Overlapping Projects

Sometimes I wonder if I'm spreading myself too thin with my projects. At any one point, I seem to have too many of my own projects in the works. At the moment, I've got 2-3 film projects in post production (though they're all sort of stuck in whatever the "development hell" equivalent of post production would be), another one in production, and another 2 in pre-production. Then in animation, I've got one in production, and another 4 or so that I'm juggling in various stages of pre-production.

A chart that shows how long I was in the production stage on Funna, and the 5 other projects that were completed before Funna was finally completed. This may be the project that I set down and picked back up more than any other, and this doesn't include the time BEFORE Funna finally made it to the animation stage.

A chart that shows how long I was in the production stage on Funna, and the 5 other projects that were completed before Funna was finally completed. This may be the project that I set down and picked back up more than any other, and this doesn't include the time BEFORE Funna finally made it to the animation stage.

I used to be much more strict with myself about how many things I could be working on at once, even pretty much not allowing myself to work on any other animation in almost any capacity if I was currently working on one. But in recent years, that's changed, and now I've got a few projects going at the same time.

But is this even a bad thing? I once thought it was. I once thought that if my attention was too divided between different projects, it would keep me from putting enough time in on any one project to actually finish them. And I was worried that it would cause me to grow tired of certain pieces and never finish them if they might start taking too long to complete.

Now, don't get me wrong; both of these things are true to a degree. Having too many projects going simultaneously DOES keep any one project from finishing as quickly as it could if it was my only one, AND it also has unfortunately led to me "dropping" more projects than I had in the past (or allowed them to get stuck in the proverbial development hell at some point along the way).

But I've grown to realize that despite these things, this system of having multiple projects going at once gives me a little more freedom. If I'm tried of one project, I can take a break and switch to another one for a bit. Or same thing if I'm feeling stuck. Or even just for the sake of switching things up and using a different part of my brain or skills for a while, it's nice to be able to switch to another project.

Actually, for a long time I've had this annoying moment when I just finished an animation, and I'm rearing to animate the next thing, but I realize that I have quite a bit of pre-production and preparation on my next piece before I can even get to animating it. I feel like this is often a spot where I lose a bit of energy, and I need to kind of force myself through it and get into the animating stage again. So it would be nice to actually have my next piece lined up and ready for animation after I've finished a project.

My current projects are actually sort of keeping this in mind, and with each of them, are attempting to build, prepare, and test elements for the projects ahead of them. If I actually get my next few pieces done anytime soon, I might sit down for a minute to talk about the "Master Plan" that had gone into it all, though it basically boils down to "If I draw this background, I'll be able to use it in this animation AND this other animation, and ditto with this character I drew!"

I should have probably considered more of that with animations like "Funny School Things" where I always got so caught up in drawing all of these new assets for every skit. I was so happy when I did "Funny School Things Redux" and was able to reuse 1 background from "Funny School Things 2!"

Anyway, I think I've gotten my point out. TL;DR version: I used to avoid having overlapping projects, but now I do it, and it turns out that it's kinda nice.

Now it's time to get back to some animating.