Make Your Last Shot Count - A Case For Quality
The current culture or societal norm for the internet is quantity over quality. To produce as much content as you can as fast as you can and to overload people’s social media streams with your content to make sure you’re ever present with your target audience or customers.
Much like street (or comic con) vendors in the marketplace competing for your attention, everyone is yelling and screaming in order to gain you as a customer, a client, or just an audience member. They’re all offering giveaways, deals, promoting themselves; it’s hard to stay relevant when so many vendors are out there with megaphones and large banners. The loudest person wins 9 out of 10 times, and its those individuals or companies who know how to attract that attention who will continue to stay in business when the economic tides turn. And like the tide, it’s always turning.
There is some truth to this statement, but as an artist it’s not one that I prescribe to entirely because when you’re solely focused on producing massive amounts of content it’s your work’s quality that often suffers.
Here are just some of my thoughts on why you should be focused on the quality of your work rather than rushing through everything to gain an attention:
In regards to animation: It’s a craft pure and simple. It takes a very long time to understand the very basics and fundamental principles of timing and spacing. Mastering the art of time, space and applying different artistic mediums and stylings to it takes a lifetime.
Like fine wine (or whiskey) great work takes time. It takes a while for the wheat, corn or fruit to ferment and develop aromas and body. Export it too soon and you’ll taste something incredibly bitter and nasty. You’ve got to let it go through the process. Some of the tastiest (and most expensive) drinks takes decades to create. As you develop in your artistic journey, in your business, or life in general, you’ll notice that every day you get better at doing something. For me, it’s been writing. I wasn’t always the best writer, but because I’m doing it every day I’m constantly improving how I communicate with people and how I explain things to my staff. Take a look at this blog’s early articles and you can see the gradual change in structure, tonality and grammar.
Taking the time to carefully craft your work shows how much you actually care about the artform. Again, it’s a craft and it takes time to perfect. Slow down, really build yourself up, learn from the masters, treat the medium with reverence and it will show you a fascinating worldview.
It challenges you as an artist and makes you better. At the studio, doing the easiest job helps pay the bills but it doesn’t help us get better or grow artistically. I’m constantly seeking the biggest project I can find, the one that’ll really push my abilities as an artist and a leader to the edge. Always seek to raise your own personal bar. You’ll be surprised at how high you can go.
In this wonderful world of show business, when it comes down to it, you’re only as good as your last project. In our case, you last shot. Our industry bases its value on the last thing you produced. If your last project was shit, then you’ll constantly be doing shit work. It’s like building your demo reel, what you showcase on your reel really translates to “this is the kind of work I want to keep doing.” Always seek to put out your best work.
Our industry is in this twisted flux for quantity and quality but rarely do those two paths meet in a harmonious partnership. Each is always fighting for dominance and usually quality is what loses most of the time. Television shows and the internet are proof positive of that, though we’re looking to change that (wink-wink).
With our latest short film, Mike & Wayne, we really tried our best to pour as much of ourselves into it and to really give it our all. It’s something that we’re proud to put our name on. I feel that’s the way you should feel about your own work, too.
When all is said and done, whether it was a paid project or not; if your work isn’t something you’re proud of, if you think it’s not up to where you want it to be, would you put your name on it?
Written by Esteban