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High School Animation Advice?

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High School Animation Advice?

Postby snagrock10 » Fri Aug 24, 2012 4:31 am

I'm a rising junior who has thoughts about my future. Actually, I dont exactly know why I'm thinking about this, but I got tired of studying for the SATs and wanted to ask something.

I always wanted to enter animation (ever since I was six and vandalizing walls with a crayon.) I never lost sight of my goals, and I'm doing fine in school. I want to eventually enter CalArts at one point in my life and do something awesome like work at Pixar.

Honestly, my parents don't exactly have such a high opinion on kids who enter art schools as undergraduates. They would probably hate the idea of me dumping my SATs and academic work to concentrate on some portfolio. It sounds like I'm not being assertive in this, but I sort of see their point; I worked hard to improve myself as a student in private school. I especially don't want to be the bum of the family who crushed my parents' aspirations.

Ultimately, I decided on going to another undergraduate school before applying for CalArts as a graduate student. I honestly don't know where I want to end up. I know the acceptance rate at CalArts is very low, so I want to land myself in a high ranked school. I figure that a well renown school has solid connections and a well established art classes. Then, with a lot of work and a solid portfolio,I can finally apply.

I want to ask if I'm being too indirect with my plan? I guess part of my reasoning is influenced by my other interests. I often was told that an overspecialized individual would have a disadvantage against a person with multiple solid specialties. I think I shown an aptitude for creative writing along with art. I only realized my ability to write recently, but I already won awards for my stories. I also attended a creative writing workshop down at Columbia, so I wish to use my gained knowledge for future endeavors.

I feel like CalArts concentrates on a visually based portfolio. While I feel like I can create a well thought out portfolio by the time I'm a senior, but I don't want to waste my writing or academic. It would probably put me at a disadvantage (I sort of established myself as a well balanced student.) I wish to take my time in college to establish myself before taking a step forward to my dreams (eg. taking life drawing classes, improving my art style, establish myself as a cartoonist/animator, etc.)

My dreams are awfully narrow in perspective, so I tell myself that I just have to force myself down that path (preferably with writing and art as my weapons in a battlefield filled with crushed dreams--I never realized how many people get rejected at CalArts.) I want to spare the horror of being rejected. I'll take whatever advice I can.

Thanks!

Sang Bae


PS- My SAT score is currently over 2200 (780 reading, 720 math and 740 writing) and will improve by October. I also plan on taking five-seven AP courses, continue running a debate club I established as a freshman, and really boost my GPA in junior and senior year. I don't think I'm limited with choices, but I definitely can't get into certain colleges without working my butt off...
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Re: High School Animation Advice?

Postby Charles » Fri Aug 24, 2012 8:58 am

Hello Sang and welcome to AnimationNation.

I'm curious about what your parents would like you to do. What direction would they like you to go towards for your career? With the kind of academic performance you're achieving what would they like to see you do? Are they uncomfortable with the idea of an arts/animation oriented career?
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Re: High School Animation Advice?

Postby snagrock10 » Fri Aug 24, 2012 2:32 pm

Hello Charles,

Thanks for the quick reply. I really appreciate it. This is the first time I used a forum, so your imput makes me feel great.

My parents are supportive of my choice in career. However, they strongly believe that I should be successful in whatever I want to pursue (manage to make money so I dont mooch off of them). My mother just wants me to go into a top tier college and my father doesnt want me to be a technician or something of a similar position. Similarly, I want to enter an animation field where I can utilize both creative writing and art in similar tangents.
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Re: High School Animation Advice?

Postby snagrock10 » Fri Aug 24, 2012 4:33 pm

If I can extend my response:

I always wanted to fully devote myself to the field of animation; actually spend time creating something and contributing to it fully. I just feel like spending my time in high school should be about developing myself in other areas and preparing myself for a higher education.

Though I might be able to show myself in a holistic sense, I feel like animation requires a 100% devotion and effort...Something that I regrettably lack.

I apologize if I devalued the position of a technician. While I am impressed by their work, I wish to take more control of a project as a character designer or a director. I want to add my taste to the field--something I had the chance to experience when writing. I guess I sounded pretentious in my initial reply.

Once again, I thank you for spending the time to read my post. I just get worried that more animators have to attain extremely high standards in the current job market. Maybe it's the fact that I'm lost in the midst of my own thinking.
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Re: High School Animation Advice?

Postby Charles » Fri Aug 24, 2012 6:35 pm

If your parents are on your side for a career in animation and are not upset at the thought of someone as smart as yourself not becoming a lawyer or accountant or engineer then you're in a good place to start.

Next thing to consider is the cost of your upcoming education. How well prepared are you for going into the the expense involved. That's the next issue to address. Then you make the commitment and plan out how to pursue the goal and win the prize.
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