Last saturday I set to work on a pretty standard 2 second shot to be included in a 70 second animated project. Now, this post is already one giant thinly veiled whinge so I'll try not to get too specific about the details and milk every opportunity for a micro-whinge as I go, but I'll say that I ended up spending 12 straight hours on the bastard and then another 10 straight hours on it the next day (though they may have been gay or bi hours, I honestly can't remember).
The point is 22 hours! 22 hours to draw and colour 24 frames and add shading and lighting effects as well as create a background plate.
If that sounds shocking to you then the kicker should come when I tell you that's it's only shocking in its positively un-shockingness. The shot is no more or less ambitious than the 30 or so like it in the short and is just as uninteresting in its concept as it is in its completed form. The shot lacks the deft grace, flawless draftsmanship, clever colour palette and inspired design choices you'd get in a classic Disney film. It's the typical Harry Partridge fare of just-about-TV-worthy-for-1993 but it's sadly the best I can do in that time.
Time. Bloody time. If I had more of it I could have made something so much better but then it just wouldn't have fit in among the other factory produced shots it calls brothers, and taking longer to make stuff is something I need to avoid like the space-plague.
I like the production line/factory analogy for two reasons. Firstly I'm on the job every day, this is full time work. Secondly, things still get rushed along the conveyor belt and I never feel I spend long on anything...
But my problem is, objectively, I do spend a long time on it. A second of animation a day nets me about 6 minutes a year and I can't stay afloat as an internet content creator with output that small.
I guess I'll wrap this self-loathe-a-thon up by preemptively rebutting the suggestion that I make simpler (uglier) animation which can be pumped out much faster, and quit bawling.
I guess that's what I'll have to do.