Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Looking Back To Forge Ahead

It's been a while since I've written anything. I've had a few ideas kicking around that I am still working on, but overall I haven't been happy enough with any of them to post them.

One reason for this is that I have been in a bit of a funk lately, from a creativity standpoint. I kind of lost my mojo, as it were, and have been working on getting it back. Writers call it writer's block, I don't know what the hell animators call it, but I have it. I can point to a few external factors that have been contributing to my overall funk, and I know they'll pass.

This week was going particularly bad, and tonight was meant to be a mindless, woo-sah, clear everything from my mind night. My wife went out with a girlfriend, I ordered pizza and watched random crap on TV. Recipe for success, right? Wrong. None of it was working.

Then I stumbled across a few things that I had written in the past that put my current funk into perspective. Some were recent, some were ancient. The recent ones reaffirmed decisions that I made last summer, and reminded me that my wife and I are in a better place.

But reading those still didn't shake my funk.

The ancient ones, however, are helping. They are Developer Diaries I wrote for IGN 11 years ago. They are poorly written, and I just sound young with my words. However, I saw something else there- A passion for what I was doing. A somewhat intelligent ability to break down my animation processes (and caffeine habits). A desire to attack any challenge head on and do the best I can. No, better than that.

There were also REALLY BAD stick figure drawings.

My point here is that we all get stuck in a rut creatively. It sucks. While we need to constantly push forward with our craft, every so often it doesn't hurt to look back to where we came from. Sometimes, that older version of you might have something to teach the current you.

Oh, and in case anyone is morbidly curious, here are the links to the Dev Diaries:



  1. Thanks for sharing this, Tim. I too have found myself in a creative funk the past few days. I'm relatively new to animation so I don't have a deep history of experience to draw from. My wife suggested that I think about why I got into animation and why I love it in the first place. Looking internally for inspiration rather and externally is what you and she are both saying.
    I think it's rad how everybody draws stick figures differently.

  2. Thanks Gareth! We all go through these funks, some last longer than others. I usually take a step back from the thing I am stuck on, but since animation is my daily job, it's hard to do that :) Looking back to why you got interested almost always re-sparks that light inside. I woke up today in a better mood than yesterday, that is for sure!