Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Stop-Motion How-To: Failure

Sooner or later, there's a time in our life when we come across something many people consider a terrible thing. Something they think life would be better without. That thing is failure.

Personally, however, I think failure can be one of the most useful things in life and in animation. A lot of you out there may be thinking I'm absolutely nutty, that failure is what brings us down, not the opposite. And that is true, it can and will bring you down. But it can only do that if you let it.

Failure is a teacher, the best one you'll ever get in this life. But you must learn to listen to it. When you fail at something, don't go into depression because you screwed up. Instead, look for the reason behind your failure, learn from it, and avoid it in the future. Often when someone has failed, he says, "I tried and failed, so now I'm just gonna quit." You can't expect to have success the first time you start something, and you also can't expect not to fail even after you've experienced success.

Trying again is often frightening. You may have put so much effort and heart into your project the last time, only to meet the grim face of failure. But I bet if you find what you did wrong and correct it, you'll do far better the second time!

I guarantee sometime in your animation career, you'll have more than a few failures. Puppet modeling, lighting, animation - none of us succeed at these things the first time. Keep your chin up, and remember that a failure isn't something terrible. It's just a stepping stone too becoming a great animator.

The video below isn't about animation, but everything in it can be applied to our craft.


FleaCircusDirector said...

I totally agree, failure is a great way of learning. However too much can be demotivating so if you are failing lots then perhaps books or training are needed instead.

Jared said...

That's a great point director!
When failure happens you should always look for the source of it, and if you come to find out that it's lack of information and knowledge, Then you should dentally look for way to gain that knowledge!

Joe R. said...

Great post! If we keep trying we only get smarter and better. The key is to not give up. I really appreciate your encouragement.

jriggity said...

Great stuf!

nice to ge the remider....look t it positivly and move forward!!


Ed said...

Interesting post.
Failure is part of the creative process, surely. Creativity is about experimenting / trying new things. Some of the time things won't work and will be a failure. But without experimentation (and the risk of failure) it's impossible, surely, to come up with something really creative/original?
Guess we must keep encouraging each other when things don't work out, otherwise the other enemy to creativity - being demoralized - creeps in ..