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The Creative Process as a Standalone Skill

“…That experience left a deep and long-lasting impression on me. A book about writing helped me become a better animator; what did that mean?”

Below is the book’s preface, in which I tell the story of how and why I decided to write it. 


Dear reader,

We all start life as creatives. As kids, we are fascinated with making stuff, and we have an imagination that knows no boundaries. Some of us lose interest early on; others continue to create as a hobby their entire lives; and some of us make it our career.

We quickly discover that professional creativity comes with a sting. It is no longer the relaxing pastime it once was. Creativity is a wild creature, and it doesn’t like it when you try to harness it with plans and deadlines. Frustration and pain often dominate the first few years in one’s creative career.

Continue reading “The Creative Process as a Standalone Skill”

Workflow Keyword: Context

'Workflow Keyword' posts are short posts highlighting some of the key concepts of 'Workflow'. Hit the keyword tag to read 'em all!


Context means all the stuff that is not included in your work, but influences it all the same.

For example: when an architect designs a building, the context of his work may be the surrounding landscape, the type of soil, and so on. The given budget and costumer preferences would also be part of the context. Continue reading “Workflow Keyword: Context”

Workflow Weekly: Fearless Storyboarding, The Origins of Workflow (week #46)

As usual, a collection of recent Workflow highlights for you. Enjoy!


Fearless Storyboarding

A few weeks ago I flew to Moscow to give a talk about the two things main thing I’ve been involved in over the last decade or so: Workflow, and Storyboarding. I named the lecture ‘Fearless Storyboarding’. Here are a few photos, as well as some slides from the presentation:

Continue reading “Workflow Weekly: Fearless Storyboarding, The Origins of Workflow (week #46)”

Is Your Computer Killing Your Ideas?

Everything in the digital world is easily undo-able, resize-able, zoom-in-able, copy-paste-able and changeable. But is that really a good thing?

My uncle David used to have a typewriter. This was 30 years ago, when a personal computer was still quite a new concept (let alone a home printer). As a kid who loved to read, the typewriter was an exciting and magical instrument for me: with it, I could literally create ‘real’ books!

One thing I do remember very clearly about using a typewriter Continue reading “Is Your Computer Killing Your Ideas?”

Core Concept: Working in Passes

To get a sense of what working in passes looks like, imagine seeing a cathedral from a great distance.

[Pages 119-157 in Workflow]

Working in passes is the controlled process of advancing your work one step (‘pass‘) at a time towards your vision. Every pass must be short, simple, and focus on improving just a few important aspects of the work.

To get a sense of what working in passes feels like, imagine seeing a cathedral from a great distance. Continue reading “Core Concept: Working in Passes”

Core Concept: The Premake

The premake has many names: model, maquette, demo recording, animatic, mock-up, synopsis, proof of concept, or simply ‘sketch’.

At the very heart of the creative process is the premake: a quick and rough capture of your vision. Think of the premake as an apparition in a fortune teller’s crystal ball: a small, blurred, distorted prophecy of what your finished work is going to be.

This quick sketch has almost as many names as there are forms of creativity. In architecture it’s called Continue reading “Core Concept: The Premake”