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Remembering Where You Came From #TBT

I was going through my Vimeo account recently when I came across the first After Effects piece I ever did. Immediately I cringed, embarrassed that it was connected to my name and honestly thought about deleting it (or at least making it private). Something stopped me from doing it though. There's a nostalgia to this piece for me, along with some encouragement for today.

The Nostalgia

I was just out of college when Russ Martin, the Media Director for Precept Ministries International at the time, saw something in me and gave me a shot as part of his video team. Russ, now a dear friend, is one of those guys who I will forever look up to and respect. He took time to invest in me personally and professionally. It was an extremely exciting time for me. I learned a ton and loved being a part of that team. 

At some point, one of our producers had this concept that she wanted to be animated. I immediately volunteered to take on this piece. I was really into Flash at the time, building a lot of Flash websites for random freelance jobs and playing with animation. I knew that it was something I could do in Flash and thought it would be a breeze. Man, was I wrong! The short version is that I had issues exporting from Flash into Avid Media Composer and the only option I had left was to learn the basics of After Effects in a week. If it wasn't for guys like Andrew Kramer, I would have been up a creek...

By the end of the week I was in love with After Effects. It opened up a new world of animation and motion design to me that was bursting with possibilities. I was so proud of what I was able to accomplish and was now looking for any and every opportunity to jump into this new tool.

This piece reminds me of that excitement, of Russ, and of the team I worked with there. I'm thankful for the chance I got to be there and for the lessons I learned during that time.

The Encouragement

I'm sure you've heard it said, "Remember where you came from!" This piece is the embodiment of that statement for me. It's where it started for me and it's not pretty. Yes, I was excited about it at the time, but today I see all the issues and flaws with the piece. After all, I did almost delete it because of my embarrassment of it. There are, however, two encouragements for me as I look at this.

The first encouragement I saw from this was progress. Looking back at where I started allows me to clearly see that I have made progress as a motion designer and animator. I'm not where I want to be, nor do I think I ever will be, but I am getting better. The second encouragement was to stay humble. I may be better than I used to be, but I've done a lot of bad work too. 

It's funny how something can stir memories and cause reflection. Even after all that, I still am hesitant to put this out for others to see, but I've decided it's part of my attempt to stay humble. So with that, I'm finally willing to put my first After Effects piece out there, cringing as I hit post...

My Role: Illustration & Animation

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