young-animator young-animator

TALKBACK: What are 2010 graduates doing?

Young animator

Here’s a talkback post dedicated to all the students who have graduated from animation schools in 2010. Now that it’s been three to four months since graduation, I’m curious to hear who’s had success finding a job in the animation industry. Would love to hear from students all over about what the job situation is like in your part of the world. And with schools starting up again right now, this year’s juniors and seniors will find your experiences useful to hear too.

Here are some things you could address:

1.) What school did you graduate from and are you looking for full-time work in the industry, freelance work, or are you working on independent projects?

2.) What kind of work in the animation field have you been able to find?

3.) Is the job market what you expected it to be based on what you’d heard in school?

4.) Are you optimistic about the current state of the industry?

We’d appreciate it if only students who have graduated in ’10 would respond to this post.

  • I was lucky enough to get hired by the NFB for a contract immediately after I graduated this spring. The job involved traditional animation on paper, rotoscoping, clay stop-motion and pixillation. Now that this contract is nearly over, I have another one where I’ll illustrate children stories for short educational films.

    So yeah, looks like I’m headed for a freelancing career now.

    I’m optimistic for the future of animation right now, as all my colleagues and classmates are in and out of jobs for ads, series and independent films (I live in Montreal, Canada). I’d say though that contacts make finding a job much easier than a portfolio.

  • I’m a recent grad from Ringling and had all kinds of options and promising opportunities…ALAS, no sign of hope of any studio budging. It’s very disheartening to look desperately about for freelance and part-time jobs, and not being able to use a good degree or talent for what I studied for. I just sure hope the studios will start looking for new talent soon.

    They have to some time.

    • Wow I’m amazed and terrified that you’re having trouble finding work. I’ve always found your stuff to be fantastic.

  • NC

    1) Looking for full-time work in the story department or as a PA and working on my own independent project.

    2) None, but I almost got a PA job, but due to a certain HR department’s sneaky ways, I lost it to someone that HR wanted more. I finally ended my three month stint at McDonald’s and will be starting a Customer Service job that at least has better pay. It’s still not an animation job but at least I don’t feel like a total loser.

    3) It is what I’ve expected to an extent. I thought there would have been a lot more PA work than there has been.

    4) Yes. As crazy it may sound, I hope to get into Disney’s Talent Development program in the Story department. It’s always darkest before the dawn. This is much like the atmosphere before Little Mermaid, so I have a good feeling that if a group of ambitious artists got together we could see something amazing.

    I think what us graduates need to do is get together and create our own jobs. Instead of being dependent on other companies, who don’t give a crap about us, let’s do something for ourselves.

    I hear a lot of people complain about what’s out there right now, but the only way it’s going to change is if we do something about it. I think we all need to hear this again:

    Now, more than ever independent animation has a chance to take on the big guys.

    • A.C.

      You couldn’t be more right, I don’t understand why all the 2-d animators (of which there’s only a few of us) at school don’t want to get together and make something amazing, instead of bust our asses working on only 1 or 2 full shorts a quarter by ourselves!

      Honestly, a voice actress, another animator, and someone who could do a musical score would send me flying sky-high right now.

      • NC

        Story of my college career, man. I got really close but then all the artists flaked out on me.

        I know craigslisting is a deplorable way of getting help. but if you and your friends are in college working on crappy homework assignments that you probably won’t be able to use for your portfolio anyway, why not get together and make something you would enjoy? Figure out what you want to pursue in the industry and then use your collective talents to make a much funner project than what you would have done by yourself. It makes sense to me.

        I mean it’s exactly what Robert Rodriguez did. He just made all of his homework assignments fit into his movie “El Mariachi”. If only schools were more open to that as well.

      • Another A.C.

        …Wow, replying just because the coincidence is too crazy…

        My initials are also A.C. and I use them for my stage name. I’m majoring in theatre and lurk here on cartoon brew because I love animation and want to be a voice actress. But I haven’t really had any chances to practice voiceover.

      • NC

        Does your school have an animation program, I’d suggest checking around there to see if anyone has any projects that need a voice actress. Trust me someone is.

      • Another A.C.

        It doesn’t, unfortunately. There seems to be a single class on animation offered under the art department, and it’s called “3D Design and Animation.” I go to a private school of about 4,000 students, and most people go here for the engineering or nursing program.

        I’ve kinda figured that if I’ll get any voice acting experience while I’m still in school, it’d be by voicing projects for others over the internet.

        A.C., I’d be willing to sort of audition for your projects, see if you think my voice would fit what you’re looking for. You can email me if you’re interested at ace-akimoriko (Remove the space, and I’d give you my college email address instead of the one I made when I was 13, but this one doesn’t have my full name in it).

        Sorry to sort of hijack your post, Amid.

      • A.C.

