According to Hellen Keller, "The only thing worse than being blind is having sight and no vision.”
Vision is defined as the ability to think about or plan the future with imagination or wisdom. Also, as a mental image of what the future will look like.
Your personal vision statement as an animator, in this case, is on a personal level. It is something about you. It is a vision that you want to achieve for your animation career, and this time put into writing.
As Stephen Covey mentions in his book the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, “Begin with the end in mind!” Having a personal vision statement guides your life and provides you with the direction necessary to chart the course of your life and decisions.
It creates a guideline for you to be able to live your life fully and with direction as animator. Most importantly, it compels you to do things that you would not have done otherwise.
Think of it as your storyboard. It’s tough to complete your animation without one. You may somehow get by with a project without a storyboard, but it will be definitely easier and even more accurate to follow your storyboard.
When your storyboard is completed, you can just focus on animating, moving forward in every step because you know the end product and have a mental picture of it.
Why Animators Fail to See Vision
Fear can paralyze you in a lot of ways. You question your competence, doubt your abilities to succeed as an animator, and worry about the possibility of failing. Sometimes, you think that success and triumphs are just for the lucky few.
Contrary to popular belief, your fear is actually reasonable. Humans are programmed to protect themselves and not take daunting risks. Having a vision does not negate the risk. It actually faces it with a dream and hope for the future.
Going Beyond “The Now” Is Uncomfortable
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Whether you have just started your career in animation or your business in it, change is important, but it is not always easy.
Probably your “now” is perhaps just to animate and not care about any of the business sides of animation or join a studio to progress your career. However, if what you really want is to become a freelancer, then changes will happen, and most often than not, they will be uncomfortable.
Since vision can help you as an animator bring your life into focus, distractions will be more spotted and realized. Unfortunately, we tend to be distracted. It can give you momentary pleasures, but it can push you away from your goals in reality.
Realizing that you have to give up some habits that might be counterproductive is not easy. But is it worth it? You’ll have to find that out.
The Need to Have the Perfect Vision Statement As an Animator
Of course, you want to make a statement that’s catchy and mind-blowing. It’s normal to feel fear and anxiety when creating a vision statement.
The perfectionist in you wants to seek ideal vision statements that are timeless and aim to have them intact until the end. The good news is your animation vision statement does not have to be complicated. As a matter of fact and as you’ll come to know more later, your personal vision statement can change.
Keep reading to know the five simple ways you can make your personal vision statement as an animator.
1) Know Your Why
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What made you choose animation anyways? It’s a question that you may want to ask yourself as a starting point.
Knowing your “why” does not only help you revisit your purpose, but it also helps you connect your past dreams and ambitions, what you’re doing now, and what you’re going to do in the future.
Scott Jeffrey made seven questions to help you further explore where your “why” centers on and your life’s vision:
- (Core Values) What are the five to ten things you stand by and value the most?
- (Interests) What are the five to ten things you stand by and value the most?
- (Areas of Focus) What are the major categories of your life that always need your attention? Areas of your focus could be your career, spirituality, creativity, finance, personal growth, health, family, relationships, social life, mental state, attitude, lifestyle, and recreation.
- (Strengths) What are you naturally good at?
- (Dreams) If this was your last day on earth, what would you regret not doing, seeing, or creating?
- (Skills) What are three areas do you strongly want to cultivate skills that will, in some way, enrich your life experience?
- (Profession) What are the things you must do to feel fulfilled in your work?
2) Identify Your Strengths As an Animator
List down the things you were and are good at.
- What subjects were you really interested in and good at when you were studying?
- What skills are you naturally good at - almost effortlessly?
- Which part of the animation process do you excel the most in?
- What do other people think you’re good at? Consider your loved ones and friends’ compliments and remarks about you. What did the people you have worked with say about your skills or your talents?
Identify your marketable skills as an animator.
- When receiving positive remarks from your clients, which skills are you most appreciated at?
- Which parts of animation do you think you are most skilled at and even proud of?
- Which type of video animation are you most good at?
