Animation was always on the back of my mind but it was more of a hobby; paint, brushes, canvases, that meant everything for me.
My biggest problem with that 'profession' was that I could never reconcile myself with the idea of selling my work, not that the opportunity ever arose anyway. Turns out I wasn't much of a painter and at the time at least, not much of an artist either and I naturally drifted away.
It did give me some solid foundations and I was enjoying the process anyway, but most of all it allowed me to live a few things that are not given to everybody; painting a copy in the Louvre easily tops the list, but the few hours I got to spend in the Cairo museum, armed with a few sheets of paper and acrylics is a memory I will cherish for a long time.
Not that the working conditions were any good, hot, stuffy and surrounded by people, many carelessly stopping right in front of the piece you're painting, but it was fun!