        Glad to see all of you guys on here. Helpful stuff NC (And whoa-a coincidence indeed the other A.C. :-)

        I’m gonna be brave with putting my e-mail(s) on here for once since I think I’m starting to wait too long on doing something about these goals:
        [email protected]
        [email protected]

        See you guys later. ;-)

  • Miss. T

    I am looking for all work available to me! A lot of it appears to be freelance if you are looking at the smaller studios, that hire in directors, and then they hire in help when needed. Bigger production houses like VFX companies offer more permanent contracts, though you’re still considered freelance – but they appear to advertise vacancies more often. It really depends what you’re after in that respect. Also, the most of what I’ve been able to find studio-wise are unpaid internships, with your travel expenses and food being the most they’ll shell out to. There is sometimes the opportunity for progression in the company, but I think there is also the case it may be monkey work they need doing for a few weeks – but looks good on your CV. Being an intern can also get your foot into a studio, to see what you’re like first. Same as being a runner.

    I have only had success as an intern so far, no paid work for me! I think the school I went to made our success rate to sound higher and be better than what it actually is. According to them, 90% of our graduates will find employment within the industry. I know from the last three years, that definitely isn’t true. I think they rose tint it a little for you. However, you’ve got to work for yourself while at school, not rely on the staff to tell you everything single tiny detail about getting a job in the industry, they’re not there to hold your hand. My gripe is that they tell you that you should know these programs, those programs, but they don’t really offer you even the slimmest training in them. That you have to do for yourself. I see the merit in self-initiated learning, but some programs when you first open them aren’t particularly accessible to the novice user! A little tutoring would go a long way.

    • NC

      Wow! What school did you go to?

      • the kids

        Sounds exactly like Ravensbourne College! What a joke that place is. If it wasn’t for the life drawing teacher and Richard Williams animators survival kit I would of never found a job. The ‘teach yourself’ attitude can only go so far.

  • Hey there,
    I graduated this past April from Sheridan College(along with another 100 or so students). My girlfriend, Amanda, and I have been fortunate enough to find work together. After graduating we both got about 7 job offers from the same companies.

    1) At Sheridan you make a 4th year graduate film. We chose to make traditionally animated films on paper. We were looking for any kind of hand drawn work whether it was full-time or freelance.

    2) We got offers in various parts of the Industry. 2D Flash Television, 2D Harmony Television, 3D Direct-to-DVD feature, 2D commercials, and 2D feature. All with only traditional skills. We ended up focusing on the 2D feature position with 2D flash television on the side for some extra experience and money. Other students from Sheridan didn’t get as many or none at all. I know there are several people that are still unemployed or working outside of animation at the moment.

    3) I think the timing was right for us so I found it to be a lot better than what I had expected. We were really fortunate to be able to chose what position would help us improve the most and which one would pay the bills.

    4)I’m fairly optimistic about the state of the industry. I think as long as the two of us stay versatile with how we animate (2D, 3D, flash) I’m confident that if we do become unemployed it won’t be for an extended amount of time.

  • 1.) I just graduated from Sheridan College. I understood early on that my drawing skills were no where near the top of the pack; this was important to my success. I became more passionate about stop-motion as the years progressed so I decided to take that route for my grad film in hopes that it would help me stand out.

    2.) I’m currently working a year-long contract on a new series as a cg animator. Thanks to Sheridan’s ‘Industry Day’, I was noticed by a fantastic and stable company who offered me a job within a month of graduating.

    3.) I’m a firm believer that hard work pays off. I didn’t see myself being where I am now, but life’s like a box of chocolates I suppose. I was lucky enough to chose from several offers.

    4.) I’m young and optimistic.

  • I graduated from a little community college in Maine. I was hoping just to get some freelance work, but after applying like crazy to places over the winter I ended up landing a job in February. I had to commute almost two hours to Boston on my days off from school for the job, but it was so worth it – it was an amazing opportunity, and by the time I graduated in May I had moved to the area and also picked up side projects, such as a 30 second animated segment of a short film that got great local coverage in the news.

    The animation work I’ve found has actually been in game development for smaller agencies. I’ve done a good deal of character development and Flash animation, but working in a small company I’ve had to fill other shoes, such as general graphic design. My first contract from February is ending now, but I’ve already scored some decent interviews, one with a television network, and am hoping they lead to another full time contract. My work’s been full time, but I always pick up side projects – web design, illustration, etc on top of the animation – to hone my skills in other areas. I started working in the field before I graduated, so I think that really helped, and being well-rounded in media makes you more eligible for the smaller jobs as you gain experience.

    My biggest advice to next year’s graduating class is to put yourself out there, and don’t wait until you graduate to do it. Work on a killer portfolio starting even in high school. Get some real world experience so when you apply for jobs you aren’t just another kid fresh out of college, and you have a little bit of expertise and familiarity with the creative business. (I started doing web design, private art lessons and logos – sounds unrelated, but it’s extra money and was great experience.) Don’t be too picky, either – I wasn’t really interested in game development, but I grew a ton as an artist and animator and almost learned more in the past six months than I did in years at college.

  • hey everybody,

    Yeah i think no matter how you look at it or how much you prepare for it, there is going to be a certain degree of working hard and being persistent with the job hunt. There are those lucky ones that get what they want or need right away.

