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  • If you can dream it, you can do it. -Walt Disney

  • Quality is a great business plan. -John Lasseter

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  • And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? -Jesus

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  • What's most important in animation is the emotions and the ideas being portrayed. -Ralph Bakshi

  • Once you have heard a strange audience burst into laughter at a film you directed, you realize what the word joy is all about. -Chuck Jones

  • Before enlightenment: chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment: chop wood, carry water. -Buddhist Proverb

Getting In...

Share your views on the state of the Animation Industry.

Getting In...

Postby cbrubaker » Tue Aug 14, 2012 1:06 pm

I'm currently studying for BFA in Graphic Design in University of Tennessee at Martin, set to graduate this December.

As far as cartooning goes, I have done newspaper comics in Tennessee for the past few years. I also self-publish a comic book called "A Witch Named Katrina"

But I'm wondering what it takes to enter the TV animation biz lately. Is a degree from CalArts an absolute must for most studios? Should I try and apply for the school in an attempt to "get in"?

My portfolio can be viewed here, for what its worth.
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Re: Getting In...

Postby JDC » Tue Aug 14, 2012 11:10 pm

I know plenty of people who didn't go to cal arts.. I would say networking and persistence (both in doing art and looking for work) are the keys to getting in.
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Re: Getting In...

Postby Charles » Wed Aug 15, 2012 2:20 am

From what I've heard and experienced the Calarts crowd is pretty tight and you can expect a level nepotism when they're entrenched at a studio or on a crew. Lots of artists from other schools and from many different and diverse backgrounds work in animation.

It's difficult to break into a major studio. Difficult but not impossible. You've got to be among the best of the best and the best advice I can offer is to get really really good at what you do.

My advice, don't go into massive personal debt by going to a very high priced school just for a chance to get into a major studio. Debt of the Calarts kind is something to be avoided if you can and I sincerely mean that. Student loan debt will adversely affect your quality of life and your future.

Use the Internet to showcase your work and build a following. You look to be doing a nice job so far with your storyboards and your project. Put the idea of getting into the biz in the back of your mind and focus on your art. Especially your ability to storyboard. Good board artists are valued plus you have a property that's in the works. It's your art that will move you forward. Approach it with a sense of purity of purpose. In other words, do what you do because of the joy of creating and strive to become better at what you do all the time. When your art is hitting on all eights as they say, the rest will follow.

Stay positive and creatively productive, and maintain a good attitude all the time. Good luck! Wishing you the best.
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Re: Getting In...

Postby sorryguyz » Thu Aug 16, 2012 12:50 am

Getting out... is what I am trying to do.


Take advantage of your freedom while you can. Work on your personal projects. The reward will be greater than anything you work on in TV. You can slave away on boards in tv only to have them do a rewrite or trash 50 to 100 percent. Ultimately animation is set up like a factory. Sh*t it out. While you can learn from it and develop speed it also can burn you out very fast. Take advantage of the internet: your free means of distribution. Remember that the artists of the 70's and 80's and early 90's did not have that option.
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Re: Getting In...

Postby cbrubaker » Thu Aug 16, 2012 3:22 am

Charles,
Thanks for the helpful comments. From one Charles to another.

sorryguyz,
I know that the people in charge can be soul-crushing, but I'm willing to put up with it. It's not like I'm never going to run into those types in other job fields (and I have, trust me). I just love animation too much, I guess.

I'm sorry you're not happy with your job, though.
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Re: Getting In...

Postby Charles » Thu Aug 16, 2012 10:28 pm

What sorryguyz is expressing is what many artists feel once they get into the biz. You're attracted to animation cuz you love the art. You go to school and learn and immerse yourself in the creative process and do your best to get to a world class level with your portfolio and demo reel. You get your break and land a job at a major studio and then learn the cold truth that it's a job.

The conflict that artists deal with is the love they have for the art measured against the reality of the job.

A director I know who works on a popular animated series here in town is grateful to be employed, makes a comfortable living, yet comes to life when hiatus comes around so he can work on his own films.

The reality of working in the studio scene is that it's a job. You could bust your butt on a board and feel that it is the greatest artistic work you've ever done and then someone comes along and thrashes it. You have to rework half your board according to their direction and vision and you realize that it's a job. Many times it isn't necessarily art the way we would think of art. It's a job.

Emotionally detaching yourself from what goes on during your time at a studio can be an important survival skill. Immersing yourself into your own creative endeavors is key to maintaining balance for many artists once they get in.
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