©2017 BY STEPHAN VALEROS  |  Los Angeles, CA

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How to Start in Animation ft. Batman

May 1, 2017

Step # 1: Put pencil to paper (if only it were that easy)

 

A letter to my fellow aspiring animators:

 

You excited?!  Today is absolutely the most exciting time for any aspiring artist.

 

Don’t get me wrong: this isn’t some “fake it until you make it” type of post to get you to “follow your dreams.”  In fact, I’m fully aware of how the industry is getting oversaturated, how jobs keep getting outsourced, and how there are new stories of layoffs every month.  ‘Lest we forget, just next month you’ll be competing with thousands of other graduating students scrambling to erase their thousands of dollars of debt!

 

Maybe you’re going the independent YouTube route and fear how the system is actively working against you?

 

...sure sounds intimidating.  But that’s okay!  Heck, I've braved fears through my fair share of failures and still count on many more to come. Fear doesn't have to work against you.  In fact: don’t you know who wields fear as a weapon?

 

That's right: we have something in common with the goddamn batman.

 

So like our caped crusader - who chose a life against crime to prevent any tragedy like his own - it starts with intent.  

 

It starts with why we put our pencils to the paper and it starts with why we’d grit our teeth through cup noodles at 3 AM.

 

It's similar to how the intent of a scene motivates how you’d direct specific elements.  So let’s plot points from where we want to be - grounded in gratitude of where we are - then get into the motions of everything “inbetween”.  That’ s how Animation works!

A visual representation of your process in progress.

 

This is our starting point because - by affirming our unequivocal intent our work gets a solid point of reference.  

 

For one, we can objectively gauge which choices have best served our improvement from that point.  On the other hand, should we deviate or experience failure we have a strong reference to fall back on.  Suddenly our self-awareness as an artist has leveled up; we are priming behaviors to best align with the actions of someone who actualizes our initial intent.

 

Forgetting your intent is an easy way to suffer artist block...and that would make Batman sad.

 

(Please don’t make Batman sad.)

 

For me: the intent comes from the love of storytelling.  Animation can illustrate imaginative imagery to tell narratives which disarm any pretense of reality, connecting deeper truths to a larger audience.

 

Thus, I'm priming my efforts to master the craft as a Story Artist to become a Showrunner.

 

Now I don’t pretend to be an authority on anything, but what I do have is years of experience working with MCNs.  I’ve helped brands reach millions of new subscribers and our teams grew to earn billions of views.  Additionally, I obsess over noting the habits and behaviors shared by high-performing artists and entrepreneurs alike.  

 

In this digital age, nothing is more valuable to an artist than mastering your productivity to connect to a growing audience.  So now I'll obsess over how to bring that value to you.  

 

Because above all - my intent is to contribute something valuable to my fellow hungry artists.

 

If anything, you can have fun watching me stumble on the way up, haha.

 

Thus, In the coming posts I’d like to explore topics such as:

Productivity Habits You Can Practice Today

How to Make better To-Do lists as an Artist

How to Stand Out as an Artist in a World of Noise

The Best Role-Models for Animators in Today’s Industry

 

...and then some!  I’ll stake my life as an experimental practitioner for our dreams.

 

There are so many new opportunities in today’s Digital Revolution that I’d like to bring to your attention.  After all: even if Disney shuts down tomorrow, we’d still find a way to tell stories.

 

And that’s exciting!  So I start today.

 

Whether you want to be a Story Artist, do CGI on the next Justice League, or tell poop jokes on YouTube - remember your intent - because we start today.  

 

 

Let’s go make Batman proud.

Let me know how you’ve started today, my friends!

 

Your Artist-in-Arms,

Stephan





 

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