I am in the process of redoing a personal project that I never finished.
I know you have one or maybe a hundred of unfinished projects as well. If you don't and you've finished every personal project you've started, please tell me your secret.
I did a Twitter poll, and one person said they finish all of their personal projects. Until they show their face, I can't really believe it ;)
This really short film was started in my first Mograph Mentor class. Here are the first 17 seconds (the only part I completed).
What happened was I bit off more than I could chew, both for the timeframe and for my abilities. What I was able to get done was exciting, just very incomplete.
The brutal truth is that I wanted to quit Every. Single. Time. I sat down to work on it.
Why was it so frustrating?
As it turns out, hand drawn quadruped walk cycle is not the best decision when you haven't really done frame by frame drawing animation and you've never done a walk cycle. I didn't realize it, but I was jumping off the diving board into the deep end having only ever observed from the kiddy pool.
That may be a funny attempt at a metaphor, but I think it's fairly accurate.
This ultimately led to something you may be familiar with; an unfinished project that you're at least half way pleased with what you did, but no desire to work on it. Ever. Again.
Not all personal projects need to be buried.
It's never really satisfying to throw the final shovel full of dirt on the casket of your once exciting project. You don't have to do it.
In fact, Kelli Anderson says you should finish what you start. She said that she feels like quitting half way through pretty much every project she starts. But finishing is the only way to get better. We fail when we quit. And we should never set out for perfection.
Don't set out for perfection
This one is hard for me. And I suspect it is for you too.
You have that picture in your head, but you can't get it just right. You never will, so don’t stress over it.
This seems like an obvious point, but it’s a good one to hear every once in a while. You need to give yourself permission to make something that is imperfect.
I'll keep you updated
I’ll keep you posted on my personal project progress. So far, I’ve found some new design, motion and pacing references. Next I’m going to updated my storyboard from the first go ‘round. Here is the animated storyboard I did a while back (this will likely be changing a bit).
What personal projects are you working on?
I would love to know what kind of personal projects you are working on (even if they aren’t motion design).
If you ever want any feedback or advice, shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would be thrilled to help out.
OK. Enough chit chat.
Go make something move!