With discussions here focused mostly on studio activities, animation news and even the occasional political commentary, its easy to forget the reason we're all drawn to the craft. As a labor union blog, we try to highlight reasons why unionization is so important. This can lead to lengthy and repeated posts about how artists are being mistreated or are suffering labor abuses in order to remain employed. Our discussions can leave one questioning the choices that led to employment in our field. It was awfully nice to find something this morning in stark contrast to those discussions.
A tweet from animator Tim Borrelli pointed to a website worthy of note. The Animator Letters Project began from what can be assumed is a common turning point in all of our lives. Young Willie Downs faced the realization that his interests and goals pointed him towards animation, and how was he to justify that in the face of parental and/or societal expectations. For some guidance, he wrote two letters.
In his words:
Seeking for advise and encouragement, I wrote a letter to a Pixar and DreamWorks animator and they were such a blessing to me. Both of them wrote me back and the encouragement they gave me helped me make the decision to tell my parents that I wanted to change majors and become an animator, because that was my dream job. Thankfully, they supported my decision and told me they wanted me to do what would make me happy.
Now, an animation student with Animation Mentor, Willie is taking the attention the posting of his encouragement letters garnered and turning it into an altruistic project with the goal of helping and encouraging future generations of artists. Take a few minutes and visit his site. If you have a story to share, take a break from your routine and share it with him. Recalling the artistic seed of your endeavors can help make today a bit brighter.
At least, we hope it will.