There's a difference between learning by observing and learning by doing. This post is about what I learned by doing.
1. Take Fewer Photos - Be Present
It was pretty weird to put my camera away (including iPhone). I usually take tons of photos and video everywhere I go and post to Facebook, Instagram, twitter, etc. But in the second half of 2014, slowing down on the picture taking and, instead, focusing on being in the moment increased my awareness and brought me a lot better connection with people and general happiness for myself.
See moments as opportunities to connect with people instead of being photo ops.
I'm sure I will get back to taking more photos, but chilling out on the Instagram posts really helped me gain a more balanced perspective.
2. Be the Tortoise, Not the Hare
This summer, I decided to push myself to become a better motion designer. I started taking the MoGraph Mentor class in the fall and have made the decision to show up every day and work on my skills.
An all too common pattern for creative people is to binge work on personal projects when you're inspired. And shying away from them when "you aren't feeling it."
What I found to be 10 times more productive was to make the decision to show up. Every. Day. And chug away at my projects. Creating things from nothing is a struggle.
Learn how to push through when things get really tough, and you will grow faster than you ever have before.
Here is a great video that accentuates this point.
3. Invest in Your Growth
Want to get better at something? Do yourself the favor of finding a way to get educated by someone who has done what you want to do. This could come in the form of art school, grad school, a mentor where you work, an online course, a book, etc.
I chose to give MoGraph Mentor a shot. The highest value they offer is a LOT of face time with an excellent motion designer who is working in the field (no full time professors).
The time I have spent with my mentor, Colin Hesterly, has boosted my skills, confidence and best of all given me a new way to approach my work and view the world.
I highly recommend MoGraph Mentor to any new motion designer looking to make this their career.
Write about what you are learning. It will solidify it in your mind.
Write about your views on the industry. It will put you on the path to being perceived as an expert.
Write to teach. There is no better way to learn than to teach.
Write consistently. Write when you don't feel like it.
Write. Teach. Influence.