    I finished Animation Mentor in March. I decided to take it easy for a little bit before I jumped right into the hunt. I had been doing animation schooling since Sept 2006, no summer breaks. VanArts for 2 years (2D for 12 months, and 3D for 12 months…back to back). Then immediately after graduating there I was on the 18 month journey for Animation Mentor. So it was nonstop for me. So you can definitely see why I didn’t get on the job hunt right away. I decided to wait until I had to go to my Animation Mentor graduation to get serious. The graduation was held in San Francisco. On the way there was siggraph in LA. So siggraph was my starting point. That was late july. I got a very good vibe for what studios were looking for and who was looking for fresh meat. It came down to a couple things: timing, luck and who you know. I networked with as many people as I could in the flesh. Whoever would take my demo reel, I was the first to give it to them. I exhausted every resource i could on any job potential at siggraph. Then as soon as i had a computer on me, armed with what i learned at siggraph, i started applying to all the studios that were looking or any studio I felt would be a good starting point (and i wasn’t being too picky either). Then a month later after applying to nearly 30 studios of my choosing. I got ONE email back offering me a job to work on a high profile tv show. I have gladly accepted and my paperwork in underway. What was funny was that the day BEFORE i got the email i had thrown in the cards and decided to get a part time job in regular work just to get some cash flowing while I still applied what i could find in the animation industry and waited for responses. But then miraculously that ONE email showed up.

    Everyone’s story is different. My advice, just keep in contact with your classmates, your mentors, and anyone you meet in the industry. Keep persistent, and something is going to budge. It may not be what you want at first. Hell, all you need is your foot in the door, and thats the way I looked at it. Find value in everything, even if it’s not something you want to work on at first. We’re still young for crying out loud! We can quickly work ourselves up once you’re in the door. But, you have to get in the door first. The “HOW” is up to you.


  • 1.) I finished the program earlier this year. Haven’t started looking for a job yet as I wanted to work on improving the ol’ demo reel a bit first. I’ll shortly start start looking seriously for work, anywhere I can find it (I ain’t that picky).
    Meanwhile, work is steady at the local warehouse, and since Gene gotta eat, I work there a regular 30 hrs a week while I look for “the dream job.”
    I am also working on my own indy short film projects in my free time.

    3.) I’d say the students at AM were given a generally well-balanced picture of the current job market by mentors & others “in the know.”

    4.) I’m always optimistic. Pessimism is a drag.

  • I graduated from University of the West of England, Bristol, UK.

    I’m looking for design or animation primarily – but to be honest, any job in animation is fine with me!

    I’m starting an internship at Aardman on Monday as a Production Assistant. Over the summer I’ve also been working for Wonky as a designer, and have had an opportunity to try out for an animation internship at King Rollo in Devon, UK.

    The industry is what I expected it to be. Though I’ve had a run of luck, it’s obvious to me how much competition there is and how little work there is available- especially in the UK. With the UK film council on it’s way out, it’s becoming increasingly uncertain for UK graduates and I also fear we’re not getting the same standard of training as students from other countries (I believe Sylvian Chomet commented on this recently). From my experiences after graduating, I believe more than ever that work in this industry has nothing to do with what you know, but who you know.

    • “Who you know” is definitely the biggest part of getting a job in this field!!

      couldn’t agree more!!

      • NC

        And even then it’s not a guarantee.

    • the kids

      Wow! I did a weeks work experience at King Rollo about 9 years ago, I managed to get it because my hair dresser was the same as the boss man there and put a good word in.

      So yes. Its all about who you know!

  • I graduated last June from Westminster University in London UK, and have searched high and low for the last year looking for anything media/design/Animation related and have only just found some work.

    I have just begun a 8 week paid internship that I am very grateful for. Its Animating an instructional video for some software at a University, which is something I never thought I’d be involved in and even after a week has turned out to be a lot of fun.

    To be honest I thought the job market was going to be terrible, and it’s actually worse than I had expected, yet I remain very optimistic about the job market as I think it has started to pick up a bit.

    Being unemployed hasn’t put me off animation in the slightest, and I’m looking forward to the future ups and downs of this awesome career!!

  • I graduated in March from the art institute of atlanta as a 2d animator, and long before i graduated i had decided to go the independent route.

    While in school i went on interviews with most of the atlanta studios, and they all seemed to be interested in me, i ultimately didn’t feel as if i would be comfortable at any of these studios.

    A few of my friends have gone on to get positions at studios in atlanta, california, and even in canada, but ultimately I decided that the north american industry is just not in a very healthy, stable, or progressive place right now.

    The job market is pretty much where i expected it to be, based on the number of students who graduated in classes before and after me still working non industry jobs.

    i am mostly optimistic for the future of the north american industry, but it’s currently in a very awkward place.

  • 1) I graduated from UMass Amherst with a BFA in art/animation. Considering that I was rejected from the art program outright when I applied and wound up getting a best in show award for the art department, I’d say I made out pretty well (don’t mind me, tooting my own horn here!)

