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What You Know And What You Don’t

We had a meeting of the Board of Directors of Animation Resources last weekend, and an interesting comment came up… Someone observed that the material we share in our Reference Packs isn’t necessarily the sort of educational material a student might know he or she needs… It’s the sort of material that they don’t know they need, but they really do. Discovering important resources you didn’t know existed is more important and exciting than mining the small pool of things you already know about.

I sometimes have people come in to use our library who are only interested in “the usual suspects”… Chuck Jones, Freddie Moore, Mary Blair, etc. Those artists are all great and worthy of study, but they are just the first step of discovery. If you want to travel to places the art form hasn’t gone before, you have to expand your frame of reference to be able to envision the limitless possibilities that exist in animation. That means taking an interdisciplinary approach… not just studying animators, but studying creators in all fields… music, art, dance, performance, design.

There is no school on Earth that teaches how to think like an artist, even though it’s a subject that really should be taught. In order to think creatively, a student needs to open their world up and seek out knowledge and life experiences they haven’t experienced yet. Then they can incorporate that into their own process of creation to make things that don’t look just like the things everyone else are making. CREATIVE THINKING is the ultimate destination all students should be aiming for, and that takes a wide view of creativity.

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