In any field, there are two kinds of people: successful and those who could have been successful. The field of animation and graphics is no different. I wonder what the secret of the success of animation greats such as Walt Disney, Hayao Miyazaki or Matt Groening is? What sets them apart from the countless other graphic and animation artists who are creative, talented and hard working but fail to make a mark? Is it sheer luck? Is it a stronger belief in their abilities? Is it perseverance? Is it a drive to keep learning and achieving? Or is it all of these put together?
The other day, I was reading about Walt Disney and one of his quotes forced me to stop a moment and think. Someone had asked him if he had achieved what he had dreamt for Disneyland? He retorted, “Disneyland will never be completed. It will continue to grow as long as there is imagination left in the world.”
What a great inspiration! Even though he was considered by everyone as THE most successful and famous ‘animation guru’ in the world, he knew there was still a lot left to learn, experience and create. He had heart and feelings to his art / animation / movies. Mere commercial success or popularity was not something that would make him happy. He wanted to be his creations to be the best of the best. For all of us who worry at the very prospect of facing competition from other talented animators, Walt’s way of looking at competitors could be an eye-opener. “I have been up against tough competition all my life. I wouldn't know how to get along without it,” he had once said.
Apart from the creative and artistic traits god has bestowed upon us, Walt teaches us to keep our minds open to new possibilities and our competitions. Never close your mind and never feel fully satisfied as keeping your hunger for perfection intact would be the best way to satiate it.