Monday, May 28, 2012

JD Haas, Reader's Digest Style

I know what you're all thinking, and yes, it did take me long enough. Sorry for the delay in getting this posted, but since school's been out I've been in the midst of moving. Twice.

Anyways, that's not important. What is important, is that here, at long last are a some key points from the lecture JD Haas gave us a few weeks ago that I've been meaning to mention before everyone kicks it up again for summer semester.

For anyone who was at the lecture, you will all know that I could never do JD justice by trying to sum up his entire lecture (which was what...nearly four hours?) in one post. It was an amazing privilege to have such an engaging speaker who genuinely cares about what happens to us in the future. Through the course of his talk, he offered sincere, direct advice to job-seekers and current students that ranged anywhere from how to tackle our current school assignments to get the most bang for our buck, to demo reel tips for those who are on the cusp of graduation (or rather, were. Congrats, Grads!).

However, there is one thing in particular that JD mentioned that I want to emphasize to everyone. Whether your going back to school in a few weeks, or have a couple months off for the summer, make sure you take care of yourself. 

While Working:

Drink water, and drink lots of it. This is good for a few reasons! First of all, water is better for you than Sodi-Pop or Redbull or Coffee -- Duhh. I know it's easy to run to the store so you can have a bottle of pop or something by your desk, but it's even easier to get an H2Go or other reusable bottle and just go to the water fountain! Plus, then you're saving money, and for students, that's generally a big deal.

Additionally, drinking a lot of water will make you have to pee a lot! This is not only good for your body, but it forces you to take a break from work for a while. It's easy to get caught up in your work and it's hard to drag yourself away once you're in that proverbial 'zone', but neither your body nor mind can accept that much at once. Physically, it's super unnatural for us, as humans, to sit behind a desk and type/click/use a tablet/draw for hours on end every day. Carpal Tunnel, Tendonitis and other Repetitive Stress Injuries (RSI's) are a serious threat to your livelihood as an animator. Don't worry, there are preventative measures you can take - proper posture, stretching and hey, go figure, taking breaks! So drink water.

Mentally -- and we've all been there -- it's too easy to get too close to your work. Taking that potty break from time to time, or just taking the initiative to get up and walk around for a few minutes will allow you to clear your head, think about other things for a bit, then come back to your animation with a fresher pair of eyes. Thus, drinking water can also help your animation look better in the end! What a wonderful beverage.

Make sure you stay healthy. It's funny, but as an animator, one of the hardest things to do isn't even work related! We spend too much time on the computer a day to be lazy, so make sure you're active. Go to the gym, go for a jog, join a team for whatever sport you think you might like, just don't sit around. We may not be professional athletes, but if our bodies stop working, we're just as out of a job as they would be, and don't forget it!

In Your Leisure Time:

Have a life. Jim Brown mentioned this too, but it is so important to have a life outside of animation. For your sanity, but also for your work.

If you can't help but relate everything in the world to animation -- life is beautiful reference. If you never experience anything, do you really think you will know how to animate it?

Work can be stressful. Especially on those days you're forced to ditch a shot you put your heart and soul into (As Mandy might say, the day you have to "kill your babies"). It's important to give yourself that time to let it all go. Go for a walk, see people you love, do something, anything, but make sure you clear your mind and just...let it all go. Clear your mind, and you'll stay fresh and be ready to come into work every day when others are dragging their feet.

"You live and you work, but your work should not be your life"
--JD Haas

For those who were interested in JD's classes via Spungella or any of his personal endeavors, everything JD can be found via!

I certainly hope everyone enjoyed the lecture and are currently enjoying their first week or so of summer! I probably won't be posting much over the next few months as I will be out of the city for a while, but I hope everyone has a great time chillin' with Mandy and Mendel for Tea Time's summer installment. Keep an eye on here and the Facebook for more details.

In the meantime, play safe, stay healthy and I can't wait to see everyone (and possibly some new faces) in the fall.

1 comment:

  1. Your thing is shows latent, m gona add this to my bookmarks.