Hello, If you would like to learn about why I chose to do art and my philosophy about it, the following is an excerpt from a blog post I made in 2014, from when I dropped out of a biology degree, in order to study animation. It is still relevant today.
Last year I had a dilemma. Having grown up pursuing both art and biology simultaneously, when it came time to decide what to dedicate my life to, the answer was not immediately evident. I asked myself which is more important to humanity, and in which field I could make a greater contribution. Science is technology, innovation and progress. Art is culture, history and meaning. Humans are a curious species in that we need the latter to survive – a world without imagery, music, symbols or beauty is a bleak one indeed. I had thought that I would become a surgeon and do art on the side, but after speaking to medical students, surgeons and observing a day in the life of a doctor, I quickly realized that to do one job successfully I would have to sacrifice the other.
Uncomfortable with this realization, I researched everything I could about the animation and game industries, hoping that somewhere, somehow I could marry these two fields in a career that was not simply medical illustration. Ultimately, I wanted to create emotion that moves an audience through art, but I did not want to stop learning about and understanding the world through science. Reading countless artist blogs, websites and forums, I found that art and science are not radically different fields after all, and that if I chose art, I would not have to forgo science. In fact, knowledge about biology, chemistry and physics only help me in creating worlds and and characters from the imagination! To draw a convincing figure we must understand anatomy, to animate it we must understand biology and physics, and to create alien worlds we must understand chemistry and the interaction of different elements in the atmosphere.
It seemed too good to be true – If I pursued animation, I would not lose science; in fact, I would have to study it in depth! Watching concept art videos by Feng Zhu and listening to his explanation of how science is applied to make the unreal believable, I was convinced that this assumption was correct.
I can’t wait to go to animation school. The artist is fundamentally an observer of the entire world, and in animation or games, we can create our world and share it with an audience. That to me is the most powerful method of communication. I think every child has probably read the Harry Potter series at some stage, wanting, just wishing so badly for the world of magic to be real. To be able to point a wand and to create anything out of nothing. Animation and games are the closest thing to magic, in my opinion. The pencil is our wand, and when we put pencil to paper, we can literally create anything. We can create epic vistas of unknown, magical worlds and the bizarre creatures that inhabit them. Within these worlds we can create stories that move people to tears. At Hogwarts, students can summon creatures, create explosions, fly and blow fire among other things. The animation student can do the same thing – we live through the characters we create.
It’s not simply the art itself that appeals to me – it’s the predicament of being an artist. It’s the innate and insuppressible urge for the refinement of one’s craft. It’s the journey that this artistic development takes us on, and the experiences we share with others along the way. Since going to university and exploring the world on my own, I’ve already met many artists of different ages and backgrounds and who have very different art. Talking to older artists at open life drawing and seeing how they spoke about their work so passionately, confirmed that art is really something I could pursue for a lifetime.
Getting into Sheridan Animation is one step closer. Here I come.