President’s Column: June 2015
Words to inspire and motivate you!
For those of you who have been reading my columns since I became President of Cartoonists Northwest, you may have noticed a theme…. motivation! I am using these columns to share some insights I’ve discovered about how to motivate myself to achieve a long term goal of mine. My goal is to transition from a work-for-hire artist to a creator of original kid’s media properties. I’ve been at it for over 10 years now and am approaching a breakthrough in my evolution as an artist. I am taking what I’ve learned from illustrating popular kid’s properties and applying it to the creation of my own original ideas. Starting April of 2016, I will begin the process of becoming a creator. The first step is the PITCH!
In my quest to learn as much as possible about the kid’s media industry, I’ve been doing research online during my lunch breaks. It was during one of these research sessions that I came across a book titled Animation Development: From Pitch to Production by David B. Levy (available at Amazon.com). I immediately ordered the book and am currently in the middle of reading it. The book is a go-to guide for creating, developing, and successfully pitching an animated project or series. Now I know that most of you reading this may not be into pitching an animated TV series. However, I think that many of the observations and advice in the book can apply to anyone pursuing their artistic goals. In this and subsequent articles I will highlight some passages from the book I find interesting and share my thoughts on them with you. Here we go!
Here is a quote from the introduction chapter. It says:
“When you’re in your old age, looking back at your career, will you be able to say that you went after your dream?”
I really like this quote and highlighted it right away. This is what it’s all about, right? Having a dream is one thing. But building up the courage to go after it is another. There’s always that nagging doubt. “What if I fail?” The goal shouldn’t be only to achieve success, but to just do it in the first place. Fear can be a powerful motivator. Use it. Your future self will be proud of you!
This quote if from the chapter about preparing a “two-sheet”:
“An idea isn’t ready to pitch until it is at least in the form a two-sheet proposal.”
Before presenting a big complex idea to someone, first compose a brief summary that fits on two pages – a two-sheet! This will force you to really consolidate your idea into a simple concept that can be easily expressed and understood. It’s the tag line, the one liner that reveals just enough information to make your audience want more. It’s how you draw them in. Don’t reveal everything all at once. Lead up to it slowly. I think this is a great exercise that will help you to refine your idea to it’s essential core before sharing it with the rest of the world.
Well, that’s all for now. Next month I’ll highlight more quotes designed to inspire and motivate you!