I was over the weekend at the Singapore Toy, Games and Comic Convention helping out at the booth rented by the school where I am currently teaching.
I had a lot of chances to talk to a lot of different people. Students, professionals in other industries thinking of changing lines, and socially awkward teenagers and delusional nut cases.
And it was a shock for me, listening to a lot of people's misconception understanding of what is needed to succeed. A few came and expected to be able to just learn maya and able to make their own movies. Others want to working in VFX but not interested in knowing how it works.
There was another one who said, animation looks fun but she hates drawing and computers. well then.... But there were also fresh students in their 1st year in the different schools. And the enthusiasm a young fresh mind brings. I did consciously try to dissuade them to get out while they still can and go into something more profitable. (I was half joking just to see their reaction).
It dawned on me that the most important thing that a person can bring to the table doing animation is isn't talent. It is mentality. It really is. More accurately, it is the HUNGER. The hunger to want to learn, to find out more. TO. IMPROVE.
And I think this is the defining quality that I think, will try differentiate those who talk and those who succeed.
What I tell myself everyday.
To all the people watching, I can never ever thank you enough for the kindness to me, I'll think about it for the rest of my life. All I ask is one thing, and this is.. I'm asking this particularily of young people that watch: Please do not be cynical. I hate cynicism - for the record it's my least favorite quality, it doesn't lead anywhere. Nobody in life gets exactly what they thought they were going to get. But if you work really hard and you're kind, amazing things will happen. I'm telling you, amazing things will happen." - Conan 'O'Brien