Thursday, May 13, 2010

The come down is a bitch



The crash at the end of long creative projects is apparently very common. Someone once told me that there is a course in dealing with it for actors. I wonder if I could find it and sign up.

With a quiet studio and empty desks, after so much creativity, I feel isolated. Empty.

Something happens when you move up the chain in animation (and probably any creative business). When you get to a certain level, where you're calling the shots, you can inspire others, you can get people to go along with your vision (however misguided), you can have a whole team of people willing to help you, wanting to help you...

And yet, as that happens, a gap forms between you and them.

An isolation.


As much as this business depends on being part of a team, the old expression of it being lonely at the top is true. Worse, if you're not at the top but at least in the upper part, you have the loneliness without the security of being overlord of all you survey. You're just overlord of a few little things.

Overlord for a brief period. But the isolation lasts longer and hits so much harder when the project is over. At that point, you no longer have a team of people around you willing to help. They're now just colleagues, distanced by some change in dynamic.

I'm in a void right now.

8 comments:

Brian Sibley said...

Hope the void fills up soon...

Andy J. Latham said...

I've yet to experience this kind of thing as I'm still at the lowly junior stage and our projects tend to overlap somewhat, but I'm sure what you're going through is tough. I hope it doesn't last long. Are there more projects lined up for you to get your teeth into?

Red Pill Junkie said...

I kind of felt the same this one single time when my boss threw a party to inaugurate a building I helped design. The sensation that you could have done better if you had *just* been given a little more time.... a little more of resources...

Cheer up, drink a bottle of champagne and enjoy a nice holiday to recharge batteries, mate :)

Bitter Animator said...

Unfortunately no, Andy. No other project. I think that's a big part of the void.

Luckily (simply in terms of paying bills - which is important right now) there is another project I'm helping with but I won't be directly involved. I'm more running quality control and making sure systems I set up don't fall apart under someone else but, truth is, it's a bit cack.

In terms of a new project for me, anything I have bubbling is a long, long way off and it's a tough time to get things moving.

I almost feel like I should do something different... I think I just need a holiday.

Andy J. Latham said...

Maybe take some time out like you say, but maybe also try to exercise yourself creatively in a way you enjoy. Ever keep a sketchbook?

David said...

I'm a fan of self-directed small projects, preferably done half-arsed (without worrying too much about "quality"), which are finished up in a short time and bestow a little feeling of accomplishment.

Red Pill Junkie said...

"Ever keep a sketchbook?"

Great idea! You guys saw the 'making of' video of Up? How the Pixar crew went to these incredible place right in the middle of Venezuela to do watercolor sketches that could serve as inspiration for the movie? Wasn't that totally cool?

...Of course, they had he $$ to charter an helicopter, you would have to go rely on your two feet, amigo ;)

Bitter Animator said...

Yes, I use a sketchbook but, actually, what I haven't done in years is sketch stuff for no other reason than the drawing itself. I'm always working up some designs for some idea or whatever. Never just sketching.

I should do that.