Saturday, April 2, 2011

Now I know Why I needed an External Conscience...

This past Tuesday I experienced a sudden epiphany of epic proportions.

I conjured up a conscience. A real one that can yank on my ear, chastise me for being an idiot, and engage in highly productive think-conversations that last well into the night. It's really not pulling any punches, either, and told me that if I want to get out of this rut and out of this ghetto I am going to have to draw at least once a day, every day to get back in the animation world where I belong.

In the meantime, I've gained some cash working for my dad. If any of you have ever read a Berenstain Bears book called "The Bicycle Lesson," you may recall the phrase "Now son, this is what you should not let this be a lesson to you!" If not, it's a really, really easy read. I suggest taking a minute to drop by your local library and read it cover-to-cover in under two minutes.

Anyway, my dad runs his business the way Papa Q. Bear rides a bike. Here are a few tips I picked up so far...

1) Don't hire someone just because you were friends with them in high school, because you thought their nationality was cool, or because they can't get a job elsewhere, especially if someone better qualified applies for a position at your company.

2) Keep your work area neat and tidy, especially in places where outsiders are going to be walking around often.

3) Going along with #1, when you're in charge of a bunch of people, take the time to evaluate the skills they do have and use those skills to your advantage. For instance, if you have an AutoCAD junkie hanging around and your company requires the use of AutoCAD, get them doing some of that, and not secretarial work. Same applies to having most animators do math. It doesn't work.

4) Never underestimate the value of a good morale-boost.

5) If you've been waiting ten years for your big break and you wind up getting it, do as much of the work as you can manage yourself. Especially if you've hired unqualified people and aren't at least maximizing the use of the skills they already have.

Here's today's picture. Excuse me while my new conscience harps on me about needing to get in some real observational drawing if my portfolio's going to be up to scratch at all.

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