I've sort of had an epiphany of sorts over the break. I'm going to be graduating in the fall and I really, honestly, have nothing to show for it. That may be me being hard on myself, because if you were to look in my hard drive you would see animations that are on their way to being polished, but they just sit there because I feel like it would be more work to go back and try to fix what I've learned from doing them rather than just starting over.
So that's what I'm doing. Not all the way, but in a sense.
I'm in a couple classes (the other two are required general education classes), that if I try really hard to get the most out of them it will, without a doubt, push me along to a budding animator.
During the break before this term started I read a couple articles on non-verbal body language, and I'm half-way through an actual book on that subject right now. I'm definitely seeing the opportunity to use some of this knowledge in my acting choices for future characters.
I've also acquired my own copy of the Animator's Survival Guide Book! Finally, geez. I'm a hundred pages into that and I just received it yesterday. My goal is to finish it this term, along with that body language book.
Why? Not only because reading those will give me a stronger background on which to animate upon, but also because one of the classes that I'm taking I will be doing work that should, in theory, be good enough to put on my reel.
...I just felt my nerves tense up just writing that sentence! I have such a fear of growing up and of failure with trying to make something of myself that I've let it get to me up until this point. I've let my brain create excuses along the line of 'oh, I have more time to finish this and get better. I'll get to this the next time around'. I now see that having that attitude hasn't gotten me anywhere. I've watched peers that I've gone through college with surpass me in skill... and it's a horrible feeling. And now is the time to change that.
But it's not only that; I have something else that is holding me back socially.
The thought of networking -- making conversation (small talk! aaah....) with people who I know nothing about and then KEEPING the contacts open and alive for the remainder of my career?
With my social anxiety, talking to my peers and maintaining a relationship is hard enough, let alone someone in the industry.
I'm hoping that all this will change over the course of the term. I'll be posting my progress with more regularity than what I have been, now that I am actually focusing on improving myself. I will become an active part of the 11 Second Club and read up on as many animation blogs, journals, techniques, and anything else that I can find in relation to animation in order to better myself. I cannot be the shut in that I have become, focusing on myself negatively. I've seen myself do good things without knowing anything about animation, so with this added background I should do just fine.