I am posting this simply as a reminder to myself!! This was posted last week on Animation Addict's Blog and it really struck home with me. It talks about the frustration in trying to get into the animation industry based on certain expectations you had when starting to learn animation. Whether you're currently in school learning animation, or like me 3 years graduated still looking for that full time job as a Character Animator, you should definitely read this! For me it's simple (kind of), I don't spend as much time as I should animating, practicing and getting better. But whatever your reason is, becoming an Animator is hard and takes passion, sacrifice, dedication and perseverance. So read this, motivate and start animating! Oh, and if you haven't been to Animation Addict's Blog yet, go and check it out... there's some great stuff going on there!
During my last class review at iAnimate my students showed their frustration with their progression and how slow it is. It struck me as odd how much pressure is put on animation students of today. There are a few online schools (I myself teach at the above mentioned one) and the many CG/Animation colleges and universities out there. There are a lot of promises out there, and an expectation that when you complete or graduate from these you’ll be a qualified feature animator.
Long ago, when I went to school for traditional animation, it was expected you could/would spend 3 to 5 years either in the clean-up department, then work up to the breakdown inbetweener ranks, before become a fully fledged feature animator. So you would have had time to get comfortable with the animation workflow and pipeline, over time you would have developed your drawing and understanding of timing and spacing. In short, you would have eased into the animator position with a feeling of confidence and experience.
Today you’re expected to graduate, get a job as an animator, and produce the same quality and quantity as any industry professional. Hell, if you take a look at the student reel of some of the best feature animators out there pre-CG, it would look amateure compared with what students are outputting today.
It’s hard and frustrating to watch students who are doing amazing work to get down on themselves because they haven’t hit it big right away. I would say that those, that it takes them longer to achieve their goal, appreciate and cherish it more than those who have no comparison. Animation is one of the hardest thing out there to do well, it’s an art form and like any art form it’s open to interpretation. There are two quotes that I have come across in the past two years, that together sum up what animation is for me and the hardships that we all try to overcome.
The first one is by Bill Tytla at Walt Disney Studios:
There is no particular mystery in animation… It’s really very simple, and like anything that is simple, it is about the hardest thing in the world to doThe second was spoken my way by a co-worker:
Hard work will beat talentThese sum up what we face everyday. My point of view is:
when talent refuses to work.
Don’t get down, keep pushing and practicing. Don’t let yourself get down or complacent, push and keep pushing until you get where you want to go! For some it’s easy, for others it takes a little work. Doesn’t matter how you get there as long as you get there!