Eight Creativity Lessons From a Pixar Animator

The other day we realized that although here at TVWriter™ we have a natural tendency toward, well, snark and often poke a little (okay, sometimes a lot) fun at various thoughts/issues/ideas/stuff, there’s one company that we’ve never mocked in any way.


The following creamy goodness does a damn good job of showing why:

pixar-entrance-tvwriter.comby Leo Babauta

Sometimes immersing yourself in the creative world of people doing amazing things can bring unexpected results. My son Justin is interested in 3D animation, and my daughter Chloe is into screenwriting, so it was a thrill to take them on a tour of Pixar Animation Studios, courtesy of one of the Pixar animators.

Bernhard Haux is a “character technical director,” which in his case means he models characters and works on their internal motions (I think—I didn’t fully grasp the lingo). It means he is just a small piece in the larger Pixar machine, but a piece that’s aware of what everyone else is doing too. He’s worked on major movies such as Up, Brave, Monsters U, and others in the last six years. Bernhard was gracious enough to show us around the Pixar campus, and while we couldn’t really dig into their super-secret process, we did get a few glimpses of the magic.

And as a result of these small glimpses, I learned some surprising things. I’d like to share them here, in hopes that they’ll inspire others as they inspired me.

Tenacity Matters

Bernhard told a story of a friend who did a drawing every day for more than three years, and became amazingly good by the end of that stint. He shared Looney Toons legendary animator Chuck Jones’ assertion that you have to draw 100,000 bad drawings before you have a good drawing. Bernhard said you might not seem very good at something when you start out, but if you’re persistent—tenacious even—you can get amazingly good.

Read it all