One of the other 3D teachers here at Platt made a great comparison about the two different types of people who are interested in learning 3D animation. And this applies to all things: art, fitness, sports, music, anything. The analogy went like this. There are two types of people who are interested in football, the super-fans who watch every game, keeping track of all the stats and maintaining a fantasy football team…all from their couch. And then there are the players.
Both groups of people are obsessed with football, but only one group is actually doing football. Do you think NFL players maintain a fantasy team? Do you think they even watch football on TV? Well maybe just enough to improve their own playing. But no, they don’t have the time to watch football, they’re too busy training.
Similarly, there are two types of people who are interested in video games. The players and the artists. Do you think the top-tier character artists at your favorite game studios play video games every day? No. They don’t have time. They’re too busy making video games. If you became inspired to get into animation because you like playing video games, I’m here to tell you friend, you need to put down the controller and pick up the wacom stylus if you want to get good.
The hard truth is this: life is short and time is running out. If you want to be great at something, you need to get OBSESSED with it. It needs to consume you. It needs to become your life. A wise man put it this way. Each and every day that you spend NOT getting better, is a waste. Everything that you do other than getting better at your craft is a sacrifice. You have to decide each and every time whether that sacrifice is worth it. Sleeping, eating, and things like that, obviously you have to do those things. But leveling your Elf Druid in some online game for 5 hours when you could be using that time to learn something new or hone your skills? Probably not worth your time. If you don’t do it, no worries, someone else will. I promise you, somewhere out there, someone else is getting better than you at the job you want.
STOP CONSUMING. START CREATING.
EDIT: Obviously I’m not sculpting 24/7. I have relationships to maintain and there’s a whole world out there to explore. And I do play video games from time to time to keep up with where the industry is headed. Every 6 months or so one may even grab me and I’ll waste a week playing it a little too much. But I do view it as a waste. The reality is that everything we do is a sacrifice. Time is limited and you never get it back. When you decide to do any activity, you are sacrificing every other activity. It’s up to you how much of your true passion you are willing to sacrifice for idle mindless grinding in World of Warcraft, or refreshing facebook, or binge-watching TV shows.