The waterwheel goes round, Lifetimes come and go in turn…

Happy New Year!

My first new year’s post has been inspired by a great movie I recently saw, It’s Isao Takahata’s : The Tale of princess Kaguya. I won’t get into any detail of it’s greatness as I feel I wouldn’t do it any justice, but I will say that an incredibly beautiful portrayal of the underlying theme of “Samsara” is what makes this film so special and very ad hoc with this post.

So It is a new year, a new cycle of a new year’s Samsara, the waterwheel goes round again one more time, and with this new cycle comes the closing of very important aspects of my life and the beginnings of a new adventures.

For once, the film I was working on ” Un Gallo Con Muchos Huevos” AKA ( A Little Brave Rooster ) has wrapped up production, and with it I close a cycle full of learning and growth. I feel so much melancholy and ache to see this great studio go on hiatus, and amazing team dismembered.

I have said it and will say it again, it was truly a team conformed by the very best talent Mexico had to offer and it was such a pleasure working with each and every one of the artists involved in the project. I came in with great expectations, I left blown away by the experience and people I met.

2014 ended with a very relaxing vacation, it was the perfect  ending for his cycle.

2015 brings great changes, a new city to live in and professionally new opportunities waiting to be uncovered.  I have to say, I am really excited.

So, to commemorate the end of a cycle and the beginning of 2015  I leave you ” Warabe Uta” ( Go round song ) from the soundtrack of  Princess Kaguya.

The Most Valuable Asset

The Most Valuable Asset

As a producer my decision-making process is based on numbers, efficiency and low impact solutions. I run on the idea that nothing is indispensable, my goal is to keep the show running no matter what. Although I agree with the argument that no one is indispensable and everything and everyone can be replaced, I firmly believe that having artist turnover in a studio is definitely not a desirable thing and something to actively avoid. In my experience, artist turnover has a financial impact of 3 -4 months of wages and collateral expenses. What I mean is that when we hire an artist to replace someone who left, we are spending around 3 months of “training” and losing quota and work that otherwise would’ve been done during that time. For small productions or studios the aim should be to avoid turnover as much as possible. I have made a simple list of key things that I consider essential in avoiding artist turnover:   1. Forget that you have employees. Do NOT treat artists like employees. A standard office environment is not encouraging for them. Prepare to toss out the window strict work office rules and small boring cubicles. Try to show some degree of flexibility, give the office some color and as much open spaces as possible to encourage communication and work sharing, and FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, invest in good ergonomic chairs with awesome lumbar support. I swear that will generate more company loyalty that having casual Fridays or company barbecues.  2. Encourage job rotation. Job rotation is a tactic that has proven to lower employee turnover, and in my experience it works. If you see someone in the art department that has potential, switch them over temporarily to the texture department, see if they are adapting well and offer a change. Keep your artists motivated by challenging them with training and task rotation, your aim should be to help them expand their skill set, grow within the studio and avoid boredom. If you want to read more about employee rotation, I recommend reading this article Job Rotation: Keys to Successful Job Rotation 4. Feed the artists And I don’t mean with food ( although having a lunch room with plenty of healthy options available is a great energy booster for everyone! )  but feed their creativity and thirst for learning as well. There are many things that can be done that are fun, inspirational, challenging, encourage team work and are not expensive like: 1. Having a blank wall where a mural  can be painted and that changes every 6 months or so. 2. Having a “Drawing club”  every other Tuesday, the studio can provide drawing utensils, paper, a nude model etc. 3. Inviting someone over to give a masterclass 4. “Smash” tournament anyone? These are just a few examples, but there is so much that can be done, “feeding” the artists creatively is a great way to generate company value between your team . 5. Be a good leader Showing appreciation and warmth towards your team is a key element. Recognize their triumphs , do not satanize their mistakes, let them show you their work, listen and learn what they do as carefully as you can, show them that you value the work that they are doing, and above all: talk a talk, TALK to them about everything, having a good artist/producer relationship is pure gold. Have any other good tips? Comment below!

Color me pretty

New year came and went, and in a blink of an eye february arrived, gosh time goes by so fast when you are busy. Between work, gym, quality time with my family, boyfriend and friends I have little time left.
I haven’t posted anything in a really long time, and I know I have promised over and over again that I will change that fact, that I will post more often and I end up not keeping those promises. So from now on I will no longer promise things. I guess that’s a better philosophy of life, discipline in personal proyects is something I desperetly need.
This week I’ve been doing some research for an interactive installation that I am planning to do. I have been immersing myself in color theory and color physics. I find the work (and life) of Neil Harbisson fascintating, he has definetly been a source of inspiration for me during this process since this particular installation has to do with color and sound.
It’s kind of sad to confess, but this is not a new proyect at all. I’ve had the idea and general thesis of it for years, but had failed to actually do the damn thing!  Having ideas scribbled in notebooks is not the way to find personal realization. Can you tell I have been going through an existencialist crisis? I have not only developed a Peter Pan complex, but have successfully convinced myself that I had lost all personal drive while working for someone else. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE my job, and I feel professional growth, but in a perosnal level I felt I was missing something. So here it is, my mid-february’s new year resolution: Talk less, do more.
I’ll leave a link below in case you are curious and want to know more about Neil Harbisson and his work, he embodies everything I wish to become someday.

I know this a totally unrelated post to animation or anything to do with the industry, but I wanted to share with you a song that I really like.
It’s by a mexican band called “Hello Seahorse” and it’s titled La Flotadera
Hope you like it as much as I do.

La Flotadera