As of tomorrow, I will reach the end of my third week as a student in the Maya Springboard Workshop at Animation Mentor. Even though it is very early in the game, it has been such an exciting, yet challenging adventure so far, and I am loving every bit of it! The purpose of this class is so I can learn the ends and outs of Maya (the program I will be animating in) that way, when I start animating my first bouncing ball in Class 1 starting the beginning of January, I can focus completely on animating and not on how to use Maya. Each Monday and Wednesday night at 9:00, I meet live with my class and mentor, Brad Bradbury, over web cam and we can all see Brad and a full screen view of his computer screen, so we can see exactly what he is doing and teaching in Maya, while he talks us through it step by step. If one of us has a question, Brad can call on us and bring up our web cam video so everyone can see and hear us. I really love the way it's set up, and the classes have been awesome! Not to mention, Brad is such a great teacher and mentor and really makes it fun. I feel like I have already learned so much in such a short period of time.
On another good note, you may remember my earlier post with the letter that Pixar animator and Animation Mentor mentor, Aaron Hartline, wrote to me, encouraging me to follow my dreams and to not give me. The encouragement I got from Aaron was a big part of me making the bold move to finally follow my dream and go to school to be an animator, and go to the school he and other great animators teach at, Animation Mentor. Well, over the past several months, since I posted that letter here on my blog, a highly popular website called 'Letters of Note' saw the letter and did a neat write up about it. Animation Mentor saw the write up on their site, and posted a link to it on there Facebook page that same day. From there, people worldwide started viewing my letter and just what I was hoping for when I posted it on my blog started happening...the letter was doing just what it did to me, it was encouraging and inspiring other to follow their own dreams and passions and not give up! I felt like the contents of the letter were to great and inspiring for me to keep to myself, and I wanted others to get the same encouragement that I needed out of it, because I know that at one point and time or another, everyone needs that boost of encouragement that they can do it if they don't give up. Today, I got an email from a guy living in New York who runs a Christian blog called 'The Deacons Bench' and he did a story on me and the letter that Aron wrote to me and related it the letter that Paul wrote to the Thessalonians. He told me that his blog gets a viewing of about 200,000 views a month! After reading his awesome story, I decided to check out Aaron's personal blog, because I hadn't looked at it in a while and I always enjoy the stuff he posts. I got quit the shocker when I saw the amazing post that Aaron posted today talking about how all the positive responses to his letter have affected him. He talked about me and the letter he wrote me and went on to mention how me met. It was such a great post and honestly, it really touched me...I am just so happy that my letter has gone coast to coast, from California to New York and to who knows where else, read by who knows how many people who are being encourage and inspired to follow their dreams and not give up, just as I was! Thank you Aaron for everything, you are an awesome person and one of my animation heroes. If it weren't for people like you and other animators like DreamWorks animator, Jim Vanderkeyl, who went out of their way to encourage another person, I may have never followed my passion and missed out on the Animation Mentor experience and the adventure I have ahead of me in life.
To visit Aaron Hartline's blog, either click on the link above or click here.