After a tumultuous year, we here at Planet Nutshell took a moment to reflect and wanted to share our takeaways from 2020 and our hopes for 2021.
When unexpected or scary things happen (if you were alive in 2020, you know what I’m talking about), don’t turn inward. Turn to those you trust, believe in that trust, and build a community of people who will support each other. That’s what I worked hard at doing at Planet Nutshell this year.
I have high hopes for our narrative project, Azucar (azucarfilm.com). We plan to submit it to the festival circuit in early 2021. Even if no one likes it, we will have learned so much and pushed ourselves in new creative directions. I’m excited to tell a story that is all our own. That’s a true gift. I’m also looking forward to supporting the creative goals of the team and helping folks realize the things they want to accomplish in animation and storytelling. With a great team, anything is possible!
2020 was an incredibly difficult year for all of us and really it took a toll on me, both mentally and emotionally. One of the most important lessons that I learned this year was to be kinder to myself and learn when to give myself, and others, a break. If not, there was a very real chance of everyone burning out. It was difficult at first, trying to find a balance between my work-a-holic tendencies and something a bit more sustainable for the current situation, but I’d like to think that I’ve finally struck a good balance between the two. While I still put my all into everything I do, I also know that once I finish a task (or two, or three) I can take a moment to breathe before jumping head long into the next thing on my to-do list.
One of my goals for 2021 is to really build up my personal website with recent work that I’ve done, both professionally and personally. I had originally planned on doing that this year, but with everything that happened I didn’t have the creative energy or motivation to do so. Fingers crossed I’ll finally have more of an online presence next year!
Apart from the clear difficulties this year has brought, I was very excited to transition into being the lead for our internship program! I supervised two of our first fully remote interns, Audrey in the summer and Sean in the fall/winter. Sam and I collaborated, with input from the team, on how to recreate the studio experience from home and I was able to work on my leadership and communication skills. With encouragement and mentorship from Jen and Josh, I’ve been able to develop a more constructively critical eye that allows me to mentor in turn. It brings me great joy to try to give our interns the same valuable and fun experience that I had in my own internships during college (as well as try to live up to my mentors, eek!). I’m looking forward to continuing to improve and grow in this area professionally and personally in the coming year.
A goal of mine, professionally, in the next year is to continue to push my animation skills, especially with character animation. I’m hoping to become even more of a generalist as my career progresses and character animation is an area where I would like to improve. I’m very grateful to have the opportunity here at PN to push those skills under Jen’s careful eye. It’s a little scary, as character animation can often feel very personal, but a growing edge is never comfortable! Personally, I’m hoping in-person singing will return in late 2021. I’ve been missing sweet harmonies!
Professionally I learned that it is 100,000% possible for Planet Nutshell to excel when working remotely! We’ve been working from home since March of 2020 and it has been going really well. I’m proud of the team for adjusting to this new normal and being creative with fun ways to still interact like our Afternoon Hellos, socially-distanced picnics and a Team Building Slack channel!
A massive goal for me personally for 2021 is to fully launch Queer Scouts Boston! It is a monthly peer-led skill share for queer and trans adults and allies to build community, learn new skills and get outside. You can find us on Facebook and Instagram!
2020 has indeed been a challenging year. At Planet Nutshell we are grateful for our little corner of the universe that has continued to thrive and we hope that in 2021 more and more of the world can heal and begin to thrive once more.
What are your reflections?