As much as I dislike the ubiquity of work (a cellphone dealmaker in a restaurant at 10pm, for example), I am prone to it myself. Not in any task-oriented way, particularly. Rather, in a perceptive way. Because I came so late to animation, I realize that there’s not a moment to lose. Thus, I feel a need to improve my craft whenever I can. Naturally, this involves drawing whenever and wherever (and whatever and whomever) I can. It’s not always possible or practicable to draw, though. What then?

It is, as I say, perceptive. It’s a slowing down of time for observation. One must look very carefully to do it, but it is just possible. The next time you are bored, irritated, distracted or put out… try this. Look at something that moves. Anything will do, but it will help if it’s something you can watch for a little bit. Give it a good long look. Watch what it does. Look down at your feet or the floor in front of you and, to the best of your ability, reconstruct it exactly in your mind’s eye. Focus. Use all your powers. Look up again and see if you’re close.

It is amazing at how adept you’ll become a seeing things you never noticed, and very quickly. Keep it up and you will amass a mental library of the smallest things, the tinies that make up our lives.

I am still in the midst of siding, stapling, nailing and lots of other stuff that has more to do with workspace than work. Today I was reduced to trying this technique on my own tired hands swinging a hammer. Should that appear in any future animation, you will know the source!