Sometimes if I’m animating something, I want it to be the greatest thing in the world. If you happen to be a student in animation school, you never know what you’re going to come up with at first, but the efforts at creating something can be quite fun. Even if you get stuck in a rut, you can move from that and go on to something else to try to break any lulls that you might come across.Sometimes you may say to yourself “I can’t draw a thing.” But it’s not impossible to have the ability to create something with a long lasting effect. Look at many of the long lasting animated characters out there. Look at the California Raisins; sure they were annoying and they were everywhere, but mention them and the first thing that comes to mind are these unforgettable wrinkled raisins singing and playing the blues. Whether you like them or not, they have a legacy as animated characters, much in the same way that the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Bugs Bunny have a legacy.
While these kinds of characters are fun and memorable, other animated characters have been highly criticized for being simple tie-ins to marketing action figures. The He-Man and the Masters of the Universe animated series was based on a popular brand of action figure, which in some circles is seen as a controversial move. If you’ve gone through animation school, this may not be the kind of course that you want your career to take, yet, it’s work, even if it’s a marketing tie in. Always weigh your options, even if it’s something you’re not all that crazy about as you may be able to have some impact of how the characters and animation can develop over time.Many times in animation school, I felt compelled to create a character that would have some sort of impact. I wasn’t entirely successful, but I gave it an earnest try. My characters would have a sense of humor, yet not entirely crude or obnoxious as can be the norm these days. Even though I felt that something was missing, my training in animation school helped me overcome these obstacles. Sometimes it’s just a matter of finding your niche and developing something and learning by trial and error if it’s going to work. This can be incredibly discouraging especially if you’ve just finished at animation school and you feel that you’re ready for the big time.
The main thing I discovered is that a character can always be recycled to some degree. You can work on it for a while and go back to it. Yet, if it becomes a tedious process, you may want to put it aside and start from scratch. Even starting from scratch is hard sometimes as you may feel that you’ve exhausted yourself and all your ideas. Animation schools like fresh ideas, so if you have a desire to animate, keep your ideas nearby and don’t be afraid to try to create something new.