Monday, November 17, 2008

The Spirit of an Artist

From Spaghetti West by Shawn Colbeck and HoC crew.


Now that I have have seen the up close and personal worlds of being an artists and a studio owner in animation, I believe that I have a perspective that most do not. I have felt the wonders and passions unique to being in animation. I’ve felt the joy of learning how to draw a character that actually feels like it is looking back at me. I’ve experienced the self indulgent but secretive pleasure of animating a character in a way that I was sure that no one else could replicate.

When I started my company I thought that getting my ideas out was the only goal. I knew that the field of animation was limited by short sighted executives and a complacent audience. These ideas are still true to me today but I have discovered things that are even more fulfilling to me. I have had the enjoyment of watching a number of young artists plucked from school grow from unfocused artistic toddlers to intelligent graphic statesmen. I’ve seen raw artistic ambition, seasoned and concentrated into tangible creative reality. These are things I had not set out to do at House of Cool but the gratification I get from it is more pleasurable to me than I could have anticipated.

This is the reason why it is particularly painful for me to deal with the hire/fire cycles of the industry. It is supremely difficult to maintain a strong, cohesive talent pool and do great art at the same time. There are forces in the industry who’s goals have nothing to do with creating quality entertainment or making people happy. The realities of business force me to let go of people that I know are only partially developed and are primed to explode with talent if only they are allowed to stay under HoC’s roof.

But why would I subject myself to the ups and downs of this less than perfect industry? I see the spark of creativity that only true artists have. I see the late nights and long hours that artists will endure for the faintest hope of artistic satisfaction at the end. I’ve seen artists scoff in the face of logic in order to find expression. All these things are self destructive traits but I too have them..and I wouldn’t want it any other way.

A friend once said to me after I had used my skill to do something unsavory, “Why don’t you use you powers for good?”. I had assumed that he was referring to my artistic abilities but I see now that my “power” are best used creating an environment that will help others find their artistic selves.

18 comments:

Reezo said...

wow...long live king curtis;)

Ree to tha zo.

Sahle said...

thank you. the power is in the right hands.

Andre Barnwell said...

I respect you even more.

Mick said...

aye that is grand sentiment... too true

Mr.Breadcrumbs said...

Amen!!

Eve said...

its good to read those words coming for you ric.. makes it allll worth it. The journey is fun!
ur the man to work for.. or with...hm.. both!

marty f said...

Well said.

grantbond said...

nice!

RAWLS said...

I think I grew a tear in my eye... Well said my friend, well said!

warren said...

Best of luck out there, everyones. I hardly know any of you and I'm rarely in Norm's office, but if you need a hand landing somewhere in the meantime, drop a line and I'll see if we can find you a gig. I've been working in Toronto for almost ten years...there's gotta be somewhere to place ya.

warren said...

Not that you need MY help, anyone affected will have no probs landing gigs for the short term. I can't believe the talent pool in there...it's crazy.

Jamie said...

thank you for giving the hard-working, dedication artists tangible motivation to hit the library, share tips with others, and keep learning. everyone needs a reminder of why he/she chose this industry in the first place.

moocurtis said...

For all the years I have known you, your integrity has been tested but not tainted, and this journey has been an amazing experience in that respect. Glad you have used your powers for this good, it has been fun... Well said RC

moocurtis said...

For all the years I have known you, your integrity has been tested but not tainted, and this journey has been an amazing experience in that respect. Glad you have used your powers for this good, it has been fun... Well said RC

Sanatan said...

Thank you...for the hope.

Jonathan Coit said...

As an animation student who's future in this industry is still uncertain, these words feel great to hear. Thank you for using the best of your power to help artists flourish and become something fantastic and providing great motivation for hard working artists.

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Angelo Vilar said...

One of the best written statements i've read in awhile. Thanks for refueling me!