    Currently I’m looking for full time work in “the industry” but at this point I’ll take what I can get. This summer I interned at Hampshire College and found that working on a production team, while exciting, also wasn’t as fulfilling as I thought it would be because I’m working on someone else’s ideas. Since then I’ve decided to try and start a webcomic to channel my own creative energies

    2) I’ve found many jobs, but so far only a couple have actually turned into good leads. For the most part the studios I send my resume and demo reel to don’t get back to me. This summer I continued my job that I had from school animating some characters for a math tutoring system (i.e. I haven’t left academia yet), but due to new school regulations they can’t afford to hire me through the fall

    3) So far (and it hasn’t really been that long) it’s what I’ve expected it to be. I’ve heard that getting your foot into the door is the hard part, and once that happens you have a much easier time. I’m still at that point where I need to get my foot into the door so I can’t say much about the 2nd part.

    Also, not having graduated from Cal Arts, Ringling, SVA, Sheridan, or any other big name school where studios pluck talent from, I’ve also come to expect that getting into the film industry is going to be difficult. I might’ve been a big fish in the small pond of my school, but in the ocean I know I’m still close to nothing (pretty much my BFA thesis film gets it’s pants kicked off by all the 1st/2nd/3rd/4th year stuff at Cal Arts)

    4) Optimistic? Yes and no
    I’m absolutely thrilled that some studios are trying to get away from what I call the “Pixar Style” (think Disney back in the 1930s where the other studios were trying to copy him and failing at it. I’m looking at you, Van Beuren!) with films like Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs and Horton Hears a Who on the 3D side, and films like Fantastic Mr. Fox and Coraline on the non 3D side. I’ve been waiting for this diversification to happen and I can see that it’s just starting to branch out now.

    I’m not optimistic about being able to get a job doing what I want (animation, story, layout) mostly because I know it’s going to be very hard to compete with industry vets and/or the multitude of others that just graduated that are better than me. I’m actually considering grad school to both learn more (goodness knows I still have a ways to go) and put off finding a job for the next couple of years so I can jump in when the economy (hopefully) gets good again

    • holyduck

      Don’t worry about the rep of your school- people who graduated from big names schools have a difficult time getting jobs too!

      • Actually, Pat Smith, Kyle Kooper (he does every film title ever.), a buncha guys at ILM that head up different departments (animation being one of them), and a whooole lot of other alums from UMass are all very successful, so I’m not too concerned about not having a top of the line school attached to my name. Actually I was able to utilize the hugeness of my university for my thesis project, working with the the head of the mechanical engineering department to ground me in reality, working with a foremost expert on comic history to add relevancy, etc, so I’m actually glad I went there.

        …but good gravy, when I look at some of the stuff that comes out of those big name schools, I know I’m up against some stiff (i.e. amazing) competition for jobs. Especially since I have a couple ideas that I want to turn into features (who doesn’t?)

  • I graduated from Animation Mentor in March.
    I currently have a great job at a big company doing graphic design. What I am facing is a lot of beginning animation jobs currently pay less than what I am making now. Because of this I will probably continue improving my reel,work on solo projects and networking until something comes along. One thing I learned at Animation Mentor is that while exhausting I can animate outside an eight hour work day. So until someone pays me to do it, I’ll keep on animating either way.

  • Area52

    I’m moving to the animation business to break from the chain of the corporation payroll scam. I’ve already worked with your known fortune 500 & 1000 companies and after all the experience you are left with is a huge void and some fancy artifacts that are not worth what they seem to be.

    If you are doing something just for the money you are in for the wrong reason.

    And it’s always about who you know, put the resume and reel to rest after so much beating them and meet people, get some face time, do some little stuff for free and if doesn’t work (and many many many times it won’t work) move to the next person.

    Dali and Picasso didn’t belong to a corporation payroll and you know their stories with their ups and downs.

    May the force be with you all.

  • I graduated from Columbia College Chicago in May.

    I’ve been doing a lot of freelance, a good deal of it thanks to referrals from my professors, but it’s not enough for me to support myself on my own at this point. There are hardly any animation studios in Chicago that actually do REAL animation, besides a tiny place called Calabash that does cereal commercials that isn’t really expanding. I’m still hoping on getting a job with them.

    Long-term, I’m not really optimistic about making a living doing animation as long as I stay in Chicago. I think it’ll at least be easier if I move out west. I love animation but I don’t really have a place like Pixar that would be my dream place to work. My attitude is that they don’t really seem to need me, haha, although I certainly wouldn’t pass them up if they wanted to hire me.

    No matter what I end up doing I never want to stop making my own short films. Maybe I’ll even start my own web series sometime. I’m only trying to take things one day at a time at this point.

  • Caresse

    I just graduated from SVA with a BFA in Animation.

    SVA has a GREAT Job Board and I’ve been getting lots of interesting gigs off of it. Of course some turn out to be a little iffy than others, but really, just give things a chance. Some gigs might not pay as well but it’s still a way to build a portfolio with work other than student work.

    Also, the speaker at our graduation – Tony Cushner was it? – said something that really stood out to me, (I’m paraphrasing): as artists we not only have certain technical skills, we’re developed in terms of thinking creatively. Our unique approach to solving problems is an ingrained way of thinking that can benefit all areas of the world: politics, even.