- What is the most important and significant work for you from your portfolio?
3) Determine the Things You Want to Change
Know how you can solve real-world problems around you. Another key stage in developing your vision statement is to decide how your abilities and beliefs as an animator can solve problems.
Identify what potential issues you may encounter in your animation career and determine how your skills and attributes positively impact.
Some guiding questions can be:
- What issues are you passionate about?
- Are there issues that your personal strengths are particularly well-suited to tackling?
- Are there certain issues, like human rights or financial regulation, that fit well with your core values?
Contemplate and discover the bad habits you want to change. One great way to discover your bad habits is to know where your time is spent.
Use your calendar to track down your activities and schedule. Be self-aware for a day and think about how you spend your time when you’re not working on your animation projects.
One specific example is to know how much time you spend on Facebook and Instagram. It may sound silly and unimportant, but you might be actually surprised how these applications eat your time and prevent you from reaching your animation goals.
List down the things that you think don’t make you happy. Listing down the things that consume your time but don’t bring you joy or go against your core values and passion is very important as they may be branches that you’ll have to cut down.
These things do not only take your time but can suck the life out of you and make you less passionate about the things that matter to you the most.
4) Get that BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal)
"One of the first exercises I do with clients is to have them envision their ideal life, as if money was no option, as if a fairy godmother granted their every wish and they woke up in the morning to find that they've all come true. This helps shift them out of a fear-based, conditioned world, out of pessimism and into possibilities, into what could be." - Theresa Quadrozzi
BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal), a concept by James Collins and Jerry Porras in their popular book “Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies,” says that a true BHAG is clear and compelling - it serves as a unifying focal point of effort.
As it is for the companies, ensure that your vision as an animator is big, quantifiable, and emotionally compelling. Your BHAG is doable but will dare you enough to move you to reach your animation goals and vision at the same time.
5) Write Your Animation Vision Statement
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In an interview, author and motivational speaker, Simon Sinek, says that you will at some point have no compelling vision at some point because you can’t just think of one yet. Hey, calm down because IT IS OKAY. Relax. Some good things take time.
This doesn’t mean, however, that you cannot have a personal vision statement. Simon says you can copy. This means if you can’t create one yet, then determine your values and get ideas from someone else’s vision that’s most likely similar to yours. Isn’t that wonderful?
Once you’re ready to write your animation vision statement, here are some things you can do:
- Set a date and a time to finally write down your statement. Make it a precious moment for yourself. Find a quiet place for you to take in the moment of doing the activity (e.g., at a coffee shop with a great mountain view, at a beach with a good summer breeze, or at a particular place that brought you memories as a kid).
- Prepare yourself emotionally and physically - your mind, mood, and your body.
- Write it down or animate your personal vision statement. Whatever your cup of tea is, make it visual so that you may be reminded of it every time you need to.
Make Your Personal Animation Vision Statement Real: Animating the Storyboard of Your Life
Your personal vision statement can change not only your life as an animator but also the people around you, the people you love the most, the people whom you held dear, your clients, the people you work with, and even the strangers around you.
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Believe in yourself and what you can do, and furthermore, acknowledge that you will need the help of others as well to achieve your personal vision statement as an animator. Find yourself good mentors and friends who will support you and your vision.
To help you make your animation vision statement, we made a list of personal vision statements of people you might know as well as some examples from Indeed:
- “To be a teacher. And to be known for inspiring my students to be more than they thought they could be.” - Oprah Winfrey
- “To have fun in my journey through life and learn from my mistakes.” - Richard Branson
- My career goal is to become a doctor working in a large hospital. I’ve always wanted to help people live healthy lives and cure illnesses.
- I want to work with young people in the community as a social worker. My talent as an approachable person and my strong commitment to justice have inspired me to assist others who are less fortunate.
- My career goal is to become the CEO of a technology company. I am driven by technology’s ability to affect global communication and provide technological solutions to empower underrepresented populations.
And there you have it, five simple ways to write your personal vision statement as an animator.