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The Animation Academy: What I gain

Share your views on the state of the Animation Industry.

The Animation Academy: What I gain

Postby SNAKEBITE » Fri Jul 27, 2012 11:30 am

I recently have returned to The ANimation Academy to sharpen my skills. Fundamentals are always good to return to even if you think you did that part already..I'm developing several intellectual properties and felt they all could benefit from Charles Zembillas' educational programs. Also being around the students and how they receive the education also moves me to learn in others ways as well. This is my second time at The Animation Academy. I was there back in 1999 to around 2004..was a student and not soon after I was a teacher as well for photoshop...now, 8 years later, I still find it very rewarding and in just two classes of time with Charles and his students I have already seen great growth in what I'm doing. At this point I have 20 years professional experience, with my educational training through the Academy I bring skills to the table but I tell you what...you can never have enough skills, and you can never stop training and you can never stop improving..we all have the potential to continuously evolve.

With training comes mentors, instructors, teachers, Sensei, Sifu...etc...I don't care who you are..anyone who says they are self taught is disrespectful to all of those they have encountered and gain knowledge from..even if it was just a book or internet..you gained knowledge from others..So one way to get me to laugh is to say you're self taught. Self motivated I'll give you. Self disciplined, maybe...but self taught? Pashaw

But, this is not a negative post. It's about showing the light. The reason why I went back to school. Many ways to look at a problem, a solution. Getting new perspectives fine tunes our seeing capabilities.


So returning I gain more information. More ways to evolve as a being and an artist. I gain new perspectives and more abilities to sustain in this life.

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Re: The Animation Academy: What I gain

Postby NOREKdecay » Fri Jul 27, 2012 2:44 pm

I read good potential. I wish you luck and have fun on those learnings/teachings. People saying they're self-taught might be because they don't know any other words for feeling "independant". I don't think that anyone has been self taught a 100%, humans gets influenced whenever they like it or not. So what you're saying is a good point. I admire those who knows what they're doing and talking about, and admit that they're still learning. Respect follows that.
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Re: The Animation Academy: What I gain

Postby skynet » Sat Jul 28, 2012 4:17 pm

Great to hear this. I realized as well that there is an endless abundance of creative information and inspiration that you can and will get from The Animation Academy. I agree it doesn't matter who you are or where you're at. There is always something to learn. I also laugh when people claim they are "self taught" because it is baseless when you consider what they are trying to say.

If one was truly "self taught", it would mean that the person learned everything about animation without ever watching an animation, discussing animation with others, reading books on animation, or getting any influence from artists they admire. That isn't possible.

I know there are also people who claim to be self taught who actually had the lessons that got them started, and that is not self taught. Self taught means you taught yourself, right? Without any help from anyone or anything. Whoever says that is either in denial or has no clue what they are really saying.

On the other hand...you can look at it this way. Everyone is self taught. Sure you can have a great teacher who will show you incredible techniques but if you don't apply yourself, or "teach" yourself those techniques, you wont be able to do it....so if a person claiming their "self taught" wants to argue about it, you can tell them that everyone is self taught, so shut up already. You can't do it unless you "teach yourself" what your mentors are showing you.

Anyway, after my short time (sadly) at The Animation Academy I have found it to be a vast resource for learning the art. Maybe one of these days I'll have time to take some classes again.
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Re: The Animation Academy: What I gain

Postby SNAKEBITE » Sun Jul 29, 2012 2:16 pm

Adrian, I'm glad you took it there. Because I was gonna make that point as well. Yes, you can lead a horse to water...so indeed we are all self taught in the sense that we are teaching ourselves to be taught by others.Look, water, thanks for leading me there..now I must drink for myself.
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Re: The Animation Academy: What I gain

Postby Charles » Sun Jul 29, 2012 11:04 pm

Thanks for the word brothers Bite and Adrian! So readers can get grounded as to what we're talking about, here's the story folks.

Snakebite is back at the Academy developing a project with his partner and doing a great job I might add. Having him here with us again is a boost to the school, and students in our other class sessions are jazzed now that they know he's returned.

We're operating differently now. Instead of the hall we were using as a temporary location for classes (we were in a holding pattern pending the development of a new complex we were going to move into but it didn't happen cuz the developer went bankrupt when the economy tanked) now we're in a dedicated classroom and our program is expanding once again.

So we're able to display student artwork that was created at our old location across the street from Warner Bros prior to our moving into the hall. Now that students can see the wall of fame art that we have up, they're surprised to discover who was here. Many top level artists in the industry were at the Academy. Some of them were here for years and make no mention of their time with us.

There's a few of reasons for it. First, some of these artists believe that they are self taught. That's what they tell their fans and followers. If that's the case, then why did they pay me to enroll at my school? Secondly, since we're not a huge expensive degree granting institution they don't consider us part of their education, which is nonsense. Third, I think that the bad rep I got as a result of AN made it politically expedient for many of these artists to distance themselves from me and the Academy.

That's the way it is I guess.

