Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Starting Right

The following is the first lesson of the Animator's Survival Kit given by Oscar-winning animator Richard Williams. This is a two-minute video about a principle that Williams holds dear and which is often spoken about in martial arts: focus. It's possible that this also touches on no-mind, also called mushin, although Williams doesn't explicitly explore this. He puts forward the idea that we must focus on the task in hand and avoid unnecessary distraction: this is one interpretation of 'kime'. Body and mind focused directly on the sole purpose of executing the task at hand. A decisive technique with full focus of body and mind. Seems like animators use this technique too...


SueC said...

Hi Chris, nice one! I think this also illustrates how the mental skills we learn through martial arts are transferable (and vice versa).

This ability to intensely focus on a task is what the psychologists call 'Flow'. A definition of flow (from Wikipedia) is: 'Flow is the mental state of operation in which the person is fully immersed in what he or she is doing by a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and success in the process of the activity'. I'm doing a bit of research on this at the moment in relation to Mushin so I will probably post on it sometime soon.

Ikigai said...

Yea I've noticed that mastery of art at high levels seems to stem from core concepts and abilities that transcend specific artforms.

Littlefair said...

Hi Sue,

Just checked your site and seen a comprehensive article on kime!

Think I'll need to cross reference you in mine

Matt, you really are a wordsmith!