Saturday, December 22, 2012

Halfway thru Senior Year now!

Let me dust off this blog!

I've gone thru an entire semester (and summer) without touching this thing! And to be honest, I have  actually been hesitant. I had been battling with fears and anxieties over expectations I had set for myself. 

Summer was a great experience. I was able to intern at a 3D studio, where I worked on particle effects, texturing, modeling, and a little bit of rigging. I confirmed to myself that working in a studio with other talented artist for 8+ hours a day, and sometimes weekends, was something that I could do for a living. The troubleshooting, the learning, the creating, and most importantly the finishing was all very enjoyable.

Everyone, at Ringling, knows that senior year is the summary and pretty much the embodiment of what you are capable of. I kinda psyched myself out too much by thinking about it a lot. I felt that my pre production work ended in a weak place, so I tried to dedicate as much time as I could over the summer to improve it. It was not easy, and I didn't feel proud of what little I had done by the time school started. But to my surprise, what little I did make helped ALOT during the semester. I didn't see it then, but the work I thought was insignificant to the whole picture, became a big part.

As the Fall semester ended, I finally felt happy and proud of what I had accomplished. I experienced the wonderful phenomenon of learning something about ME. I was surprised at how fast I was able to iterate my critiques, how I was able to handle my stress better, and how quickly I learned new techniques in the short span of time we had.

The semester almost began horribly after I was struck by a car during my walk across the crosswalk. Thank God for watching over me, I was able to come out of it alive and only partly injured. Still healing to this day, but the doctors say everything seems to be healing up alright.

I was able to continue my studies, impress my teachers with keeping up and having progress to show, and pass the semester with good grades in all my classes. It was a lot of work, and a lot more coffee than I was used to drinking, but I made it.

I thought everything was pretty good at the end of the semester…

But then I watched, "Rise of the Guardians". 

That movie has affected me on levels I haven't felt since…. I can't even remember when was the last time. It had combined my love for storytelling, beautiful aesthetics, and impressive animation! I can see it in my head now, the acting on the characters' face. How descriptive! It was strong, clear, and subtle…. I write this, shaking my head in admiration, as if a deaf man had heard an angel sing.  I think you get how impressed I was.

My reason for going into this field of 3D art was recalled and made clear. The story was always important. I forgot that. This feeling I am experiencing. This is it. This is what I want to give to people. It's so easy to lose sight of the essence of the your goal. You can draw a picture and finish it. But did you remember why you were drawing that picture, who were you drawing it for, and what part of yourself did you put into making that picture? A robot can draw a picture. But humans are capable of so much more!

I had been sooo focused on getting that technique down, developing the look of my thesis, meeting that deadline, and freaking myself out, that I forgot 'the thing' that made art what it was for me. Now, my ideal art isn't just about story.…

………..I must warn you: Cheesy words ahead! And for some reason its written in 3rd person to myself: It is about the love and care you put into every bit of your work. It is about the experiences you have had and how you crafted that memory into your work. It is an appreciation of what you have observed and how you are recreating it. As for the 3D part of it: It is the medium that you have chosen to make your thoughts more tangible and visually there to share. It is that story... That artificial moment that you want others to experience. It is the tool of an artist, storyteller, and of a viewer for a form of entertainment that you want others to enjoy.

I'm feeling very inspired, emotional, and excited right now. 

I thank Dreamworks Animation, Mr. William Joyce, and the Rise of the Guardians team for creating a movie that rekindled in me the inspiration I didn't realize I lost until now.

I thank God for letting me experience this feeling when I have matured as an artist and as a person. For letting me realize this before I had graduated and probably gone my way with only a surface level understanding of why I subjected myself to 5 years of college education. Who knows what kind of person I would have been. Bitter? Unsure? Scared? It's not to say that I won't experience those feelings anyway, but atleast now I have a true goal. A goal that will guide me no matter where I am to the thing that will make me the happiest. And for helping me survive that hit and run car attack! (lol)

I will stop here, because at this rate, I could probably right a tiny book about how I feel. But there are drawings to make, experiences to be had, and story I need to tell.

- Esther Love