To celebrate the astounding amount of free content on the interwebz (and the Corona Time allotted to us to spend as we see fit), I'm compiling expert advice from some people on my creative family tree.
First up, Japanese animation auteur Hayao Miyazaki.
Studio Ghibli's Animation Software
...is absolutely free.
Miyazaki's Custom Paint Palette
Hayao Miyazaki spent years developing his own sense of color. While each of his films uses new colors, here is the list he describes as his "base set":
Permanent Yellow Lemon
Permanent Yellow Deep
Permanent Yellow Orange
Permanent Green No.1
Permanent Green No.3
Cadmium Green Deep
Cobalt Green Yellow Shade
Cobalt Blue Hue
Rare Miyazaki Sketches To Study
You can find the link here.
It took me way too long to realize that's it's absolutely miraculous and beautiful that we have access to so much art that used to be confined to museums and private galleries.
Art is 50% observation. The more we can take the time to see and study, the faster we'll approach our artistic ideals.
Miyazaki's Run Cycle, Broken Down
How Miyazaki Got Started
Miyazaki spent his childhood reading comics and drawing tanks, submarines, planes. But by the time he hit college, he couldn't draw people!
He didn't got to college for the arts, either. He studied economics while attending a manga club that more-or-less had very little to do with drawing. As fate had it, he got his first job out of college as an in-between artist for an animation studio. While most present-day animation studios outsource for talent, back in the day you could actually learn-on-the-job by being a labor-intensive in-betweener (I still think it should be this way, but I digress).
After getting off from work, Miyazaki said he would try to practice drawing on his own--but would often fall asleep.
So, pretty much, Miyazaki learned to love drawing and stories and movies when he was a kid, went the safe route in college, and got himself a job that let him practice his craft all day long. He spent his off hours working on weaknesses or simply drawing things he enjoyed (he said in one interview that to de-stress he would spend an entire week drawing out custom airplane models).
The point is--you don't have to be a consummate artist by 17 or go to an arts school to become a great artist or even animator. It's ok to hone your skills (and your focus) at a later date.
An Easy-To-Use Studio
Hey, we humans are naturally lazy. It doesn't mean we don't want to accomplish, aren't capable of accomplishing, or haven't accomplished amazingly human things. But it does mean we need to fess up and make things easy on ourselves so we can get started on the hard things.
Miyazaki talks a bit about how he minimizes hassle in his work environment:
"If we're going to moan and groan about too many listless animated works being created recently, when the people with drive and motivation aren't assuming any risk at all, then we've got a problem too. So that's why I think there is real meaning in improving the working environment.
...In designing [my studio]...I tried to make it super easy for me to get from my desk to a conference, or to a discussion with the various production sections, or to the clean-up department.
...We actually planned a room to take a break in which we call 'the bar.' I hate to see people forced to eat lunch at their desks...Until now the [various departments] have been too scattered about to get together easily, so I wanted to create a place where they could gather and communicate with each other if need be, and even have parties. We therefore located the bar in the center of the studio so that it would be easy for people from any section to get to, and right in front of the bar we created a spiral staircase. And we will also plant as many shrubs and trees as possible around the building...hopefully, the neighborhood will be improved a bit by our building this new studio."
[ from Starting Point 1979-1996]
I hope you're finding the mixed blessings during this time.
As a side note, this site is still undergoing constant restructuring as I figure out how to represent what all "this" is (hey, maybe next time we can talk about my very first rejection slip I just got!!).
But until then, glad you were here.
In excelsis Deo.
K.W. writes novels, short stories, the occasional ode, game scripts, and (with actual evidence!), this here blog.