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Many times animation, and art in general, can feel tedious. When you’re working on a single scene or clip for weeks at a time, it isn’t hard to become tired of the same old same old. The key becomes understanding WHY you’re feeling that way, and one of the reasons may be a simple lack of challenge.

As artists we can fall into the trap of finding a particular groove that works for us (and earns us praise from friends, co-workers, or directors) and then snuggling down into that groove and refusing to leave. After all, if it’s not broke, why fix it, right?

The difficulty with this trap is that we can become bored and begin “going through the motions.” We can begin to fall back on boring cliches time and again. Things become formulaic. Life, from which animation draws its cues, is never formulaic!

A simple way to break out of this habit is to find a way to challenge yourself. It may mean doing a short clip on your own, just a few seconds long, which really stretches your animating muscles. Something that can snap you out of “the motions” and propel you into deeper and richer animation waters. Try it out! And remember: if it’s easy then you aren’t being challenged. It should BE hard to do, that’s what makes it a challenge!

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