Terrific Tips from Mr. Yaccarino
Bring the best people available into the project and allow them to do their best work. On my series Oswald and Willa’s Wild Life, I made sure the absolute best people I could find were working on it and I trusted them. I’m not a micro-manager, but if I find myself giving a lot of direction or constantly revising someone’s work, then I didn’t do my number one job, which was to bring the best people in. I wanted everyone who worked on the series to put their own fingerprints on them in order to have ownership. Because of this, everyone involved felt a part of it and worked harder and took more pride in what they did.
The same is true for Doug Unplugs. Everyone involved gave their best and it really shows on screen. I’m so proud and happy to be a part of it. Although I’ve been creating and producing animated series for 20 years, there’s always so much more to learn. There’s always something new to discover, so many talented people to work with and so much joy to be experienced. I am grateful to be able to do what I do.
Surviving a Challenging Year: In addition to producing and writing and illustrating books, I travel quite a bit visiting schools to talk about what I do, but of course, all of my visits were cancelled, so in addition to giving virtual presentations, I decided to take the time to develop some book ideas I’d been meaning to get to that could potentially be source material for animated series and features. Part of my being is somewhat hermit-like – I might have been a monk in a past life, living in a monastery, spending my life creating an illuminated manuscript – so I was fine with spending time alone for days at a time, working into the wee hours, talking to myself, occasionally seeing my son and daughter, but also practicing TM and doing some yoga. I’ve also rediscovered my love of cooking – which is dangerous because, being Italian, I not only love to cook, but love to eat. ◆