shared struggle.
I think by
embracing failure we are also giving ourselves the opportunity
to play ... the freedom of movement. This is a key element in
the creative process.
I believe, if you are constantly judging the pieces, you get bogged
down in disjointed details. It's important to work holistically
... from the general to the specific. The creative process involves
lateral thinking. (deconstructing preconceived ideas, this is
often perceived as sudden insights in the form of humor -- i.e..
discovering the tunnel is only painted on.) Lateral thinking is
a form of thinking that benefits from mistakes ... unlike the
non creative form of vertical thinking that predominates our school
systems (start at "a", go to "b", then "c",
and so on) It's this system that is closed and judgmental. The
creative process has to be open and accepting of new ideas (and
that means opening yourself up to possible failure).
by Max on May 25, 2001:
Gordg, the message of your last post can't be emphasized enough,
for both beginners and vets alike. I remember when we started
training before the beginning of Spirit. We spent a couple
of weeks drawing horses at the Equestrian Center down the street
from the studio. Most people dove into it, accepting that drawing
horses well is very difficult and that we'd all make a lot of
horrible drawings. There was one big-shot lead key, however, who
made sure he was always set up behind everyone else as we were
drawing, and who always left the sessions early. He was so paranoid
that someone would see and judge his drawings. Of course the training
was mostly wasted on him.
(or rather the potential of failure), and think laterally. Words
to live by.
a printable version of this page.
to Insight into the Animation Industry.