This is part of my story. It's probably part of yours as well.
I work hard, long hours to make the best motion graphics I can. But they fall short of what I see in my head (and let's be real... they fall short of what I see on Vimeo Staff Picks).
I'm very familiar with Ira Glass' inspiring speech about putting in the hours to close the gap between your skills and your taste (here's a link to it if you haven’t seen it). I have head knowledge of this concept. You probably do too.
Yet we both still complain, "But seriously, can't I be there already?"
The answer is no.
Let's say we accept that as truth. We can’t microwave our motion design skills. We have to use a slow cooker for a long time. How do we deal with it?
- Hard work
Gratitude is a great muscle to exercise.
I call it a muscle because the more you intentionally practice gratitude, the easier it comes to do it again. You really can't overdo it here.
It's been shown that if you write down three things you are grateful for at the end of each day, your brain basically gets rewired to look for positive things in your life.
With that kind of positive-seeking mindset, focused on gratitude, you will have a perspective that sees your motion design work as pretty awesome. You'll see how privileged you are to be able to create art and share it with the world.
Ok, so that's key numero uno. Let's move on to number two.
While gratitude helps with your self deprecating attitude, you still want to get better at motion design. This is where putting in the time and grinding on your projects harder than before will push you to the next level.
If you don't have a job where you get to create motion design work, create your own personal projects. Replace some tv or Facebook time with motion design. I guarantee you won't regret it.
Working hard is, well, hard. I run into problems all the time that feel like they are impossible to solve. But when my mind is in a state of looking for the positive, I'm less likely to quit. I seek help through Google, Twitter, forums, etc. It can be super frustrating, but if you really want to become great, you have to push past little hurdles. The difference between me and "the greats" is that they've overcome more obstacles than I have. They've put in those frustrating hours.
Speaking of frustrating motion design problems, if and when you come across your own, shoot me an email! I would love to help. Seriously. Reply to any newsletter or go to my contact me page.
The greats don't have a set formula they follow that's super easy and without frustrations. The greats embrace the struggle as part of the process.
Hard work and struggle lead us to...
When you start running or working out, you can't expect a six pack by the second week. The same goes with motion design.
In a digital world where everything is instant, we need to be reminded that building a skill takes a lot of time.
Be grateful that you even have the opportunity to create motion design work. Put in the hard work to gradually get better and better. And be patient.
This is not an easy formula, but it's the best one I know.
Enough pep talk...
Go make something move!