There was a point while I was still in school for Digital Animation when I was told by an instructor that I would never make it as a designer in the industry. He told me I simply wasn't good enough.
It happened while he was reviewing an assignment I did where I had to design a character and not only had I picked one that was from a story that I had been working on since high school and care a great deal about, but at the time I thought I had made some good improvements with what I had submitted and was heartbroken when he gave me his feedback.
I still remember the whole thing like it was yesterday. I remember how I felt when he said what he did. It was the lowest point in my school career. As if it wasn't bad enough that I already knew I was not the strongest artist in the program (any of the programs I've attended in fact) but now I was being told I wasn't even good enough to make it in the only career I've ever wanted since I was a kid.
So what happened? I mean obviously I made it into the industry and am now a lead artist for an amazing mobile gaming company. So what did I do? Well let me tell you...
I decided not to listen to him. I decided that nothing was going to stop me. I was going to be a designer if it was the last thing I ever did. Though I did complete all of my 3D projects and did pull off decent grades, I put all of my real energy and love into my characters designs. I drew and drew and drew. Nothing else mattered. I would prove him wrong and show everyone who had ever doubted me that I meant business.
I knew it was risky and I did ruffle some feathers. I was the only one in that year that had no models to show off on my wall for gradshow. So they actually stuck me with the grads from the Commercial Program which was fine by me! I was also the only one with no 3D work to display in the grad book. I had only 2D work. I know this annoyed a few people but to be honest, I really didn't care. I had a goal and a plan and I'm glad I didn't quit on myself.
I was also very lucky to have had the support of my family and friends as I went through all the ups and downs.
All I can say to those of you who have been put down or told you aren't good enough is that it will take a lot of hard work, but if it is something you want bad enough and you are willing to put in the time, anything is possible.
I would also like to say, though I doubt he will ever stumble across this, that although it hurt and I was angry and sad, it was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. I came out the other side, stronger and more determined than ever. It was the kick in the butt that I needed to get myself in gear. If I could go back in time I wouldn't change a thing.
Hi! My name is Courtney and I am currently working as a character designer in the animation industry!
Artwork and Content is © Courtney Pearson 2016