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» AnimationNation   » General Discussion   » Age you started art school - animation school

   
Author Topic: Age you started art school - animation school
KevinO
IE # 36
Member # 56

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The last topic about Animation 101 school prompted me to ask -

At what age did you start art school/animation school? How many started right out of high school or how many of you started later in life? And how long have you been animating, or at least in the business in some capacity - any level - animator, assistant, clean up, cgi animator, or moved to other areas of the animating world, etc?

It will be interesting to see the differences in peoples own paths.

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Floyd Bishop
IE # 183
Member # 2322

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After high school, I went to school for graphic design. I taught myself animation during and after college with a combination of books and animation mentors (the people, not the school) in the industry.

I would estimate I started my animation education when I was 19? I'm 31 now, so that's 12 years of animating. I did a few small freelance jobs from the start, but my first real animation job was at Lucent Technologies Microelectronics Group as part of their Art Services division. I was 22 at the time. I guess I've been a professional animator for around 9 years.

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Floyd Bishop
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Floyd Bishop
IE # 183
Member # 2322

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I just wanted to add that the education process is an ongoing thing. I'm constantly meeting new people in the industry and taking seminar type classes whenever I can. You aren't done learning or expanding your skill set until you're in the ground.

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Floyd Bishop
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tstevens
IE # 234
Member # 801

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Because my dad owns the comapny I work for I grew up around it ( I suppose that makes me the third generation beacause my grandfather started it).

I received a BA when I was 22 and then went to a one year certificate program a few years later. I was 26 after that. I have also been able to pick up quite a bit from animators who were willing to show me how to do things.

So I have been around the business for as long as I can remember. I actually started out emptying the trashcans at the studio when I was 17. I also painted cels and helped out on camera all of the way through college. However, it has only been in the last eight years or so that I have been working full time as an animator, board artist, layout guy etc... (In a small company you tend to do a little of everything.)

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http://www.foogersnarts.blogspot.com

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Thunder Man
IE # 106
Member # 2462

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Never went. Spent 20 years in the Air Force doing training
videos, training films (animating 16MM/Super8 actual film..LOL) signs, nameplates, viewgraphs, murals, nose art, charts, graphs,
Genigraphics, CubiComp, Crystal/TOPAS, DeluxePaint, calligraphy,
illustrations, portraits, paintings,...man... as a military graphics troop, you learned by doing. I already had experience as an artist before I went into the military. I never even went to tech school. Did 2D videogame graphics for 2-4 years..Never did get into 3D, for videogames, as it seemed kind of pointless to me..
If I were to go back to school now, I'd be ..50 years old...dang..I wonder if Charles gives a veterans discount on his classes..lol
Doesn't seem that long ago though...LOL [Roll Eyes] Now I feel like an old fart...LOL

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amanofan
IE # 191
Member # 369

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my mom is a fine artist, so i was always around, art supplies.. and was always encouraged to draw.

however my formal animation training started immediately after highschool. recieved my BFA in animtion by 21, and have been working in aniamtion ever since.

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droosan
IE # 4
Member # 2225

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I also never went; I'm completely 'self-taught' (though I did take 'general' art courses in high-school and college).

I've been drawing since age 4 .. started working as a 'professional' CG artist at 23 .. and began working in the 'Hollywood' FX/animation industry at age 26 (I'm 38 now).

I've worked on a few 'A'-list movies/shows, several crummy ones, some TV commercials, an animated feature, and have even contributed to visual development for 3 TV cartoons. I also managed to win 2 Emmys along the way. My lack of 'formal' art training has never been an issue, in all that time. [Smile]

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KevinO
IE # 36
Member # 56

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This is good. I like hearing the self-taughts, not formally schooled as well. Many ways to make a learn about animation and make a living in this business [Yes]

Keep it up.

