Thursday, May 16, 2013

How to Get a Job in Animation

You dudes are on tumblr too, right?

This was in response to a question I got on my tumblr (which you can find here).













What are studios looking for? How can I get into a good animation school? What should I be studying?

I get a lot of these types of questions now and again, and I never know how to answer them. I can't be sure of what studios are looking for, I don't control admissions policies to schools, and I have little idea what makes for a current and relevant curriculum. There are a lot of variables in your bid for a career in animation, and it's kind of impossible to control most of them. You must be crazy to want this job!

I find it helpful to focus on the things I can control. Among those things are your study habits and how you spend your personal time. It's good to work hard and have goals—without them we would get nowhere. Study hard and make decisive strides towards achieving your art goals. But in the heat of that pursuit, don't forget to go out and live your life!

If you spend any amount of time looking at artists online, you've probably figured out by now that there are about a million dudes and dudettes in internetville who draw better than you (I relive this realization daily). Once your have done your best to rise to their level, the only tool you have to compete with these crazy talents is your background, your personal character—is you!

Consider developing your whole self with the same raw focus and intensity that you develop a particular skill set. Get focused. Go out, have adventures. Run, jump, skin your knee, fall in love, root loudly for the away team at a baseball game, barely escape a crash of stampeding rhinos, live to see another day. Experience things big and small. Go for a walk. The world is full of wonders.

I know this advice is not particularly animation-specific, but maybe that's for the best. At any rate, it is something I feel strongly about. Animation is great, and there are few things that I enjoy doing more than drawing and storytelling. But in order to have stories to tell, first you have to live them.

Be good, and see you soon!













19 comments:

Robin Chakraborty said...

I just wanna put this out! but you, sir are a real life super hero for me! This post just made my day! :D

Pancho said...

just amazing, guy.
I completly agree

João Sustelo said...

Anthony Thank you so much!!! these were master's words :)

Heather Dixon said...

the best advice <3

Junko Miyakoshi said...

Very fun and inspiring!
Also very true :)

Cheers,
Junko

yashi said...

truely inspiring....love your work man...

Nikhita said...

Hehe! So inspiring and wonderful to read. :)

Jill Lorraine said...

Love this so much!

amateur idler said...

Well this was incredibly helpful. I'm an illustration student and I've been bogged down lately. Thank you!

Trevor Conrad said...

Life experience is great. . . but if you can't draw or animate, no one will hire you. If you really want to get a job in animation/film/broadcast whatever, you need to be passionate about what you do. Anthony I think it's more valuable (in terms of getting a job in animation) to get people to live and breathe drawing/animation than to go get life experiences.

All my buddies that have succeeded in their animation careers are soo passionate about what they do. They animate every aspect of their lives, and constantly look and observe the world around them in the context of animation (your blog is a great example of this).

You can still maintain a healthy work/life balance, but you better be passionate and putting in the hours in order to have that opportunity.

Anthony Holden said...

Trevor,

You said it, man! There is no substitute for chops. Either you can draw or you can't, you can animate or you can't. I'm not going to argue with you there. Experiencing life won't get you a job in animation without the necessary skill sets, this much is certain.

I hope that's not what came across in this message.

Jeff Maka Merghart said...

I just gave a talk to a local high school and wish I articulated that idea as well as you just did! Excellent and well said advise!!!! I love your work and your gifs btw :)

Chris Palmer said...

In response to Trevor,

What I got from Anthony's post, and what excited me about someone willing to say it, is that life experience makes an artist's art worth anyone else's time... worth their viewership. People who really live life have something to say to the world, have new opinions, stronger opinions, formed on these experiences, than say the artist who has sat passionately in a room all day drawing and reading the Illusion of Life. I don't want to see a movie by that type of artist. They have nothing more to say in a film, story, or piece of art than a badly photocopied version of the author of the book they read. I'd rather read the original...

Firsthand experiences lead to (I would argue) not better craftsmanship necessarily, but better art. I thought (my opinion here) that Silver Linings Playbook was the best movie of last year. It was honest and beautiful. Director David O. Russell made a better movie because he had a similar family experience and could direct the actors and get a better performance based on that knowledge. Yea, the actors are brilliant at their craft and probably would have done a great job otherwise. But, the movie never would have even been made without the director's family history inspiring him to pick up the book and want to make a film out of it. And then I and a bunch of other people got to enjoy it, and the truth within it.

Studying is important. Hard work is important. Being tops at your craft is important. But you still won't make a good piece film/book/art piece with only that.

Comic artist Joe Madureira recently did a post with the first line "Do you really want to be an artist? Or a successful working professional?"

I believe Anthony was referring to both, not only to the later. And it's better that everyone strive for both than only the 2nd...

Thanks again for the post, Anthony! I've been forwarding it along.

Anthony Holden said...

Chris,

It's always good to hear from you. Thanks for your insights and for passing the word along!

Sugumar Je said...

What a Great Advice from Great Master :) I like your Way!

Santiago J. Barrau said...

I always get inspiration and motivation when i see your blog. Thanks a lot Anthony!

Regards from Spain.

Anna Vrieling said...

thank you. :) i, and so many others, needed to see this.

Lu said...

I love this advice! I just shared it with my daughter. She is 15, a self taught artist, and really wants to work in animation someday. I loved your advice and thought it was just perfect! A person's life is about so much more than their job description. I am a homeschooling mom of 7, so believe me when I say I know what I am talking about on that front. Thanks you for your great attitude about this subject.

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