It inevitably happens...
Perhaps it's happened to you as well, perhaps not (and perhaps YOU have been a guilty party)!
What I am talking about is posting crass, negative comments about someone's work (in this case, my own).
I've shared what I have done on "YouTube", and I realize this is one of the risks one takes by doing so. YouTube is a wonderful place where we can see the work of beginners and experts alike. It is both a place to get inspiration and a place to gauge one's one progress.
The fellow who made the comment is apparently a student (or graduate) of the "Animation Mentors" program with a reel of his own on YouTube, and not some punk who just goes about making arbitrary crass comments (there are plenty of those folks around as well). In other words, this fellow intends to work in the animation industry.
I was tempted to leave a counter-reply, but decided not to. I was also tempted to "take his name" (as I am well-connected in the traditional animation world, and could conceivably cause trouble for him if I so chose), but I also decided not to. It would be stooping to his level.
Whatever the case, it still hurt. nearly 20 years of 2D experience and an OSCAR nomination aside, I am largely self-taught in Maya (I've taken two classes at NYU; an intense introductory course and an animation-specific course). Sure, if I had six free months and $15,000+ to cough up (or if Animation Mentors had been around 20 years ago) I'd have loved to have taken it, but reality dictates otherwise.
I guess I have a low tolerance for those who have the luxury of such an education but choose to make themselves feel better by criticizing others in a crass and cocky manner, but in the end there's precious little I can do about it. At least I can share my experience here!
The beauty of what we are all trying to do is that with practice, we DO improve. Most of what I have on YouTube is a year or more old, and I've since learned a LOT. I've been both critic and criticized here, and the overwhelming majority of you are patient with peoples' questions, kind and constructive with criticism, and generous with praise.
In the end, the one thing I learned about the animation industry (2D AND 3D alike) is that one's attitude is as important as one's reel. This fellow's Animation Mentors reel is good, but not so good as to justify his arrogance. In the end I will write this whole thing off to youthful exuberance.
And besides, a doctorate from the School of Hard Knocks goes a LOT farther in the real world than any other degree.
Thanks for your indulgence!
"Ad astra per aspera..."