    With that in mind, I’ve been working anything from freelance 3D modeling to curating a gallery space to illustrating for a children’s book as well as working on my own independent film and projects. I feel that the wide range of hats we animators wear, enable us to bring plenty more to the table than many other candidates.

    Also there’s nothing wrong with shameless self-promotion.

    • As a fellow SVA alum (2003) I can attest to their job board being pretty good, you should also make sure that they have your reel and portfolio on hand. Back in 2004 when I was down on my luck they hooked me up with a job that I have been at ever since. You never know so its always good to make sure that you keep your alma mater apprised of your situation. Also I noticed that NY Post has a lot of interesting jobs in their classifieds, a lot more animation jobs than AWN or Linked In for NYC.

      • Caresse

        Thanks for the tips! I had not known that about the NY Post, I’ll definitely look into it.

    • lola

      I’m a current sophomore at SVA and I’ve always been terrified of thinking about what was going to happen to me after college if I’m not able to break into a studio-based job.
      This really gives me hope! Thanks so much!

      • Caresse

        Lola, just work your butt off! Have fun, but stay on top of things. Back all your work up and even if you don’t finish some of your assignments, archive them so that you can go back to it later. This is your year to start creating material that could end up in your reel, so take it seriously.

  • Animator_Joey

    Animation is a hard business to break into and harder to stay in. When looking at the U.S. studios who are “character animation” based such as; Disney, Pixar, Blue Sky, Dreamworks/PDI, and Imageworks, there is roughly 500 animators between them (there are many other animation opportunities but I am using this example for the moment). That is a pretty low number considering how many students are studying animation. Between all of the Major Art schools like Sheridan, Ringling, SCAD (1000+), CalArts, Animation Mentor (1000+), all of the Art Academy branches, and many other smaller schools, one would have to make an educated guess that there are at least 10,000 + students trying to become animators (feel free to give a solid number/I may be low balling that number). Its almost like trying to become a pro sports player in a sense. You have to work hard even when you are out of school to land a job if you really want to be a professional animator. Its not impossible, but you are going to have to eat, sleep, s#!t, and breath animation if you want to make it. You can if you want it bad enough!

  • Hey Amid and Jerry! Long time reader, first time poster!

    1. I’m a graduate from College for Creative Studies in Detroit Michigan with a degree in 2D traditional animation. I was looking for some full and time freelance work here in Michigan since I don’t have the cash to move out to California or New York at the time.

    2. I have however am fortune enough to get a 4 month internship at Kinetic Post (located in Southfield Michigan) as an assistant animator working on various animated TV commercials. As for full time, it’s slim-pickins in Michigan. I will have to eventually need to get out of this state if I want to get an actual job using my talents as an animator.

    3. The job market is exactly what I expected it to be, especially for Michigan. No one is hiring, and few are looking for freelance help on projects, let alone 2D animators.

    4. While living in Michigan, I have been getting loads of information about new movie studios opening up here in Detroit. That’s all well and good for 3D folks here, but when you just have the talent to do hand drawn 2D animation, you’re not so optimistic. I am continuing to improve my portfolio by doing more life studies, storyboards, and character designs.

  • ZigZag

    This would be an outstanding study for Local 839 to commission. Only the ideal study would interview graduates going back 20 years.

    Doubt that’ll happen though.

    Good luck staying employed in animation, everyone. I mean that.

  • 1.) I graduated from the Art Institute of Las Vegas as the ONLY 2D animator because I stuck to my guns from the time I started school to finish, however, I feel horribly sad that people are impressed that I can animate in 2D while everyone animates in 3D. Currently I’m working on the most basakwards independent animation for a pilot for a children’s show that has no hope (And I’m not just saying that, this pilot’s so horribly boring and unintentionally inappropriate) and I’ll probably be on this job the until December the absolute latest.

    2.) This current job I’m more of a tweener, sound scrubber and lip sync artist. I’m virtually doing no drawing at all.

    3.) Yeah because there’s no animation studio in Las Vegas and any freelance work they hire 15 artists where you have to basically fight against them for a job.

    4.) I hear there are so many more jobs in California but I just don’t have the money I need to get there and I feel I’ll be overwhelmed by people who are more skilled and experienced than I am, I feel that going to Ai I was cheated out of an animation education because Animation to them was “3D texture, lighting and camera movements” however, I’m doing what I can because I seriously wanna get into this field of work, Animation’s been my dream for the longest time so I have a lot of faith. I’m constantly building my portfolio and doing figure drawings because I want to get so much better.

    • NC

      Trust me California isn’t doing that much better. So far it sounds like Canada is the best bet.

      • Rebecca

        Now I’ve heard that most companies don’t really find a recent graduate all that valuable if they need a work visa. For instance,I live in the US, and lets say I am thinking about applying to a Canadian studio. Would they even consider hiring me? Or does it just matter how good my work is?

      • r

        It really depends on the studio and the province they’re located in. Most of the studios in Ontario and Quebec will only hire locals because the governments give them huge amounts of funding on the condition that they hire Canadians. BC and Alberta might be different though and places like Pixar will be looking for portfolios rather than passports because they are a huge company….