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droosan
IE # 4
Member # 2225

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That's not to say art school isn't important .. or that I'm necessarily 'proud' of not going; at the end of the day, as a working artist, one still has to know what looks good and/or appealing .. and how to 'fix' it, if it's not. That knowledge and ability is key, whether it is learned from experience or in a classroom. [Yes]

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For my own part, my career is packed with instances of blind luck and being in the 'right place at the right time'. But I also work very hard, and bring my best efforts to every job I've ever done (even the 'crummy' shows) .. which has done more than anything to keep me (fairly) steadiliy employed. [Cool]

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Ganklin
IE # 14
Member # 1864

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like everyone else, i drew a lot as a kid and in my teenage years. always loved animation and used to make flipbooks in my notebooks instead of taking notes in class...that kind of crap.

i wanted to go to a local university for illustration out of high school. i never had any kind of formal education in my life, so they rejected me. i instead went to a local community college, tried my best to build a respectable portfolio and took as many drawing classes as possible. finally made it into that university, but wound up hating it, and a year later took the plunge by pursuing animation...which meant starting all over again.

however, 3 years of previous college experience put me a foot hold higher than most of my peers. i was better able to concentrate on my films with a little less of a course load. in total, it took me 6 years, but i graduated with a BFA in animation.

couldn't find work for almost 3 years. finally found work in NYC and have been thankfully and steadily employed for the last 4 or 5 years at different shops around town. i was around 27 when i finally found employment.

in the beginning, i was told that i wasn't cut out for it, so i think you can understand how i feel about john k's assessment of an age restriction on learning. i'm not very talented, but i'm a hard worker, and thats what it takes.

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http://fsummers.blogspot.com/
www.shamoozal.com

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SoleilSmile
IE # 120
Member # 1483

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I started Cal Arts at 21.
Before then I was at a fine arts college called the SFAI, San Francisco Art Institute for 2 years. I had to start college a year late because my mom refused to do her taxes early which essential for those in need of financial aid to go to college.
I also "grew up" in arts magnates. I went to K-12 visual arts magnate until my junior year in my first arts K-12 and then transferred and graduated from S.O.T.A.,School of the Arts San Francisco.


Art is a life practice and it great when your local school district has enough money to have art and science magnates for those who are prone to drawing all over their homework.
[Big Grin]

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HipChick Comics and Animatress Blog

www.hipchickcomics.com
http://www.animatress.blogspot.com/

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Lee Crowe
IE # 154
Member # 1135

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Drew from age four; took first art classes at age 16 (took music starting at age 8 and continued with music all through college...I've always noticed an animator/musician connection...); majored in art (BA) at a liberal arts college; started Sheridan when I was 21.

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Look me up on http://IMDb.com.

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Animation Co-op
IE # 295
Member # 3421

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5 years of fine arts at The Cleveland Institute of Art
2 years of starving artist life
3 years of computer graphics at The Ohio State University
And then on to Hollywood! [cheers]

Kevin & Moon

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Animation Co-op
IE # 295
Member # 3421

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(Starting at ages 18 & 19, respectively.)
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Greg B
IE # 118
Member # 886

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We didn't have animation schools where I lived. Closest thing was Pratt Institute and School of Visual Arts.

I'm self taught. Started working professionally around 17 years old. Then a year out of high school went to work for Gannett News Service as staff artist at one of the cuntry's oldest newspapers. I ran into massive amounts of racism and discriminaton at the colleges and in business but fought through til I could strike out on my own around 26. Just kept on working doing comics and news. I've never been out of work. It seems weird but I've always had a job doing artwork when I wanted.

I've had to fight so much I often didn't stop to smell the roses. So much hate and violence in those years. I retired early in my late 30s but got drawn (pardon the pun) back in because toons I did got picked up for film and I liked animation and realized I needed to study it. That's why I found AN.

As old as I am I'm planning on taking some time off to study traditional and computer animation.

When I look back I realize one thing, practice, practice and enjoy studying and practicing. I keep getting better every year.

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http://www.boonestoons.com
http://www.spacefool.com

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Tobias A. Wolf
IE # 250
Member # 383

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I won a scholarship to the Academy of Art College in High School back in the 80's. But I took the life experience route out of High School, and among other things, I worked as a Seasonal Park Ranger for about 8 years. Four of which I worked while attending. I started at 24.
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Greg B
IE # 118
Member # 886

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Tobias you worked as a park ranger? That's a sweeet gig!

