The (Six) Incredibles

7:47 AM

This weekend I got a chance to visit Pixar Studios.
It was a random connection thanks to a friend of a friend, and I jumped at the chance to tour the birthplace of such beloved characters and movies. When I was a kid, I wanted to be an animator. I would wave at the Disney animation studios every time I passed it on the freeway, hoping it would someday be my home. I wanted to be a part of the process, a part of making animated characters come to life. The little 8-year-old kid inside me was dying to see Pixar Studios, to gain anything I could from it. It ended up feeling very "Ghost of Christmas Past" or something, like this is where I could have been if I had "kept at it" instead of giving up the dream. I blame it on Bill Peet...he's a children's book author and he worked as a Disney animator for a while - I read his autobiography as a teenager and he wrote about how much he hated animating because you have to draw the same thing over and over again...and that was it. He'd talked me out of it. That was the day I stopped dreaming of being an animator.

But there's still so much I could have done if I'd wanted to work for Disney or Pixar...the guy that we were visiting works on backgrounds (like the set design of animated movies) and there are storyboard artists and model designers and art directors and it all was just so fascinating to hear about. I can't say I regret where I'm at in life, but I also can't help but wonder what it would have been like if I'd really pursued art, full speed, not looking back. I think I could have made it. Maybe I could be working at Pixar right now!

But then I wouldn't have a new green office with a fireplace. And I wouldn't have coworkers as wonderful as mine. I wouldn't live in the mountains. And funny enough, I think I'd always be wondering what would have happened if I'd really pursued working at my favorite summer camp. "I think I could have made it there," I'd say. I'd go back to my animating, quietly dreaming of squirrels and snow and cabins and wondering what could have been.

So today I figured I'd be an honorary Pixar character. The Incredibles is my favorite Pixar movie, and now they've adopted me as one of their own (to clarify, I didn't draw all these guys - I just Photoshopped an Annie character from pieces of the others, kind of like how God made Eve with Adam's rib.) Hopefully I'll get back to some true sketching tomorrow. I've been missing it.

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  1. Wow, very touching and inspiring. I'm 21 and I too have been discouraged at pursuing animation, but mainly because I haven't practiced in a long time and feel as if I may not be good enough. But I absolutely love Pixar and would dream of working inside that creative atmosphere. Do you have any advice, do you think it may be too late to start going to school for animation/art and do you feel like there are many jobs for those that pursue art?


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