      • NC

        “It really depends on the studio and the province they’re located in. Most of the studios in Ontario and Quebec will only hire locals because the governments give them huge amounts of funding on the condition that they hire Canadians.”

        Now that’s how you give companies incentives to hire your people! Why don’t we do this in America?

  • 1.) I graduated from SVA with a BFA degree in Animation. I would like a full time position in the animation industry just to learn things and I won’t normally learn in school. Also planning to study Japanese and learn more about the industry in Japan and China. Eventually, I be starting a studio with the help of supportive and loving friends.

    2.) I got an internship in editing live-action videos so I can learn more about video editing and special effects.

    3.) … not much I guess = =;; I heard the market is baaad. And it’s horrible right now. So I didn’t have much expectations.

    4.) Eh… Sure, things are going on~ but I hope the industry would stop making the same things over and over again and eventually step up on the quality of traditional animation. But hey, its just me.

    • Beware of becoming an animator in Japan. They usually get VERY short contracts, very little pay and barely scrape a living to survive.

      • I am aware of the situation there, I only wish to probably stay there for a year to learn Japanese and to learn some of the techniques they use. No plan of staying there long term :)

  • 1.) I just graduated from University of the Arts London: London College of Communication, UK. I’m currently looking for any jobs related to animation. Full time, freelance etc…..I also make great tea :)

    2.) At this moment of time, I haven’t found any sort of work in the animation field, but I do have a temporary job related to the arts. Its not animation but its better than nothing. You have to start somewhere! I do feel lucky to land myself that role. Its hard enough to find any sort of work in the UK.

    3.) Uni can only tell you so much. I’ve learnt something, but not everything. I do notice that most jobs are not adverised, some of it is from word of mouth and knowing the right people.

    4.) The industry itself has so many sectors: ‘Gaming, advetising, films and commercials.’ They all have a different story to tell, but if you want me to generalise it. I’ll say its slowly getting back on itself. It is hard to find a job but its not impossible.

    I was always told the art field has always been a hard world to break into. Might as well just put your head down and keep trying. I’m not giving up that easily!

  • 1.) I graduated from Sheridan also, and I am looking for full-time work. I’ve got an independent project I’m working on as well but there’s no foreseeable financial gain in it.

    2.) I’ve worked two contract jobs so far. One was character design, the other was inbetweening on a flash series for television. I haven’t been overwhelmed with job offers though I have muddled my way through a good number of interviews.

    3.) It’s a lot more flash and 3D than I had imagined, even though I wasn’t expecting much else.

    4.) I wish with all my heart there were more jobs which required you to draw. I guess that optimistic is not the word I would use. The great people I went to school with made me feel for optimistic about the state of the industry than job hunting does.

  • Thanks for starting this post Amid!!! It’s interesting to hear where all the recent grads are at!!

    1.) I just graduated from the University of Colorado Denver with a BFA in 3D Animation. I am looking for any kind of work, as I’ve been told you can’t be too picky with jobs when starting out!!

    2.) So far, I haven’t had any bites. I had a couple of nibbles at SIGGRAPH 2010, but it hasn’t gone further than that yet. It seems that there are far more senior level jobs available right now that entry level. Currently I’m just participating in Jeremy Birn’s lighting challenges to keep my practice up.

    3.) The job market is somewhat what I expected. My professors definitely sugar-coated it. They kind of insisted that everyone was “so amazing” that we would all have no troubles getting jobs right away. But thankfully I didn’t choose to listen to ONLY them.

    4.) I’m somewhat optimistic about the current state of the industry. I mean, there is a bit of a recession going on and a lot of studios seem to be favoring outsourcing due to monetary preferences. But, talking to industry professionals (and reading posts on this site), I’ve heard that the animation industry is a difficult one to crack into to begin with. Therefore, I SHALL NOT RENEGE!

  • I graduated from Capilano University in Vancouver, BC, Canada. They have this amazing 2D and 3D program there. The instructors are great seasoned animators and they tell it like it is. Vancouver has a number of studios and gaming studios though this is a city FULL of artistically abled people.

    I found myself landing a job with Nerd Corps Entertainment as a Jr. designer and that was coming right out of graduating. I was lucky enough to miss the collaps last year when no one was able to get any scrap of work and I’m sure I’ll hit my rough patch as well. But, so far… Vancouver is doing very well for themselves ‘animation industry’ wise. I know a number of them that are screaming for animators.

    All in all I think it looks very hopeful. Then again, i’m still a green horn- still got the dreams, the goals… the bitter bug hasn’t gotten to me yet. ;)

  • I’m starting in Commercial Animation this year at Capilano :D. That’s great that you got hired! Were there others in your graduating class who found work? This really gave me hope but I’m still nervous I won’t be able to find work when I graduate in two years.

    • Kevin,

      to be honest only two people out of a graduating class of 24 got jobs… that’s myself and another student.

      however, most are going on to 3D and the rest are still looking for jobs..that or the animation world just isn’t waht they thought it was.

