Well guys, 4th year (and my post secondary education) is over, and I've got to say, it's been a blast. I mean, high school for the quiet artist type like me was not the most enjoyable experience, but coming here where all the quiet (and some not so quiet) artist types from around the world have gathered to do what we love was the best decision I ever made.
The program here was a little hit and miss, but the atmosphere and the people here have made the last 5 years the best I've ever had. Non-animators don't understand when I tell them that I spend every waking hour at school and still love it, but I guess what they don't realize is that we are all doing that. While other college students go to lecture halls filled with hundreds of people they will never talk to, and then spend their off times getting drunk enough to forget how boring their homework is, we go to an open studio space, hang out, draw, and try to figure out how we can make a living doing it. I think that is an amazing way to spend our college years. And the people in our class of 2010 have made it all the more amazing.
Being with the same hundred or so people for the past 4-5 years has been an incredible experience. Looking back on it all, I've kind of thought of our relationships with each other like this: In Art Fundamentals, we became acquaintances, strangers, with common interests (which, considering how weird our interests were was a pretty big deal). In 1st year, we became friends. In 2nd year, when we got our open studio space and really started living at the school, we became a family. In 3rd year, when we had to work together on a group film, we became a dysfunctional family. And in 4th year....well...I don't really know. It feels like I'm moving away from home again. It feels really weird to be leaving this place behind forever. Its kind of a relief to be done, but I'm really going to miss this place, and especially the people that have inhabited it. But I guess there's no sense dwelling on the past when the future could potentially be even better.
I was fortunate enough to get a job at a studio in Ottawa called Mercury Filmworks and will be working on a very cool looking TV show, the details of which I should probably not disclose here. And it seems that many of my Sheridan bretheren will be joining me in a couple weeks, which is awesome! I had contacted the studio pretty early this year and was able to land a job even before industry day, so I guess preparation and persistence pay off. Although part of me wishes I could stay in a state of limbo and relive the past five years over and over again, another part is excited to move on and start my career. And Mercury seems like a very cool place, and with some of my old classmates being there as well, I think it will be all the more awesome.
I think I recall about 5 years ago my high school guidance councillor thought I was nuts for going into animation. I had pretty good grades so I guess he thought I was going to go to university to get a fancy degree in business or something like that. I mean, why have a fun, art based career when you can sit in an office and type in numbers all day, right? But a relatively smart guy going into animation? He thought I was crazy. Nah, I'm not crazy. Crazy are the people who choose their careers based on the size of the paycheck. Crazy are the people who spend 40 hours a week doing something they hate for money. Money doesn't matter. Money is just something you have in case you don't die tomorrow, and if you give it any more value than that, then you've got it all wrong. I'm not crazy. I'm the only one who's not crazy. Well, not the only one. I can name about a hundred more not crazy people. And its been a pleasure working/hanging out with/growing up with every one of you. I wish all of my classmates the very best of luck in the future and I sincerely hope we'll meet again some day. (reunion in 20 years, anyone?)