A Lesson From Bill

Earlier this year, we had the pleasure of having Bill Plympton come to the Tampa Bay area for GIFF.  Bill has an incredible legacy behind as one of the most notable and prolific independent animators who's been consistently producing feature film after feature film year after year... by himself.  His feature films average around 40,000 unique hand drawn frames by Bill.  He produces a variety of shorts every year.  He goes to at least 20 festivals per year.

The legendary Bill and myself watching the animatic to AMBITION.

The legendary Bill and myself watching the animatic to AMBITION.

While he wishes he could produce more blockbuster type material or add more polish, his unique artistic vision is ultimately what has carried him throughout the last four decades of his career.  Four decades!

Later in the week, Bill stopped by the studio.  Won't lie... It was an honor to have such a legendary and prolific artist stop by for a visit.  We showed him around the studio, showed Bill our short film "Ambition," and talk shop.  

We went for lunch near by.  There We talked film, art, the industry at large and our experiences of running our own studios.  Though the visit was brief, I learned a lot from Bill.   

Some takeaways I thought I'd share:

  • He draws everyday.
  • He makes films with topics that are interesting to him.
  • He keeps it simple. Paper, pencil, done.
  • He's promoting his films as much as he can by hitting festivals, comic cons, and giving talks.  
  • Drawing is what keeps him going.

When it comes to having "hustle muscle," Bill is the Charles Atlas in the animation world.