1. Drawing with a pencil on paper (Col-Erase light blue and Tombow Mono 'F' on animation bond).
2. Being completely immersed within an artistic task (the ever-elusive "zone").
3. And most of all ... the people (well, some of them anyway).
Animators are a passionate, creative bunch of folks, often times harboring some sort of obsessive personality. They tend to be driven by an internal desire to do the best possible work they can, though never seeming to be truly satisfied with the outcome. Always comparing themselves to personal heroes, idols, and other impossible means of measure. The fascinating thing about them, is that they are usually well versed in many artforms as well; painting, design, film, music, theater, comic books, puppetry, sculpture, etc. If you ever want to know who the greatest artist of all time was / is, just ask a roomful of animators and you'll get a roomful of answers. Something else I've noticed, is that the animation field itself serves as a port for many of these folks. A stop off, detour, or training ground until the next creative calling beacons. ....sigh.
Well, this past weekend I was fortunate to re-connect with some of these friends of mine. I miss their energy, enthusiasm, and drive. Thanks for allowing me to stop and smell the flowers!