Sunday, December 14, 2008

Thoughts on cartoons and life

Today, I finally got to see Random! Cartoons, which were amazing, by the way. Ten years ago, I sat on the same couch in front of the same TV watching its predecessor, Oh Yeah! Cartoons. That was one of the major turning points in my life because it was the first time that I had ever seen anything like that. It was the first time I realized that cartoons were not merely cranked out by drones in studios; they were made by "real" people. People who liked to draw, people who were funny, and people who shared the same interest in cartoons that I was beginning to have myself. And even though there was no way at the time for me to make my own cartoons, they were very inspiring to me. Many of them are among the best cartoons I have ever seen because they were fun to watch and you could tell that people had fun making them. It wasn't a job, but rather something they really enjoyed doing. That was what really turned my interest from just comics to all cartoons and animation because even though it wasn't possible at the time, I knew that I could do it someday in the future.

So it dawned on me that I'm here, ten years later, and now I actually know of some of the people who made or worked on these cartoons. Thanks to the internet, I've been able to watch a number of these shorts develop and I've even had the opportunity to know a few of the creators for several years, even before they got on board with Random! Cartoons. It's become much more personal because it's taken a step from cartoons being made by "real people" to cartoons being made by my friends, or even just people that I have followed and admired, and I'm blown away all over again. I truly am in awe. These cartoons may very well be inspiring kids in the same way that I was inspired a decade ago. I find that I'm writing this almost as if I was actually involved with these cartoons in some way, but I'm not; I'm just incredibly excited about it.

But I can't help but ask myself, why didn't I get involved? I didn't even really try. I thought about it, but what good is that? Thinking and doing are two totally different things, and I do too much of the former and not enough of the latter. It wasn't fear of rejection, I can safely say that. I would have loved to gone and just have been able to present a pitch. That would've been an awesome experience regardless of the outcome. And I had a couple friends who, unlike myself, got up off their asses and pursued it, and even though their pitches were ultimately rejected (multiple times in the case of one friend, I believe), but they were still grateful to even have the chance to go and do it. I was also only 15 or 16 at the time, but I don't think that was what really kept me from going for it.

Whatever the reason was, though, it's certainly related in some way to how I'm feeling now, and I why I haven't made a full cartoon in two years now. Sure, there were many times over the past two years where I really couldn't make any cartoons, like when I was having so many panic attacks, or when I spent a week in the hospital, but what about all the other time? What the hell have I been doing? Not a day goes by that I don't regret not taking initiative in any of these situations, and that is no exaggeration. If I had actually done something, I guarantee I'd be in a whole different position now. Who knows what I could've accomplished? I feel like the days are whizzing by now, and that I don't ever have time to do anything. But if I'm conscious of all this, why do I continue to just sit around? This lazy lifestyle that I adopted somewhere along the line needs to end.

It isn't my dream to be famous. It is, however, for my cartoons and my characters to be. That's not why I make cartoons, but it is something that I would hope to achieve someday, and I know I'll be doing what I love and doing it well. I know that no one's going to make this come true for me (which would be very boring anyway), and I know that I have to just simply make cartoons again. It's not like I don't enjoy doing it either, so there's no excuse.

With 2009 drawing nearer and nearer, I've decided that my goal next year is this: don't think about stuff, do stuff. And it's not only about making more cartoons either. I want to go out and meet more cartoonists and animators to build friendships and connections. That would probably build a lot of my confidence too, because there is literally no one around here that has interests remotely near mine. I need to take these chances to go to different cartoon events, like when I went to SVA in November 2007, the ASIFA screening for The Meth Minute this past June, and most recently, when I went to the Too Art for TV show last weekend. Those were the only times in my life where I didn't feel out of place, but rather around people I could relate to. I want to be able to work in an environment like that someday, where it's something I look forward to because it's something I love doing and the people around me love the same thing. That's never going to happen though if I don't start working.

I'm not entirely sure what the main point of all that was, but it's good to get it all in the open.

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