All in all, it's developed a sense in me that some animation artists have serious flaws in their character, and not necessarily the ones they draw. They're full of bravado and eager to learn when they're at the Academy, and when they get their training and break into the biz it changes them.

It's unfortunate cuz their lack of acknowledgement reflects very poorly on them once people find out the truth.

The Animation Academy, for what it is and for what we teach, is not just a good school, it's a great one. We offer affordable art education for animation and keep things solid through our emphasis on developing strong fundamental skills.

We started in the back room of a local Burbank restaurant 14 1/2 years ago and since then have continuously conducted classes. We've had students into the thousands enroll with us over this period of time. Someday the industry and our colleagues will recognize and appreciate our incredible accomplishments and everything we've done to contribute to the betterment of the community and the art.

Until then we're happy to have Snakebite with us once more! :D
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Re: The Animation Academy: What I gain

Postby SNAKEBITE » Mon Jul 30, 2012 3:30 pm

I'm so stoked to be back! I wish I had returned sooner. But all things in their time I guess. I see what you're talking about, C. But I see it in most things in this industry. Most artists don't want to talk about what was part of their success. The abused become the abusers it seems. Can't tell you how many projects I've done where people forget all about my contributions. Especially after years invested in a project or a person.

I've always looked to mentors, people who have years experience over me and are doing what I want to do. To them I owe them much. At the very least I owe them acknowledgment. Especially being a business owner / pioneer myself, its important to get props from those who should give you props because its part of the movement. Its a form of respect and lets face it its a form of marketing, advertisement, a way to spread the word so I can continue through my proper credit from my contributions.

If I was still the punk ass pure reactionary I use to be I might call them all a bunch of pussies...good thing I'm not that guy anymore. :twisted:
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Re: The Animation Academy: What I gain

Postby Charles » Tue Jul 31, 2012 12:39 pm

Unfortunately it's the way people in this business tend to be. Artists in in animation biz here in LA are strange creatures. On the outside they're some of the nicest folks you'd ever meet. On the inside it can be another story.

Even discussing the topic of what's wrong with artists can get you on their poopoo list. They don't want to face it. Just keep smiling and creating and pretending that there's nothing wrong with us.

I think that's another unique feature about the Academy. We look at ourselves. Even if what we see is unflattering, at least we have the honesty for self examination and introspection. Makes you a better artist in the long run and more professional.

I train my students to be aware of what they're dealing with when they break into the industry. Artist behavior is one of the things I impress upon them. Be aware of what you're dealing with and you'll survive and thrive.

In other words, keep your mouth shut and don't give anyone any reason for coping an attitude about you. Focus on your work and avoid studio politics. Be careful what you say. Even if it's in the form of an opinion of what cartoons you like or don't like and the odds of you having a long and fruitful career will improve.

That philosophy has worked for many of our students over the years. Even the ones that have distanced themselves from us. ;)
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Re: The Animation Academy: What I gain

Postby SNAKEBITE » Wed Aug 01, 2012 1:24 pm

I remember those times in the old school. It was amazing. We were all growing together, such respect and admiration for one another. Everyone acknowledge the power of where we were and what we were learning from you, C. I appreciate those times and don't forget the faces I saw and how they evolved in those walls.

Much respect!
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Re: The Animation Academy: What I gain

Postby NOREKdecay » Thu Aug 09, 2012 8:54 am

This is learning to read, and it eagers me more to know what else there is for me to try out in the world. This Academy looks interesting and my eyes are on as long as they offer it.
I have my views on things, as well as you more skilled and experienced mentors do (whose usually knows best).
Keeping the mouth shut proves to be efficant, but is it satisfying or smart? Maybe not clever of me to ask that, knowing I might not even get an answer here because keeping silence is usually best. But, I am like many other new flesh to the industry, questining what is right and wrong. I do not like the idea of a poopoo-list to win over the preformance-list. Say a skilled and clever person1 had an view on seaguls. Another popular person2 disliked that view because he loves seaguls, so no good reputation on person1 from the popuar one. Still, that person1 has the skills and inteligence with or without that view on seaguls. Person2 lost a good hit. If the biz is like this, not judging the content but reputation, then I wonder why that is and how it can possibly change. Keeping the mouth shut won't do enough, when person2 wins and get even more influence on people. I can be wrong, as I have no good idea of the inside of this biz yet. But I at least know, that I don't wanna make the seaguls appear like world's finest birds, just because one guy is thinking that way and will dispprove of me if I disagree. I dont think I'd enjoy working in a place based on these things, eventhough they might pay you good. Also why would an opinion matter anyway? It does, because without them everythnig would be the same. If no one confronts or says their thing, which gives diffrent options, then how can one expect the result to be what everybody is proud of. Is respect and not being an ass really hard for some, or is people being lazy. Its easier to hate/rage/dislike than trying to understand. A new opinion is not always the best either, but one shouldn't be afraid to lose everything by trying. This is not needed to be answered, just food for thoughts on my own and prehaps some others.
And to the real topic, I hope nevertheless that returning to this academy is worthwhile. The academy website looks, as I said, interesting.
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