I’ve always had a bit of an issue with how “the industry” is portrayed to animation students. I used to think that it was some kind of Mount Olympus-like place where only the gifted went to make incredible art and live easy. I remember all too well sitting in my room, beating my head against a little laptop with this ridiculously complicated thing called Maya on the screen, and despairing about how far I still had to go to get there. Mind you, this was after getting my four-year degree in animation and while working part-time in a fitness club cleaning floors and bathrooms. Not exactly how I dreamed of things turning out after graduation. There seemed to be an impossibly high wall to climb, and just on the other side were all the studios I looked up to so much. There must have been something special about those gods that animated the shots I drooled over. They had to have figured out some secret formula that put them out of my league. I know now that students and graduates around the world feel exactly the same way, but living in the midwest felt like I was on another planet.
That’s who I’m writing for; those people who feel hopelessly detached from whatever they define as success and need someone to tell them how it really is. I want to demystify the professional animator and the struggles we all go through. To show the hopeful that they can do great things as long as they’re open to where the adventure takes them.
While I do intend to dabble in animation techniques and educational content, my focus will be on the realities of what its like to transition from student to professional. There are more than enough resources out there to teach you how to animate; I’m more interested in teaching you how to be an animator. Or at least what’s worked for me. Plenty of people have more experience and wisdom than me, but hopefully the lessons I’ve learned so far will be of some use to you.
Thanks for reading.