~ Obtaining distant goals through short easily obtainable ones ~

This post is really for the purposes of myself, to reflect on my Second year and really too get how I achieved what I did out of my head. This may be interesting to some that are like me, and become very distracted from their work easy. To quote a Frankie Boyle, I could be sitting here modelling something, and my eye catches something on my screen, or in my room and I'm away "Oooh, look at the shiny shiny." So this is how I overcame that and managed to progress so fast in my second year.

Let's rewind back to mid second year, Soundscape has just been handed in and I am once again disappointed by what could have been, but wasn't. Phil pulls me to one side and asks me what is going on, I could be so much more... He's right I thought, but why can't I manage it? What is stopping me from managing it? Phil speaking to me about it was a big wake up call, and it instantly started sparking off these questions in my head, I had to resolve it.

I went home, and I thought deeply about what was stopping me from achieving anything, and instead forcing me to be the bottom of the class and just muddle through with basic passes. I found these reasons to be :

-Low self confidence with my work (and in general)
-Extremely defeatist
-Could only see the end goal in life (and this is the basis of this post actually)

- Low Self Confidence in my Work
I found that I was constantly seeking approval. Everything I produced I had to get someones input on it. It was driving me mad, and it's something I had to work on, fast. I did just this, and began to realise that in actual fact I could actually do a lot more than I had thought, and actually, I was pretty good at what I could do. I slowly started producing basic things, getting very happy that I could produce stuff and then slowly building myself up. This helped me progress at an extremely fast rate.

-Extremely Defeatist
So I am a defeatist. There, I said it. A massive defeatist. If something doesn't work, I become very frustrated, very moody and for the most part I give up. At least that was me in the middle of the second year. For the most part, I'd like to think I have overcome this. Instead of getting frustrated I go splash water on my face, I come back, calm and collected and I resolve the issue. I am no longer the person that is getting in the way of my own progress, forever stopping myself from learning anything or succeeding. That was a huge step for me.

-Could only see the end goal in life
This is perhaps the most important for me, this really helped me to learn and progress fast. All I could see at the end of Uni was that I wanted to be a CG Artist. That was all, very vague I know. I was so naive to think that was all it took. I wasn't progressing fast enough, I became very frustrated and defeated and that goal slipped away from me. Thus my efforts at Uni dropped. Bad move, because there was a simple way of tricking my brain into progressing and enjoying myself at the same time. This is by setting myself easily obtainable short term goals, each and every day, and eventually you see huge progression in your work. Okay, take this for example. It's a Sunday and you say "By next Sunday I want a full human body modelled." Next Sunday rolls around and in the case of me, the aforementioned body is not finished... I become very frustrated at myself, "WHY DIDN'T YOU FINISH IT? YOU ARE SO USELESS!!" Okay.. So self discipline is important too, however, I found a method that I use that really helps. It goes like this. Sunday : "Today I shall model a head"- I achieve said goal, I feel very happy about it, and the following day I jump back on Maya and say "Today I shall do a hand." This goal is a smaller one than the previous days, but I do it, I achieve it and I feel euphoric that I achieved both goals each day. So again, the next day "Hmmm, okay, let's make the torso." I model the torso, and become so happy by it that I instantly model the arms also... That means I achieved my goal for that day and then some. So I do that for the week, and on Sunday I am looking at a fully finished human model.

That is an example of how I trick my brain into achieving things, but I hope you get the picture. I always set myself small obtainable goals that lead me to a bigger goal in the long run, as opposed to just focusing on the end goal, of which you can't actually pin point in time.

Thanks for reading, at least I have this out of my head now.


Pol Winandy said...

Jonnyboy, let us not forget that it's often the people who believe in us that make us reach for more. At the same time also a big 'thanks for nothing' to all those who drag us down with their inabilities to accept us the way we are.

tutorphil said...

Dear Jonnyboy - there is another quality you have which you don't mention here - maybe it's because you don't catch sight of it; but I think you have a tremendous innocence and lack of guile; okay, you can be snotty sometimes - as can I; on my part, it is often the result of a sense of humour failing, which with me happens when I'm tired or my heart is sore, because maybe students don't always see themselves as I wish they did; also, no one seems to believe me when I tell them 'LIFE IS SO SHORT!!!'

I've always liked the way you express yourself on your blog; you're always honest, funny, and questing - and in all truthfulness, I found this post rather moving - and also wise; 'obtaining distant goals through short, more easily obtainable ones' is something a writer knows all too well; novels begin with single sentences after all.

A word then, to the wise; regarding your minor project with Pol; your collaboration has our support, but I'd like to request something from you and Pol; feedback is always valuable, so please, don't be protectionist with your grand vision; let it breathe by allowing others to reflect upon it; nobody wants to take anything away - the tutor's impulse is to give.

Anyway, I look forward to seeing you in person next week.

Jon Stewart said...

Hi Phil, thank you for your kind words. We can all become snotty at times, I dare say it's part of being human!
Would you really say that a lack of guile is a quality? Surely that's bordering on naivety?

As for life being short, I quite agree with you. These Two years have simply flown by, I can hardly believe it. Sometimes I just have to sit here and reflect on how crazy it has been to grow from the kid that just barely passed things and was very lazy and immature. Okay, for the most part I am still rather immature, but even still, It feels good to have grown out of that.

I too am looking forward to next week. From what I hear, there's a crazy amount of First years this time around? That's going to be tough for yourself and Alan, good luck!

About Me

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I am a video game artist at Dovetail games, working on Train Simulator 2014, 2015 and an unannounced title. I also graduated from the CG Arts course at UCA in 2010 with a First Class. www.jonstewart.co.uk