Not so long ago, a friend of mine asked how he can motivate himself to keep his new career fresh and interesting. He went to great lengths to finally get his diploma in film and animation. Even though the CG field is very competitive, the idea of motivation is the same no matter what industry you want to get into.
I spoke to someone I know working in the film and game animation industry and she told me that if she waited around for inspiration to come to her, she would still be waiting. She would never have left her desk at home and enrolled in a highly regarded animation school in her hometown. She graduated about 10 years ago so she has some words of wisdom to impart to people who are following in her footsteps.
The first piece of advice she gave me was that no matter what, getting enough sleep is paramount to keeping herself motivated. It goes without saying that sleep replenishes your body but exactly how much you need; only you will know that. Keep in mind that a lot of our time these days is spent on things like social media so if your excuse is that you don’t have enough time; cut your social media activity at night.
To help you stay motivated, physical activity is another important factor. It can be walking, running, the gym, swimming or any other activity that gets you away from your normal routine. Personally I find an exercise like swimming best for me as it keeps my brain occupied. If I walk, I have a chance to think about all the stuff I haven’t done so my brain can’t unwind. Whatever works for you is the key.
The CG industry is a highly competitive one so staying updated on what’s the latest in the industry is crucial. It changes fast and every day as there are always new artists pushing the boundaries of what software can do. She suggests find CG related groups in your area or on social platforms like Facebook. You can learn a lot about 3D modeling, the latest in digital art, 3D visualization, demo reels, new works, VXF breakdowns and more related stuff. Ask as many questions as you need to in such forums as many leading experts in the field frequent these groups.
One piece of advice that I can pass on here is at the end of every day, make a list of 3 things that you are grateful for. This could be anything that made you smile, happy, laugh or just feel good. This really has nothing to do with cg animation, but it goes a long way to help you with motivation and positive thinking. If you are thinking positively, your motivation level automatically goes up.
In a highly competitive industry like the CG animation game, staying on top of your game is very important. The best way to stay on top is to be highly motivated. By following the advice of someone who has come before you and is successful, you should never have a long period where your motivation level is low.