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Location: Los Angeles, California, United States

Rusty works in the animation industry doing Storyboards, Timing, Animation and Directing. Recently he has worked at Disney TV Animation and Universal Animation Studios. He's best known for his Directing and Producing for Warner Bros. on "Animaniacs" and "Pinky and the Brain".

Monday, July 03, 2006

The Artists Block

Like many artists I often find myself unable to get past a particular spot. Sometimes it's a single drawing of a scene or perhaps the entire scene. It might be one panel of a storyboard. No matter what the situation is I find that moving away from the problem is the best remedy to getting past the problem. I start sketching anything other than what I'm currently working on. Just let the pencil flow. I have accumulated quite a few drawings just from doing this. Sometimes I will sketch an idea I've been having in my head and have hesitated to work on because I have another assignment due. That might literally be the block. You see I feel that if there's something else I have ideas for floating around in my head it sometimes gets in the way of what I'm supposed to be working on and seems to block the flow. So if I get some of it out of my system I might be able to move past the block.
Many of these sketches give me new story ideas or character designs or environments. I find it helps to try and sketch situations. Small single sketches that tell a brief story or give a particular attitude. There are times that doing this makes me realize the initial approach I was taking was wrong and that is what caused the block. I remember one of my teachers at CalArts, T.Hee, saying that perhaps if you draw it with your other hand, or upside-down , or sideways you will get past the block. The point is, look at it a different way. I've even taken the same situation and played it out with different characters that are different sizes from the ones I'm currently working with. Then there's always outside input, from a friend, spouse or even child. Ask them how they'd do it. Even if they don't give you the exact idea they might spark a new one from you.


Blogger Richtoon said...

Good advice here!! I'll have to send my students to this post this fall!! Its one thing to say this to a class... and a completely different thing when a working pro sais it.


7:44 AM  
Blogger Rusty Mills said...

Much like the way children will listen to other adults more than their parents.

2:05 PM  

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