What do all inspiring creative individuals, Olympian-winning athletes and multi-millionaire entrepreneurs all have in common? They each have a very large and expansive history of experience, knowledge and practice in what they do best. Look back on anyone who is currently at the top of their field and you will always find evidence of countless hours spent working on their craft; it’s not magic after all, simply hard work. It’s something they earnestly enjoy the most, the very reason why they get up in the morning and the same thing they will likely continue on doing each and every day, despite the pain it may cause them and the determination required to keep going when things get rough, right up until their eventual demise.

As I’ve progressed in my education as a design and animation student over the last few years, I’ve tried multiple ways of approaching learning. I’ve gone from working on larger projects, to smaller daily projects, to taking breaks until inspiration strikes and even getting burned out once or twice as a result of pursuing how I work most effectifly. As 2018 finally comes to a close, I believe I understand now what works best for me personally and I would like to briefly talk about it. This, is my (short) manifesto for the year ahead.

As I spend time browsing further into the internet, exploring topics such as minimalism, project management and what new apps and services that have been released, there was a term I came across, a term that originated from Japan. The phrase 毎日の改善 (Mainichi no Kaizen), translated into ‘Daily Improvement’, is more or less what you might already be thinking. Although more commonly used in a businesses setting, this expression means to take steady action on improving something only a daily basis, but only by a small amount or things will soon fall out of control. This way, momentum is built and clear progress can be seen and measured so that team members of a project may take action in absolute confidence and further whatever larger work needs completing. By taking influence from Daily Kaizen, I hope to apply a similar working methodology myself which will all be documented here.

There are three main areas that I am able to define the work I want, and will, get better at. They are:

  1. Drawing & Painting
  2. Illustration & Motion
  3. Game Design

Because what I want to do in the short term differs slightly to what I want to be doing in the long term, I am in a position where I have to learn multiple skillsets at the same time, thus making me a generalist, which in my case isn’t necessarily a bad thing anyway from the conversations I’ve been having with other motion designers. Short term, as I’ve just hinted at, I will become a motion designer. This is going to require skills and knowledge from a more design-oriented background such as Photoshop, Illustrator, After Effects, Cinema 4D and Octane, whereas the long term goal of becoming a game designer will require skills vastly different such as ZBrush, 3D Coat, Maya and Unity. That said, however, thankfully I strongly believe that these skills can cross over anyway, so by learning it all at once, I have very little to lose and everything to gain. I won’t go too much detail as I want to keep quite a lot of this personal still, but what I will mention is this:

My main goal of 2019 is to build a portfolio worthy enough of getting me employment as a junior motion graphics designer while having the skills to also do game design. I know exactly what I have to do in order to get there, what tools I need and how long I have left in order to do so, so all that needs to be done now is to just get to work.

In summary, I aim this year to work harder on a daily basis to create the work I need to get a job, but to also create the work that leaves me feeling very fulfilled. I have quite a few other objectives I would like to accomplish, but again, I’ll be keeping those secret for now.

Happy New Year and good luck to you on your own journey to self improvement.