Anyone who knows me knows there is something up with my head. The answer? I have Asperger’s Syndrome, albeit a mild form. I was first diagnosed with it at age 9.
Recently, I have been commenting quite a bit on animator Eddie Fitzgerald’s blog. Though mostly a blog about theories applied to animation, he recently had a couple of entries that mentioned Aspergers. He identified Aspergers and autism as chronic nerdness. I couldn’t help but comment on the entries. Since then, I have been thinking about how my autism works its way into my art and animation.
Aspergers come in different forms. My form is rather mild, meaning that while my social skills are still quite shaky, I am aware of them and can occasionally bring myself to communicate with others. Wanting to be a filmmaker, I feel very lucky, as communication is a big part of the directing process. I have always drawn as far back as I can remember, and I could write, so I already had a couple of outlets. Animation feels like a great outlet for me.
Only recently, I have started to think about how my autism affects my ideas in animation. I know that all animators have their own way of thinking (some call that their style, or trademark). However in my case, autism has given me a different way of perceiving the world in general. And that perception works its way into my animation.
I have always thought of the world as being rather cynical. Henceforth, I have always thought of characters that have a very cynical nature.
My learning process in animation is also quite slow, as I can’t always commit new lessons to memory. I tend to think of new ideas very simply, and don’t put a lot of emphasis upon them until I am confident with how much knowledge I have.
My perception of animation itself is different, but that maybe personal taste. Some animators (mainly those who comment of John Kricfalusi’s blog) have immediate knowledge of what good animation is and how it should be done. I have always trusted my immediate natural reaction to animation. If I really like something naturally, then I don’t immediately see if there is something wrong with it. I felt that when I was watching an old Friz Freleng Bugs Bunny cartoon with a couple of friends. I thought it was very funny, but my friends didn’t, and had very lucid answers to why it wasn’t funny.
I have always trusted my natural reaction. And if I am distracted by poor art direction or something, then my immediate reaction is quite sour.
I hope to talk more about this later on.