Oct 3

Indulgences

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Creative people are everywhere. In today’s world, it’s often an essential quality, no matter what business you’re in. And creative people are rarely, if ever, creative in one field only. You’ll find painters are also musicians, writers are performers, animators are sculptors and so on. Often those who seem to have most creative potential have, and need, the most outlets for their creativity.

This is a problem.

It’s a problem because, to be great what you do, you have to work at it, learn, improve, refine. You need focus. The vision and drive to just keep doing one thing until you’ve cracked it.

That focus isn’t easy. For a start, it assumes you know exactly where you’re going (many of us don’t and, for a long time, I certainly had no clue). And it requires you resist some of those urges pulling you in different creative directions. The good news is that focus breeds more focus but I find it a good idea to ask some questions on a pretty regular basis.

If I could only achieve one aim, and no more, what would it be?

And then, every time I’m working on something:

Is this working towards my goal? Or pulling me away from it?

If it’s the latter, STOP! Recognise it for what it is ‘ an indulgence. A sign you’re not focusing. Something that won’t bring you to where you want to go. Would that time be better spent doing something that will contribute directly to your aim?

BUT! But, but, but, but…

At times, there’s nothing wrong with those indulgences, to keep ourselves open and fulfilled. Those creative outlets allow us to let ourselves go, just have fun. Do things just for ourselves. And it does happen that one of those indulgences leads to a happy accident, something that points us in a new direction or brings something we can pull back towards our real aim. It happens. But, until it does, be honest about what they are ‘ indulgences. And prioritise them as such. Recognise them for what they are and, if you still choose to pursue them, make that an active choice. This is my playtime.

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Most people who happen upon this little site will know what my aim is. But below, you’ll find just a few of my indulgences. Those things I do just for fun. Mostly, just for me.


There you have it. Just a few of my indulgences. Add video games, gadgets and a serious amount of music-listening and that about completes the list. So what are your indulgences? And if you had to choose just one aim, letting go of everything else, what would it be?

3 thoughts on “Indulgences

  1. Andy Latham

    Hmmm, I wonder what mine are? Being an animator is the aim of course. I’m ashamed to say that I’m much less creative than yourself though. My urge to create pretty much exclusively gets channeled into animation (and drawing with a view to animation). I have other creative interests such as photography, but rarely do I indulge myself in them. Years ago before I went down the animation route, I would try to write songs or stories, but that has stopped entirely now.

    No, pretty much every creative thought that I have (and there are a lot of them) is totally geared to animation. I can’t imagine realising them in any other form.

    That’s a bit odd isn’t it?

    Reply
  2. Jay Post author

    Perhaps it’s that you’ve mastered focus better than most of us, Andy. You had those other outlets so it’s not like those urges weren’t there but you saw a clear goal and now you work toward achieving that aim. So, when it comes to those questions I ask, your answers are clear and firm and, now, you may not even have to think about the answers.

    You have focus and you see things through. That is a very, very good thing.

    Reply
  3. Andy Latham

    Well I don’t know about the “seeing things through” bit as I usually overcomplicate everything so the end is always a long way away!! :P

    I admire the likes of yourself who find alternate creative outlets though as I think it’s important to broaden horizons. I think you learn lots from them that you can then apply to your main creative endeavours. I’m convinced that there isn’t an art form on the planet that you can’t learn something important about animation from.

    Reply

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