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http://www.boonestoons.com
http://www.spacefool.com

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KevinO
IE # 36
Member # 56

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Drawn since I was a kid, out of comic strip collections, Peanuts, Mad, etc. Started American Academy of Art in Chicago at 18. Quit after a semester, didn't think it was right for me. Took 10 years off of drawing for music. Went back to the academy at age 28 for 3 years. Worked in Chicago for 2 years on commercials starting as an inker and cell painter and illustrator and a bad animator, before being hired at Bluth in Dublin. Started at bottom there in inbetween. Moved to LA in '89. Been here ever since. Always learning. So 21 years in the business so far. I started a lot later than most, by at least 10 years, I didn't make full fledged animator at Bluth until I was 36 years old. Yeah, I suppose it may or may not have hindered me seeing as though most animators are younger, but I don't care. I like it. I'm not going to stop drawing.
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Tobias A. Wolf
IE # 250
Member # 383

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I don't want to sidetrack this thread and the import of it's topic, but it was a sweet job at times Greg. There were times, some beautiful times. But, it was about maintenance above all else, not creating something new. It was a Conservatorship position in the strictest sense, and extraordinarily binding to the past.

The eradication of non-native invasive species, trail clearing, dealing with assho*les who see a badge and automatically assume your a stereotypical authoritarian dick.

It took me awhile, but I realized it wasn't for me. Dealing with the public in a day to day capacity with any kind of authority is serious service and trying as hell. Especially if it's tax-funded. Although it did teach me much more about our political process than I ever learned in High School or from my parents actually. Heck, it's probably why I chime in on so many political topics here.

The airing of you voice matters, and it's the loud voices of our process that shaped much of what I did in those seasons. For all the cynicism of being an activist citizen in the U.S. these days, it's not irrelevant patriotic B.S. when it determines what you have to sweat off your back the next week.

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CatHicks
Member
Member # 3262

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Ringling at age 19.
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Scott Shaw!
IE # 132
Member # 172

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I'm self-taught as well. I sold my first comic book story at 16 (for GORY STORIES, an underground "comix"), did lotsa commercial cartooning, then started doing comic book stories for the Hanna-Barbera comics that Marvel was publishing around 1975 and a WHAT IF? story that same year. The H-B comics led directly to an in-house job at H-B, doing character designs and layout (that's where I met Mr. Fun; we wound up working as a team of unit heads. If I ever received any actual training, H-B was the place. I picked up TONS of information from the old pros I was fortunate enough to work with.) Anyway, that led to storyboarding, development, writing,directing and producing, then as a Senior Art director at a major ad agency. Today I freelance in animation, comics, advertising and toy design, sometimes juggling all areas at the same time. In the nearly forty years I've been a professional cartoonist, no one's ever asked me to verify where I was educated, only if I could do the job they needed.

Aloha,

Scott!

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KevinO
IE # 36
Member # 56

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That's a good story Scott. Being self taught and learning on the job is just as important as any school.

More, I'd like to hear from more people on their schooling, training and when they started. What about all those CalArts, Sheridan, Ringling, Vancouver, Columbia, and other schools alumni?

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bronnie
IE # 93
Member # 25

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Went to USC for Fine Arts, with the original intention of becoming a courtroom illustrator. Well,little did I know that such a career choice had become virtually obsolete by'77.With the advent of the "minicam"--and fewer artists working, it was almost impossible to get even an apprentice position without previous experience.After this harsh reality settled in about a month after I graduated, my Mom, who was working in ink and paint at Hanna-Barbera, suggested I apply there for the rest of the summer. They needed people, and I knew which end of a paintbrush to hold, so I was hired pretty much on the spot. Painting 'Superfriends'.Weekly salary was $180 per wk.! Joined the Union.. yay!
Hadn't thought of animation as a serious career until I heard about Harry Love's evening training class there at HB. Took that,seemed to show promise, and was hired as an inbetweener the following February. On Captain Caveman. Was asst. animating on 'Godzilla' and 'Jana of the Jungle' by June, stayed there seasonally until '84, then went to Filmation.Etc, Etc,and so on.

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I am not young enough to know everything- Oscar Wilde

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