To be able to develop a career and making the most of the different aspects of the animation course, not every piece is a portfolio piece and not all have the explicit purpose of adding to a checklist. In a career that requires practice and practice, drawing should come second nature and for this reason balancing the heavy projects with learning new skills and practicing was also a priority. This is what I called during the length of the MA as “personal practice” (opposed to professional practice)
Another way to learn interconnective skills like storytelling or character design and a software or style, is to have side projects that allowed me to experiment and get to know my own narrative voice and let me make mistakes without much pressure and change to a different approach at the middle of the project if I found it more fitting. Versatility is also a key point in the industry job since it increases the employment rate and a necessity for a job where each project requires different approaches narratively and technically.
These same side projects where the ones that more often sparked my own curiosity to start a discussion with professionals, because having more ground on the subject was a big improvement considering the beginning of the MA, when the lack of experience made the talks more superficial with a lack of real purpose.
Since every aspect that interest me in the profession is deeply rooted in drawing sometimes this gets forgotten in the perks of editing and learning softwares. Through the pages of An Illustrated Life: Drawing Inspiration From the Private Sketchbooks of Artists (2008), Danny Gregory gathers the experience of people working on several types of visual media, illustrators, animators, comic artists, and painters, about keeping a sketchbook. The most common point is that their principal purpose is to organize and visualize ideas. Some notes in the sketchbooks are life drawing details and some are fast paced situations. And they agree that is often the same material that feeds other part of their professional work, be it personal pieces or commercial. I did my best to keep a productive sketchbook,