On Hayao Miyazaki’s Starting Point

When I got the email informing users that Book Depository was closing down for good (so much sadness about this), I did some browsing for what was to be my farewell bounty.

I looked for authors I enjoy, to see if there was something I had missed, glimpsed through the available artbooks to find out if there was something that called out to me, and tried to remember if there was any author that belongs to my “must have at least one book of theirs” list that I had somehow ignored.

While I was doing this, of course, a lot of artbooks on Ghibli movies came up, and between those, there was one that lured me in, because, well, it isn’t an artbook at all.

There are two Hayao Miyazaki books that I had no idea they existed, which collect a huge amount of of articles, lectures and notes he wrote from the late seventies to early 2000s (I do mean huge, each book is over 450 pages long). One is Starting Point, the other is Turning Point (I am currently halfway through Starting Point).

I find it extremely interesting to read the notes of authors on their process and their craft. I also have an insane affinity with capricorns and their methods o.o. They lure me in with our shared saturnian vibes. It has become somewhat of a game to see the sign of authors I enjoy, and how 80% of the times, that sign is capricorn.

But astrology games aside, I’ve had a brush with viewpoints that I can’t but find so mediocre last month, from people who, if we consider “work in the graphic arts” as a shared element, are from the same field as I am, that some healing by being submerged in an affinity I respect was needed.

This book is doing all the healing.

The writing is so clear, to the point, and with a sincerity and clarity in motives that’s so beautiful to read. My brain feels loved. The book focuses on animation, manga, life as someone that works in a creative field that involves storytelling, and the reality of what it’s like to work in that field.

So if you work on either field out of ambition and drive, then it’s a book that it’s likely that it will speak to you.

It’s a pity I wasn’t aware of Starting Point and Turning Point earlier on, but I am grateful that I found them now.

Even when I have very strong opinions, I tend to express them “publicly”, be it in a lecture or my socials, through reactiveness. When I see something that triggers my sense of justice, I jump in. Or something that overwhelms me. Otherwise, everything pretty much exists inside. But these days I am so aware of how beautiful it is to find solace and understanding through the written words of people whose thoughts and experiences trigger a certain affinity, that I am starting to feel more inclined to share more, and express more, not just when I feel I have to, but as a way of sharing experiences and adding more viewpoints into the sea of individuals that is the collective human experience.

To sum it up, I am very grateful to all the things Miyazaki’s Starting Point is making me think about. I highly recommend it to anyone interested in the reality of working in a creative field, and to those who have a sense of wonder about this world.

It will make your brain happy.

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