Several years ago I went to go visit some of my classmates that lived in the Bay Area. One was working at Pixar and one was just finishing up a stint at Lucas Arts and one was getting ready to go work at Blue Sky in New York. Mostly though I needed to get away from the movie theater after a soul crushing Christmas season there.
To say it was a good trip was an enormous understatement. I had begun to doubt myself wondering if I was ever going to get back into the animation industry. I had been at the movie theater far longer than I had anticipated and kept getting promoted which prompted me to wonder in despair if that wasn't what I was supposed to do. To say that my soul felt numbed is a bit of an understatement.
Granted...I had moments of lucidity in the midst of this theatre funk. I had discovered my life drawing group so at least once a week I felt like an artist again.
This trip to California though was what finally snapped me back to myself. Being around my friends, these loved ones from school...talking to them, hearing the language of art and animation around me... I felt myself soaking it up, reminding myself of who I was.
Sylvie took BJ and me on a tour of Pixar on that trip. They were hard at work on The Incredibles but all the production art of Finding Nemo was still up. I had a picture snapped of me in front of a giant picture of a sea anenome just for my nephew who liked to draw them and wiggle his fingers and pretend to be one.
I came home from that trip even more resolved to get the heck out of the movie theater. That was mid February. 4 months later I started work at Smartbomb.
(And also...check out the hair. I was still growing it out.)