Monday, November 28, 2005

1% Inspiration

... I wasn't one of those "shopping fools" that made the news this past weekend.
No, I wasn't standing in line in front of Walmart, Best Buy, Circuit City, or
CompUSA at 5 o'clock in the morning on Friday. My credit card stayed in my wallet. I let other people fuel the national economy and rack up even more consumer debt. In mid December, when the credit card bills and the utility bill arrive in the mailbox on the same day, I won't be the one sweating.
... my intent was to slip quietly and peacefully through this holiday weekend. I
planned on nothing more than working my regularly scheduled shifts, an "after work"
beer, and returning to the comfort of my cozy little apartment. This may sound a
little boring but something came out of it - something incredible, actually.
... I was relaxing in the livingroom with a CD playing softly in the background, my feet propped up on the coffee table. Grabbing a book that I bought last month at Borders, The Animator's Survival Kit,I started to study, reviewing the chapters I already finished, and moving on to fresh subject matter, until I grew a little sleepy. I put my head back and closed my eyes and that's when the incredible magic happened. A white screen appeared in my "mind's eye" and a simple line drawing "character" faded in. The character began to dance on that screen, making repetitive moves and gestures with his head, body, arms, and legs, in sync with the music I was listening to. I opened my eyes again, grabbed a sketchbook and a pencil, and quickly recorded what I had just visualized on a page of the sketchbook. In a matter of about 5 minutes, I had 6 sketches that will evolve into key frames for a cartoon that's been in my mind for a while now. It was another "Aha!" moment where ones subconcious and concious mind meet and produce.
... I believe it was Thomas Edison that said, "Invention is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration." I experienced the 1% inspiration in that sleepy vision and am now in the process of doing the actual hard work required to produce the physical cartoon. When I am done, I promise to post it here.