Our tutor explained how this type of work can be demanding and gruelling, and some students start at 9:30 in the morning, and often don't leave until 10pm (this didn't phase me one bit, in my "day job" I hold my first meeting at 7:30am, and often don't leave the office until 8pm, and often work weekends too). He went on to say that this type of job has to be more than "just doing a job" - working in 3D, has to something that you need to do.
It reminded me of the advice, from a lady called Cecily, who was on the panel of auditioners at a Drama School in London. She would ask the auditionees why they wanted to be actors, but there was only one response that she regarded as "the right one": "I don't want to act, I have to act".
When I was little, at Infant school, I distinctly remember having to draw a picture of the job we want to do when we grow up. I wanted to be a Clown (...don't ask). Then shortly after, when I went to Junior school, I decided I wanted to be an Animator. I was obsessed with cartoons, drawing, painting, anything art related. I became an avid viewer of Rolf's Cartoon Club and shows like Art Attack.
Growing up, Jim Davis, the creator of Garfield, was my hero - I would draw pictures of Garfield all day long. I would be given Garfield books as gifts, and I would paw over each page. It was from my love of Garfield and watching my recordings of Garfield and Friends, that I knew that I wanted to make cartoons. I wanted to become an Animator. I was given stacks and stacks of books on Animation. Everyone at school thought I was bonkers and didn't understand why I didn't want a "proper job".
As I got older, I got completely distracted by drama and theatre. I still kept my art up, but all aspirations to animate disappeared. Theatre was my life. At university, I didn't want to give up on art completely, so did a combined degree in Theatre with Art. When leaving uni, I worked on some shows, and sold my art, whilst working in the family business for a day job.
I held my own art shows, and worked on 3 professional theatre productions (2 in the West End)...I am lucky enough to say I achieved 3 of my dreams in one job (long story, for another post, probably). After that, I began to think "...What now?"
I love Disney, but had never been to Disneyland. My partner is also a massive fan and had been to the parks many times. In 2010, I booked us a long weekend, Disneyland Paris, for a birthday treat. It wasn't until we went through the Animation zone (the big blue Mickey Fantasia hat), that all my memories and affections for animation came back. Then we sat at the little Mickey Animation desks (you know the kind, with a big square, backlit section to trace through) and a guy taught us how to draw Winnie the Pooh. Then, at that moment, drawing on the desk, I knew it was what I had to go for my earliest childhood dream.
I don't want to Animate, I have to Animate.