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Layoffs after decades in the studio

Share your views on the state of the Animation Industry.

Layoffs after decades in the studio

Postby Charles » Thu Apr 11, 2013 11:48 am

Maybe you're an animation industry veteran who's been working at one studio for the great majority of your career. You've been there for decades. Suddenly you're informed that you're no longer needed and will be invited to leave the studio that's been at the core of your professional life.

What do you do?

Do you look for another work for hire job? You don't own the art you've been creating while employed. Have you been creating on your own? Does the studio consider work that you do on your own their property?

Did you hear about the concept of the Independent Economy that's been touted on AN for years and not give it much attention?

Sooner or later, everyone working within the animation studio system, no matter who you are, will be getting the boot. And as time passes the age at which they'll be letting you go will likely continue to drop.

The most secure job in the labor aspect of the animation industry is business rep for the union. If you're at a union studio and want to be employed in perpetuity then consider running for this position cuz chances are once you're in you'll never leave.

Otherwise, the best advice anyone could receive about making your career in animation work for you in the long run is as follows.

Develop your own content.

Research crowdfunding and see how successful artists have been with sites such as Kickstarter and Indiegogo.

Your job will not last forever. Develop creative alternatives to your work for hire situation. Supplement what you do as an employee with what you create on your own.

Learn new technologies. Don't fall behind in new ways to create. Keep yourself relevant by staying on top of emerging technologies as much as you can especially if they're applicable to our job.

Use your studio experience to your advantage. Let people know who you are and what you do. Maintain a Web presence and share what you're creating on a regular basis. Your fan base will be a resource you'll be able to cash in on.

Consider teaching. Lots of artists make a successful transition to education once the studio aspect to their career has played out.

Don't be idle. Don't take things for granted. Your job is only part of who you are and what you do. Fully define yourself by what you do independently.

Communicate. Use social network resources and email blast services such as MailChimp to inform folks about new things happening in your life and your art.

Get along with people. You'll be in a much better situation in the long run.

Stay positive and be grateful for the many years of productivity and prosperity your employer has afforded you.

Good luck!
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