Keept it Moving

Keept it Moving

One of my favorite things to do when I go to Disneyland is to visit the Animation Academy. It’s basically a short class where someone teaches you how to draw one of the Disney characters. Outside of the building, there’s a list of all of the characters that they’re going to draw for that day. So, all you have to do is figure out which one you want to draw and come back there when they’re teaching it.

One of the reasons that I love going in there is because it’s nice and cool. After spending hours in the hot Anaheim sun, it’s nice to go inside someplace that is air conditioned and just chill out. I also enjoy it because I get a chance to listen to a bunch of Disney songs as I wait for my turn. In all of the lines that you have to stand in at the park there isn’t much in the way of entertainment, but for this one, there is.

Once you get inside the actual room, you’re greeted by the animator who’s going to show you how to draw the character. When everyone is inside and has their paper and pencil, the instructor always tells everyone to pay special attention to their pencil. He or she points out how there’s no eraser, and lets us know that this means that we won’t be able to erase any of our mistakes. We should start off by sketching lightly, and then at the end we should just darken up the parts that we want to keep.

The first time I participated in this, I thought that there was no way in hell that I was going to like doing this. I’ve enjoyed drawing in the past, but I particularly liked that if I wanted to change up my drawing I could easily do so by erasing it. But these feelings didn’t matter since I was already in the room. I had to draw something, so I sucked it up and started following the animator’s instructions. When I started out, I made sure to do it as lightly as I could just in case I ended up making a mistake. If I did mess up, then it wouldn’t be as noticeable because this area would be a lot lighter than the finished areas. As I sketched, I definitely made mistakes, but I just kept going because as I invested more and more time into the project, I became curious as to how it would end up turning out. So when I did mess up, I just drew on top of that part in order to fix it. In the end, my picture actually looked pretty good, even though I still had a few errors on it. The animator was right. After you darkened up the parts that you wanted to keep, the rest of it kind of just faded into the background. In fact, having the light parts actually ends up making it look more professional. When you see sketches that animators make, it’s never perfect. They always have tons of lighter lines in the background, so the fact that my picture had it too made it seem legit.

Life can be a lot like this class. You’ll start out doing something, but then you’ll end up making a mistake. But since the mistake is out there, it’s not so easy to take back. You’ve essentially drawn on a piece of paper with a pencil, but because there’s no eraser in sight, you can’t just make it go away. What you can do however, is move forward. You can accept the fact that you’ve messed up, and then you can learn from the mistake and approach future situations differently with the knowledge that you’ve gained from that mistake. Your error is always going to be there for you to see, but if you make better decisions in the future then those past mistakes become less noticeable.

Positive thinker, you can’t be afraid of making mistakes. It’s going to happen. It’s a part of life. What you can do however, is try to learn from those mistakes. If you learn from them, then your slip-up has purpose.


Find the lesson in your errors, and use it to make you better!