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L.A. Animation Artist Tired of Explaining To Fans He Didn’t Attend CalArts

The talented Ian Jones-Quartey, who serves as the supervising director of the Cartoon Network series Steven Universe, took to Twitter tonight to vent his frustration with young fans who keep asking him how to get accepted into the animation program at CalArts, even though he never attended the school:

While Quartey is proof that you don’t need to attend CalArts to have a successful career in the Los Angeles animation industry, there are advantages to attending CalArts if you’re absolutely sure that you want to work in the southern California animation industry. The industry in Los Angeles, both feature and television, has long used CalArts much like sports franchises use farm teams to develop talent. Industry artists who teach at CalArts often recruit students or recommend them for studio positions, and animation execs offer more shows to CalArts alumni than graduates of all other schools combined.

Four of Cartoon Network’s six current original series were created by CalArts alumni: Adventure Time, Regular Show, Uncle Grandpa, and Clarence. And on Disney Channel, every single one of their original series right now with the exception of Phineas and Ferb was created by an alumni of CalArts: Gravity Falls, Mickey Mouse, Wander Over Yonder, and Star vs. the Forces of Evil. This is not a judgment of the system (it is what it is) but rather an observation: if your goal is to get a TV show made in Los Angeles—especially at a major studio like Cartoon Network, Nick or Disney—you increase your odds significantly by attending CalArts.

And if you’re wondering about Quartey, he attended the School of Visual Arts in New York City, like Rebecca Sugar, the creator of Steven Universe.