When I was in college there was this ongoing competitive mindset from the teachers /students that: “If you’re not drawing all night / getting 1 – 2 hours of sleep, you’re going to fall behind.” If you’re an artist you’ve probably met this kind of thinking… I’ve heard it from so many pros / tutorials.
One of my professors said that line all the time. I loved this dude. he worked at Disney on many of my favorite movies, and my young self became absorbed in this mindset. About 3 years into my degree that professor had a stroke, and when he went to the doctor they said he actually previously had something like 10+ strokes without even knowing, brought on by stress, and that he needed to slow down.
Since then I’ve heard tons of other accounts of sickness and divorce brought on from addiction to work.
A few years later I was listening to an Animation podcast interviewing Glen Keane. He brought up that there were other animators who would live and breathe their work, never going home, barely sleeping, etc.
What shocked me was that Glen Keane said something like “I ignored this idea, and decided to go home every night to spend time with my family, because I could learn just as much from my life experiences with them.”
Anyway I just wanted to take a second after hearing a statement like this again recently and let any young artists out there know that:
There’s nothing wrong with investing plenty of time studying and drawing, but also be healthy.
This is important! Draw often and draw every day – its how you get better – but don’t stress yourself out! You’ll always do better work when you’re well rested and living your life. I only pulled a few all nighters in college and every single one of them was a mistake. You don’t need to do that. If you’re not healthy in the end it won’t be worth it at all.
Wear your sleep as your badge of honour instead of being a person who trades stories about how they haven’t slept in days. Your body will thank you for it.
I honestly don’t remember ever doing an all-nighter in college. Rest, balance, healthy life experiences, these are key!
Also if Glen Keane is saying it it’s probably something you can take to the bank.