Schoolism LIVE Toronto 2015

When I heard there was going to be an two-day animation workshop in Toronto back in January, I immediately bought a ticket, not even knowing what Schoolism was then. However, I started to worry after. I’m not an animation student nor was I working within the industry – what right did I have to attend the workshops? After sending numerous emails to Schoolism, they assured me that the workshops were for everyone and that Schoolism Toronto would be a great opportunity for me to learn something new and improve my skills.

The workshops were held at the Westin Harbour Castle for two days. Leading the workshops were notable Mingjue Helen Chen, Sam Nielson, Stephen Silver, Kevin Lima, and Brenda Chapman, along with bonus demonstrations by Craig Mullins and Claire Wendling. To say I was starstruck would be an understatement.

But boy was Schoolism right in the end. The workshops were a wonderful experience for me and I met some truly inspiring people. If Schoolism were to host another workshop in Toronto, I would definitely go again.

I think Schoolism Toronto made me realize something about myself. You see, working within the animation industry is something I’ve always wanted to do since elementary school but over the years, I somehow led myself astray and went to pursue a degree in Chemistry instead. Of course I enjoy Chemistry but I wasn’t quite as happy learning about it as I did with animation and drawing. Despite that, I continued studying Chemistry, even when I couldn’t see myself working in the field anymore.

Heck, I would say that the two days of Schoolism were the happiest I’ve been in my four years of undergraduate education. I’ve never seen myself so motivated such that I was able to stay awake for over 8 hours of lectures and demonstrations. It’s enough to put me to tears.

So what exactly does this all mean for me now? With only a couple courses to go, I’ll definitely work hard to finish up and graduate in Chemistry. After that though, I’m going to pursue a path that I should have done a long time ago – this time without fear or hesitation of the future. I’m working on my portfolio now but I hope that one day, I will be able to share the news with all my readers that I got accepted into an animation program.

I’m not sure if I can put into words why it seems like I’ve [suddenly] decided upon this, but maybe the poem that Stephen Silver wrote might help explain my feelings.

All I’ve ever done
Is enjoyed what I ever do
My mind was open
My mind was clear
I did not stop to think of fear
I open up my mind
Think of an idea
Put it into action
And see what will appear
It can never be a failure
Because I learned along the way
If I did not succeed
I’ll try another day
Stay calm and smile, enjoy the things you do
Life will get much better, as long as you are you

Stephen Silver


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