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.