Chris Padilla/Blog / Art

Impression Minus Expression Equals Depression

That equation feels right.

(And it's, of course, a saying. We're not talking about the actual psychological diagnosis here.)

This comes from the legendary Disney animator and teacher Walt Stanchfield (A lead character animator for the Aristocats, to name one.) I've written before about how Walt Describes the curious act of performing with no audience. This equation come in context from his handouts for gesture drawing:

(Here, Walt is talking about the benefits of staying healthy enough to have the energy to create, another juicy point)

You must create. The injunction of life is to create or perish. Good physical and mental conditioning are necessary to do this. Remember this: the creative energy that created the Universe, created you and its creative power is in you now, motivating you, urging you on - always in the direction of creative expression. I have a formula: "Impression minus expression equals depression". This is especially applicable to artists. We have trained ourselves to be impressed (aware) of all the things around us, and in the natural course of our lives those impressions cry out to be expressed - on paper, on canvas, in music, in poetry, in an animated film. So shape up

Ain't that the truth?

It's still worth the reminder. When you do professionally creative work (like animation or software!) you are still constantly taking in the world and are falling in love with all sorts of things - books, music, stories, and technologies.

The best way to express that love is through getting down to business and making something.