Thursday, February 14, 2013

IS IT WORTH IT TO GO INTO ANIMATION?

Today I got a good question from a student about how worth it is it to go into the animation industry. There is a lot of concern from young people because they are scared of not being successful. This is my response to him.

That is a really important question. I totally understand your concern with the industry.
I will tell you this. In school you learn everything about making an animated film. Which means at the end of it you actually have a lot of skills and not just animation. You can use your art for so many different jobs. You understand story and storyboarding which is usefull in a lot of different fields. But what I will say is if you can only see yourself doing that. Then try it. You never want to wonder "WHAT IF?" It wasnt easy finding a job after school but I got one doing TV shows in Flash about three months after I graduated. My teacher was actually the one who hired me. What makes it hard to get a job isnt necessarily how well in the industry is doing. It's about your skills. So when you go to school. You work your butt off and really push to be the BEST you can be. When you graduate you'll have a lot more opportunities than people who just go to school because they dont really know what they want to do but animation sounded fun. If you really push for it you'll make it. Be honest with yourself. You'll know whether or not you can do it. Just don't waste ALL your time in school partying. Studios can tell who puts in the work. If you TRULY want to be an animator then I really believe you can be.

Best wishes to you.

Good luck

David Stodolny
(stodoe)

I will also add you may not get your DREAM JOB right out of school. I didn't but I was animating. Use your early jobs as learning platforms and stepping stones to get where you wanted. I was doing small TV shows and commercials and direct to DVD specials for 5 years before I landed my feature role on THE WILD. From that it gave me the experience to get hired at SONY PICTURES IMAGEWORKS where I then worked on a bunch of great movies. So you really have to keep growing. And who knows. Some people are lucky to get their dream job right out of school if the opportunity works out. Good luck to you all

18 comments:

  1. As a student myself, this is definitely an inspiring read. It's tough out there and the market keeps changing!! Being a student is scary, haha.

    Thanks for the great post!

    p.s. Yay Sheridan! Haha

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    1. Are you a Sheridan student? Are you taking the 2D or 3D course? How do you like it?

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    2. Yeah I'm in my first year of the BAA animation program - which is effectively the original animation program, but revamped.

      It's not bad, it has it's positives and it's negatives! I mean I don't want to call anything/anyone out in public, haha :)Let's just say that our students can definitely draw by the end of it - but not many can animate.

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  2. Too right. People sometimes think that just because you've been dreaming about it growing up, it's just going to happen, I know I did. You realize that everyone's better then you and you have to compete with the best in the industry. I am working on my art skills and saving money so I can study animation, also about to try animating something anyway. I'm 28 yrs old and have wanted to be an animator since I was 8. But didn't do anything about it. Then when I was 22 I completed 3 years full time dance in performing arts. Hardest thing I've ever done but taught me a work ethic, and made me realize that anything that's worth anything takes all the effort you have in you and more. I'm still not at my goal, but it's taken doing other things to make me realize that you have to bust your butt and be passionate about what you want to do, it also turns out that I have some amazing new skills under my belt that supports animation. Thanks for your wise words Mr Stodolny, I follow your blog regularly and you really inspire me. Also love your animated shorts and how you do the making of them after. It's really unique and awesome!

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    1. I'm so glad you learned that lesson even if it did take till you were 28. There are some people that don't realize that they can make their dreams come true. If they only knew they could if they worked at them. There's people that don't realize that till the end of their life when it's too late. I'm so glad you're doing what you can to reach your goal. And thank you for the positive words about my work. That means a lot.

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  3. I was just minutes away from searching this exact question in Google when this post came up in my feed; I couldn't have asked for better timing, as I seriously weigh up applying to study on the other side of the world at Sheridan! So thanks a bunch for the motivation, the industry is definitely hard to read from where I stand but this ball of hope is just the extra push I needed to strive for those goals.

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    1. That's so good to hear that you stumbled upon this at the right time. I would recommend not just researching Sheridan though. There are also other great schools. Research the one that's best for you. My personal opinion is that Sheridan is great for 2D work but their 3D program needs some work. Ringling in Florida is really good for 3D but they're also really expensive. Either way do your research and good luck. I wish you the best of success and happiness whatever you end up doing.

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    2. Thank you for the well-wishes. I've researched a lot of schools over the years and for now Sheridan seems like the best option for various reasons (mostly financial, but also the quality of the program as well as just loving Canada haha); at the moment I'd love to get in 2D. But I'm always hunting around for other schools and programs so I'm definitely keeping my mind and my options open!

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  4. You are a great inspiration for students taking animation courses. Thanks for sharing informative blog.

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  7. I'm 13 and I'm still trying to decide if I should go do animation or robotic engineering both of them I really enjoy the various things you can do with both I don't know which one to decide animation you can show your creativity and express who you are what what you like but in robotic engineering you can learn about the way robots work and how they work and possibly build my own robot so all I'm asking is help on deciding and some motivation to get one of my dream jobs

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    1. Those are two very different jobs. I dont know what to tell you. I think you're at a good age that you can explore both of them and start to figure out which one you like more or which one you're good at.
      I wish you the best of luck and hope whichever job you end up doing you are happy doing it.
      Thanks for writing.

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  8. Wow, I found this post at a bad time, I just decided to shelf my dreams of going into animation.
    This year I was wait-listed at an optometry school. While waiting I took some classes at SVA and animation mentor that I loved. I had originally gotten rejected from SVA when I applied at the start of college so I was thrilled to take some continuing ed classes there. I was all set to change career paths even though I am not super talented yet and animation is a less reliable field because I loved empowering the imagination to defy reality. Then a few weeks ago I got my acceptance letter to optometry and now I am in a limbo of indecisiveness. I really appreciate that you put up this Q&A and value your experience.

    p.s I love that you put up your behind the scenes on your animation. I also really enjoyed your piece on art (we are all red squares!)

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  9. Hi buddy, your blog’s design is simple and clean and i like it. Your blog posts are superb. Please keep them coming.2d animation studios

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  10. Hey Great Blog!
    Not sure if you''ll see this but what are your thoughts on places like animation mentor, and how important is a degree in the industry?
    Thanks

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    1. Hey Cameron,
      There are a lot of great online schools out there for animation right now. I would say that getting a degree or diploma only affects you if you're planning to move to another country to work. Having a college diplima helped me a lot when it came to immigrating to the states. The customs agents want to see that you have education in the field you're applying to. And this industry is always so up and down that sometimes you do have to move to where the work is.
      But the online schools are great. It's a great opportunity to learn by industry professionals. But be careful. Some schools just hire any working professionals to teach the classes.
      I actually have recently helped to open a school as well. It's called CGTarian.com. Check it out.

      I wish you luck. Animation is a tough field to get into but it's very rewarding.

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