February 01, 2011

Success Stories - If at first you don't succeed, dream a little bigger!

Some people already know by the age of 5 exactly what they want to be when they grow up. For the rest of us, there's nothing more exciting than that light-bulb moment when we finally uncover our perfect career path. But no matter how motivated, dedicated, and talented you are, that path is going to have some bumps, twists and turns, and flaming hoops (who put those there?).

My inspirational success story today focuses on one of my personal favorite figures - John Lasseter!
As a kid, John Lasseter loved getting up to watch early morning cartoons so much that, when he got older, he decided to pursue a career in animation.. Disney's Animation. Accepted at the California Institute of the Arts, he learned how to animate from a few of the original Disney animators. After graduating, Lasseter's dream was fulfilled as he joined the elite rank of animators at Walt Disney Feature Animation. And he lived happily ever after, right? Actually, not so.

While at Disney, Lasseter and some of his colleagues decided to do a project exploring computer animation (believe it or not, kiddies, it was not so long very long ago that animations were still done by hand!). Not appreciative of this little project (and a fearful that computers would replace the need for traditional animators), Lasseter's superiors fired him. Ouch, what a way to kill a dream! But Lasseter continued to investigate techniques in computer animation and became one of the founders of his own company. Maybe you've heard of it? It's called Pixar.

Oddly enough, Pixar ended up being bought by Disney so it looks like Lasseter's dream came full circle except now he's in a much better position. Maybe getting told off by the best in the business isn't always such a bad thing after all?

Katie Hazard | Digital Artist, User Experience Designer
khazard@internlikearockstar.com | @katie_hazard
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