When I realized that animation was my LIFE I decided to invest in and set up a home-studio. Over the years, I’ve had several home animation studios and have learned a few things that keep me sane as I create in the place where I live.
- Use External Speakers. When I’m working I usually have a constant stream combination of NPR, Pandora, or podcasts. Without a community of coworkers the soothing sounds make me feel like less of an animation hermit. I use external speakers placed at least 5 feet away when I listen rather than the computer’s external speakers. The sound is cleaner, softer, and doesn’t make me grind my teeth. If you get headaches or fatigued in your home studio try out external speakers!
- Make one improvement to your studio every week. This is essential when you’re first setting up. Notice the shortcomings of your space and fix it. Add a new shelf. Get the proper lighting. Vacuum your space. This is where you make your art so show it some love. Animators who work at home usually have a small space to work on big ideas. I find that the limitations of my space inspire inventions and create interesting stipulations for my projects. Your art is evolving so your home-studio needs to keep up.
- Go outside and exercise. Animators usually have to sit or stand in one place for hours on end. This puts a lot of stress on your body. Many animators revel in the pain and think that that is just the price you pay for your art. But that’s not true! Incorporate exercise into your routine. I do a round of sun salutations after I complete 1 or 2 seconds of animation. Do something that gets your blood moving and your muscles stretched. You’ll see a change in your animation endurance and you’ll feel (less) exhausted at the end of the day.
- Clean up at the end of the day. AFTER watching the progress you’ve made on your animation on loop for the hundredth time, BEFORE collapsing in bed with your favorite binge-worthy show, CLEAN UP your workspace. Just do a little tidying. Recycle the scrap paper, put the dishes in the sink, clear off some space for the next day. This process is therapeutic for me. I can take stock of the day and plan for tomorrow. Your morning bright-eyed self will thank your begrudgingly responsible butt in the morning.
What are your home-studio tips?!