      Though, at Capilano, they don’t sugar coat things…they don’t tell you you’re all gonna get jobs but more likely that less than a handfull are going to actually get work right outta school.

      It’s a tough industry, but if you’ve got the talent, and are willing move around anywhere for work- it shouldn’t be a problem. Just be agressive…and have confidence in yourself and your work..! :)

  • This is an interesting post.

    1) I graduated recently from Sheridan. I created my thesis film in stop-motion (a real passion of mine) and have been looking for studio work, free-lance, and indie projects in that medium as well as traditional, story, and concept work.

    2) Earlier in the summer I helped a professor on a little indie stop-mo project, and that was a hugely valuable experience. Since finishing that things have been a little slow, but right now I’m free-lancing in concept art/illustration and continuing to network and hunt and get my stuff out there.

    3) I think the industry is more or less what I’d heard it to be, but I’m optimistic.

  • I graduated in July with a 2:1 with honours in Animation Design at De Montfort University. The showreel went down a storm at the Degree Show, mostly comprising hand-drawn work in Toon Boom. After months of recovery from my major project I’ve decided to apply for a MA in Design Innovation at the same uni. Part-time, while I pursue freelance/commission work.

    At the Degree show three students including myself earned accolades for hard work; the highest went to a girl who did a placement at RJDM Studios based in Northamptonshire. The Creative Director told me doing a Master’s would not only get my foot in the door but possibly a job in the States.

    I’ve had a couple of offers, one of which was for a mobile phone company designing screensaver graphics. Then I was chosen to design a superhero for a company whose name I’m yet to be informed. Because of my perfectionism I tend to be quite slow to meeting tight deadlines. My tutors were on hand to remind me that the field is a challenging one to break into, so it’s best to take the slow route, by starting out at the small studios. As long as they’re legit, or as Mum says, “kosher”.

    That put me in a spot of bother all summer, thinking what brings graduates up to this point, in their lives, and what the future has in store for them. Depending on where they live, who they know, and why exactly are they pursuing it in the first place. But I want to remain optimistic. There hasn’t been this much drive and ambition since the 90s. Childhood back then was dominated by cartoons, of course.

  • Hi I am a 2010 Graduate of the National Film School of Ireland (IADT).

    I finished my animation course with no offers of work but still optimistic. I sent off showreels to all the national studios and some of studios overseas with no form of response more often than not. Any that did respond told me to contact them at a later date. Much the same for my classmates. Only 3 got animation related jobs.

    I managed to mooch a job making educational games with flash for a few months but with zero creativity or animation involved in the process coupled with my lack of knowledge with actionscript I am not too fond of the project.

    I am currently on the look out for a new employer as my contract comes to an end soon. Still optimistic.

    Oh yeah, anyone looking to hire?? I work hard, don’t eat much and don’t know the difference between right and wrong.


  • Not a Robo Cop

    Ok so I’m like a week late in posting to this. This is a good question though and I’m glad you asked.

    1.I’ve just graduated this May from Pratt with a BA degree in Film and Animation. I haven’t had much luck with finding work. I’ve started an internship at nice animation company not to long ago but work here is so slow that they just let a few animators have some time off because we’re all waiting on the next big project to begin. So right now I’m looking for any type of work so I can live. Freelance, office assistant, ANYTHING. Student loans are coming up soon and it’s almost freak out time for me. I have a few ideas for short animated film that I’m excited about but feel like I can’t start unless I have a job to make me feel a little better about myself.

    I’ve been on at least two interviews for freelancing but didn’t seem to have any luck as of yet. So I’ve been building my portfolio since I’ve been out of school. I would love to have the chance to move out to Cali and work with Disney in their talent program they have every year but I know the chances of that are even slim, but hey anything is possible right?

    3.) Thinking back before I graduated the job market is exactly what I thought it would be and extra. Let me just say that. Its a hard business to get into and to keep it is even harder, from what my friends who graduated before me and what teachers have mentioned. One thing i will always remember what one teacher always said to us…”Be persistent.” That’s the best way to find work is if you keep contacting these studio’s because 9 times out of 10 you will never get a call/ email back because everyone is so busy.

    4. Being optimistic about the animation industry?? Of course. I feel that if I wasn’t then I majored in the wrong thing for the past four years.

  • Jonathan Meyer

    Graduated end of May from SCAD with a BFA in Animation. Three months later and a very disheartening Siggraph, no job. I left SCAD with rose colored glasses but since then, reality shattered the lenses. I did not heavily pursue internships during my sophomore and junior years (I had one ready to go, but SCAD cancelled it because it was with a professor’s studio, a conflict of interests sort of thing). So I graduated without any PROFESSIONAL experience. This has been my achilles heel ever since.

    American companies wont hire junior/entry level jobs, and they wont accept interns without college credit (thanks Obama >.<). As stated earlier, Canadians wont hire out of country because of incentives, and Europeans wont hire because the price of a visa to them does not make me worth the risk. Its a catch 22 and if you are still in school reading this than the absolute best thing you could do RIGHT NOW is get ANY internship available, even if its in some podunk studio who make the most boring crap ever, it still qualifies as PRO experience.

