If you are a young artist interested in launching a career in the L.A. animation industry, you have to pick up a copy of Natalie Nourigat’s I Moved to LA to Work in Animation, a 70-page autobiographical comic that she just released on Gumroad.

This is not a standard recommendation – Nourigat’s book is absolutely essential for anyone considering an animation career in Los Angeles. It’s filled with hard-won real-life experience from the perspective of an artist who is at the beginning of their industry career.

Nourigat, who is currently a story artist on Wreck-It Ralph 2, offers a disclaimer at the front of the book: “This is just one person’s experience. It is all colored by my background, identity, and privilege.” She recommends seeking out advice from different people to get the bigger picture.

That’s all true, of course, but the insights she offers in her comic cover basic aspects of the Los Angeles animation industry (and L.A. living in general) that I have never seen laid out so clearly or comprehensively in a public document.

There’s tons of practical (and common sense) advice in her comic that will apply to anyone thinking of making the jump to L.A. from the simple act of moving and finding a place to live through applying and taking tests for animation jobs, and then workplace tips for those who have made it into the industry.

Nourigat’s relatively short experience in the industry works to her advantage, because it allows her to present information from the perspective of an entry-level industry artist, and not someone with the jaded outlook of an veteran. (It would be illuminating to read a follow-up comic after she’s been in the industry for a few more years.)

Industry-focused schools need to make this required curriculum for their students, but until that happens, you should pick up a copy on Gumroad. It is the best $10 investment you can make toward launching an L.A. animation career.

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Amid Amidi

Amid Amidi

Amid Amidi is Cartoon Brew's Publisher and Editor-at-large.

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