If you are a young artist fresh out of the Art Academy, or if you are just a person with a passion for art who managed to learn a great deal on his or her own, you probably want to become a part of the animation industry. Being an animator can be extremely fun, however at the same time it can be truly tiresome and demanding.
When you fantasies about animation, you probably think about creating your vision, and being praised and paid for your work, and yes in some instances this can be the case. The reality however, is much more different. You usually try to guess exactly what your client wanted, and you need to make changes over and over again if the editor does not like it etc.
This does not mean that you will grow to hate animation, it only means it's not as ideal as you imagined. You should not shy away from pursuing this profession, and if you intend to go through with your dream, here are some tips to help you out.
Create an online portfolio
First of all, if you want to get a job in the animation industry, you'll need samples of your work to vouch for your proficiency. Many jobs nowadays require animation skills, so there are a lot of business owners searching for young talents to join their groups.
You can start off by creating a DeviantArt account and a Pinterest account. These two networks are awesome places to start, and meet new people who share the same passion. Remember to share your posts on other networks as well, like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, and use hashtags to get additional exposure. If people love and appreciate your work, they might re-share you or even recommend you to someone.
Lastly, you need to have physical copies of your work, in case you go to meet potential employer or if you want to apply for a position in a nearby company.
Accept unfairness and criticism
According to the experts at Spiel, it is good to learn how to handle criticism and the weight of reality. In order to get paid, people expect that you will have some working experience, and even if your portfolio is amazing, they might expect you accept an internship first before you can get a permanent position in the company.
To put it bluntly, it will be easier for you to work for free for some time, than to go from one place to another in order to find someone who will immediately appreciate your skills. Basically, you use the internship to show that you are a team player and willing to cooperate, not to show off how great of an artist you are.
Get a mentor
It is also stated in the tips that those who do not have an academic background in animation should consider acquiring a mentor. Not because you need to learn how to draw, but more in order to adapt to a particular line of work, since animation differs depending on the industry (comic books, video games, cartoons, logos and so on). In other words, if you want to specialize for a particular branch, getting mentor is a good approach.
Learn to be patient
You need to know that there are a lot of animators out there who are after the same thing as you, so the competition is tight. You can't give up after a few attempts, you simply need to keep going and be on a constant lookout. Also, as long as you are unemployed the most productive way to use your time is to build your reputation.
Look for the jobs online
To get a job you must apply for it, and sending out numerous applications can't hurt your chances. If you can't find any jobs in near vicinity, then you can search for them online. There are numerous freelancing platforms where you can find clients and earn some money, while at the same time honing your skills and portfolio. Moreover, you can find companies that are quite flexible, and have no issue if you can only work from afar. As long as you maintain healthy communication, things will work out.
Start your own gig and try to get crowdfunded
If you are tired of waiting, you can always take the matter into your own hands and form your own team. You can work on a comic book, or on a video game, or you can even create cartoons; it all depends on your skill set and your ambitions as a group. If your product is good, then you can easily get it crowdfunded, since there are many crowdfunding online platforms that can help you out in this department.
Don't lose your enthusiasm
Finally, if things don't go your way doesn't lose your enthusiasm. Remember the tip from before that you need to be patient, and remain optimistic. Keep working on your portfolio and keep sharing your work, go through online tutorials and you also might pick up a thing or two and improve on your own.
Remember that, as time passes, some of the companies will be expanding and they will need new positions, so it's not too bad if you wait a little. Also, if you are getting criticized at work, don't let it discourage you, after all it's what your client wants you to animate, not what you wish to animate, simply follow the instructions and work on your own projects during your free time.
This roughly covers it. Remember to follow the tips provided above and in time you will have a workplace that you'll like. Bear in mind that everyone has to make compromises, so do not feel too disappointed if your workplace is not everything you have expected.