    Take it from me, dont go on a christmas holiday trip, or summer trip between years, GET AN INTERNSHIP. Start as early as possible. I was at Siggraph showing my artwork to Microsoft EU and MPC London, they both expressed great interest in my talents and said that they would love to hire me BUT I didnt have any prior experience and they couldnt risk paying for my visa.

    • Jon, this is so sad. I was there when you were making your portfolio and you’ve definitely got the skills. That said, your post-college “update” is disheartening. We are told during student tours that we will experience this: ,but most people I know have been hitting the figurative “brick wall”

      People in my area(Southeast- not far from SCAD)are having a hard time even getting minimum wage paying jobs. Creative jobs are little to none, and even when they do open up, everyone and their second cousin applies. Our society is so saturated with wanna-be hired’s but not enough places to be hired at. Even though I studied Animation, it is likely that I will be doing Graphic Design as a career and animation for festivals, fun, or freelance.

      I feel like we need to echo NC’s post. Animators: If you can’t find a job, make one. Start your own projects. Find a modest job with a modest paycheck to support yourself, don’t live beyond your means, and be your own boss/director/producer, what-have-you. If you love animation, you’ll do it anyways, whether your job is in the industry or not.

  • I graduated in June at “Nemo Academy of Digital Arts” a very special school in Florence (Italy).
    I’m looking for whatever work I’ll be able to get. So far, thanks to the school contacts, I’m working on several projects for Ipad and Facebook. I’m doing now animation for kids games in Flash, but I would like to work as 3D animator. I’m so optimistic about the current state of animation.The job market is, from what they told me at school and from what I’ve heard around, what I expected to be. I had so much fun during these 3 years of animation! I got to meet with real professionals who work in the animation industry and that helped me so much. I really wanted to find a job in the animation field and actually I’m doing it!! I hope that everybody will find their way to the animation industry!! Good luck!!

  • Darío

    I’m from Argentina. I would like to comment as a current animation student that I am and also I would like to know what other folks from Latin America have to say about job opportunities in animation.

    Well, first of all, there are two main animation schools in Argentina and they are based in Buenos Aires. The education offer really stinks. If you American students ever have a complaint against any animation school there, then you should think twice.

    Here we’re being stolen money and just chit chat is offered in exchange. I mean, we are focused on a lot of things which have nothing to do with animation. Script writing, literature… ok, I know it’s useful to know a little bit of this and a little bit of that, but the main priority is drawing, traditional animation, to be skillful at something like Maya, 3D Studio Max, etc. But no. They claim you don’t really need to know how to draw because “the computer makes it easier for you”.

    Those kind of things have driven me nuts and therefore I study really hard, drawing many hours a day and I can say that I don’t find it difficult. Actually I’m prepearing my portfolio and demo reel so that I can get something where I can expand my creativity.

    Also in Argentina finding a job in animation is really, really tough business. Imagine: we don’t have a big market where we can sell our animated products. Most of the things we do are sent abroad (Europe and America) but we don’t get much credit for that, but big companies.

    One day I would like to join some animators and start something together. Best regards and good luck to all of you!

  • Gothica Lady

    I know this is mostly for 2010 graduates, but I just had to comment.

    Hello, I’m currently a highschool senior, looking to send off my applications for college in mid-Octuber to November. My top choices are Scad and the Art Institutes, even West wood U, but as you all know most of those are private schools, big deilemma there, my best bet for school in art is UGA and even then, I’m scared that their art program won’t prepare me for a job in animation or even graphic design.I thank you all for your comments. I have met highs and lows reading. I’ve wanted to have my own animated series since the second grade, that’s when the idea for my series popped into my little head and even if that never happened I still write novels on the side, during school, and made one graphic novel (all in graphite). So not only am I afraid if I go to a public school I won;t get the best education, but I feel that my massive lack of technical knowledge will get me no where, not oto mention I’ve maintained a reserved and quiet personality for my whole life. What I’ve learned from reading these comments is this:

    1. Find and Keep connections
    2. Work hard in school on technique, which I am doing this year taking a AP porfolio class (but in my character designs I need to work on angles, hands, and feet….oh and men, I have trouble drawing guys lower than the bust)
    3. Get familiar with the technology (I have never used photoshop or any of the programs people have mentioned, but I will be looking into them over the Christmas break and asking for them for X-mas present ;0 )
    4. Start networking even now, That’s a problem because I’m only a highschool senior and shoould be appyling to school late in Octuber.

    5. Get a stable job, while looking for work. Because of this, I jjust might take my mother’s advice and try work a associate’s degree in physical therapy (even if I HATE anything medical) or even a book editor, or librarian, or retail.

    6. Be persistent! I have to break my shell right not, and fast.

    I really do love cartoons and anime,and character design, giving drawings life, stories, families, connecting with living and would love to make them for a living, but with the state of the world now, I get pressure from family and my own insecurities, but I hope with this advice and my own will, I can make my dreams come true. Prayers all around and I hope you pray for me too.