One of the most entertaining parts of the Character Animation course that I teach at Escape studios is the lesson where the students invent, design and pitch an original animated character to myself and the rest of the class. The purpose of the exercise is to get students thinking not just about the technical side of character motion and action but also to think inventively and creatively. Can we invent characters as well as animate them? The visual effects industry is often demanding in terms of time and energy, and one of the best antidotes to the problem of "burn out" is to keep the creative spirit alive. After all, we all went into the arts to invent and create, not just to polish other people's ideas.
For me, one of the most enjoyable parts of the week is when I draw my weekly "Queen's Counsel" cartoon, a four panel strip cartoon about lawyers that I have been doing for The Times for the past seventeen years, ever since I was (very briefly) a barrister. Queen's Counsel is about law and lawyers, it's a gentle satire and the characters are amalgams of various people I met when I was practising law. I have to do a new strip every week, which can sometimes be a little daunting, but I love doing it and I have never missed a deadline. You can see the entire back archive of cartoons at my website www.qccartoon.com
This month I have a new book coming out - it's called "The Queen's Counsel Official Lawyers Handbook" and it is a satirical guide to the perils and pitfalls of a career in law, you can check it out and buy it here.
Meanwhile there is clearly a gap in the market for a cartoon strip about the visual effects industry. Hopefully one of our students will rise to the challenge soon. Any takers?