If you could pick three things that you’ve found useful or inspiring to your work or career, what would they be and why?
Firstly, Twitter. Being able to see the work of other animators is always hugely inspiring, but what makes it better than other social media sites, in my opinion, is the ability to see the thoughts of others. It really helped me stay inspired by seeing what inspired and drove others, and how I’m no different from my heroes in their fears, desires and dreams. I’d rather feel motivated to be human, than motivated to be an animation factory.
The second is much bigger in scale, but shortly before starting Cut the Mustard, we flew out to Annecy in France to go to the animation festival there – one of the biggest in the world, and full of pitching events, short film screenings, interviews and premieres. It was amazing, and I’d love to visit again now they are hopefully running in-person. It was an opportunity to set our expectations high and imagine our own films on a giant screen in another country, surrounded by fellow professionals.
The third is failure. I never really understood the idea of failure being the biggest teacher until it happened to me. We had a couple of projects fail, stop or break down, and even worse is we were part of financial fraud early on as a company that significantly damaged us at the time. These experiences are cornerstones of my creative journey, and in an odd kind of way, I’m glad they happened. Mistakes are inevitable, and the lessons we learn from them can be just as inspiring to me, as it’s a lesson learned and a new reason to change yourself and keep going.