So you’re looking at animation as a potential career path? Well, if using your creative flair on a day-to-day basis excites you, look no further. Choosing and preparing for the right career is never an easy task. In this article, we explore 5 questions to ask yourself before starting an animation career. Let's get you ready to kick-start your successful career as an animator!
A Career In Animation
Remember that animated movie you watched over and over again as a kid? Finding Nemo, The Simpsons, and Tarzan are perfect examples of how animators have been able to engage generations of viewers with their art. The animation industry thrives on creativity, ingenuity, and animators who consistently translate their innovative ideas into animation masterpieces.
If earning a living by pushing your creativity sounds like you, the animation industry needs you! Here are a few more questions to ask yourself before getting started:
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1. What Does an Animator Do?
Animators often cover a whole host of animation projects which could range from motion picture films to short animated introductory videos. As an animator, it is your responsibility to analyze the needs of your client and translate them into an animated video that delivers the desired outcome.
Your animation work will vary depending on your project. Different clients will bring their own unique challenges and your job is to use your creativity to find the perfect animated solution! Below is a list of a few duties you could perform as a professional animator:
- Designing various features such as models, backgrounds etc.
- Developing the sequence of images while adding audio.
- Managing relationships with your animation clients.
- Working with both visual and audio editors on various forms of content.
- Ensuring project deadlines are met while solving the needs of your client.
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2. What Type Of Animator Are You?
When thinking about animation work, the first thoughts that come to mind might center around motion picture films. This is only the tip of the iceberg. Developments in the online and marketing industries have opened the door to numerous animation job opportunities. Animators also now have the exciting options of being freelance animators or full-time work.
Freelance animators enjoy a great work-life balance as their role often allows them to work from home with a loosened time schedule. Your work will vary based on the nature of your client and it allows you to take on as much work as you feel comfortable with.
If being your own boss, working your own hours, and being open to many animation opportunities excites you. A freelance career will be your best fit.
Full-time animators, on the other hand, enjoy benefits particular to contracted employment. These benefits include job security, employee-related benefits (medical aid, etc.), and inter-employee relationships which are not often accessible when you freelance.
Choosing the best role means analyzing the difference between freelance and full-time and choosing which one suits you best.
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3. What Skills Are Needed To Start An Animation Career?
So now that you understand the role you want, it is important to develop your expertise. Although most projects have their own unique requirements, there is a specific skill set that benefits all successful animators.
These skills range from entrepreneurial qualities to stress coping mechanisms and are not always animation-specific. Like in most industries, it’s not easy becoming the best of the best. Here are a few skills the top animators have:
- Story-Telling - Think out of the box and express your personality in your work.
- Good Old Hard Work - Perfecting your craft will take time and effort but it’s more than worth it.
- Attention To Detail - Creating quality animation will require fine tuning. Be patient and cover all your bases!
- Working Under Pressure - Successful animators are able to perform under maximum pressure. You know the saying about how diamonds are formed…
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4. Salary For An Animation Career?
The perfect job is one that allows you to pursue your passion while still earning you a living. Animators get to do just that. A career in animation could earn you an attractive remuneration package either inside the US or anywhere abroad.
As in any industry, not all animators are paid the same and your income will depend on your job situation. Fortunately, this ever-growing industry provides job opportunities almost everywhere so take your time and choose your perfect fit.
5. Where Do I Learn Animation?
Getting educated is a very important part of your animation journey. Animation school is where you pick up a large portion of your theoretical knowledge and your course pretty much sets you up for your professional career. There are numerous institutions that offer animation courses but not many that teach you the business side of the industry.
Mastering the business skills in animation is the closest thing to guaranteeing your success in this field. Your practical animation skill-set will make you an asset at any animation company but your business skill-set will make you a commodity in the industry!
Some Extra Tips For A Career In Animation
Becoming an animator is by no stretch an easy task. You will face challenges unique to the industry but there are ways to prepare yourself for these obstacles. Here are a few extra tips to give you a head start in animation:
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Books Carry Animation Knowledge
Read, read and read. There are many books about animation that carry vast amounts of knowledge relevant to your career. Improving your practical and business knowledge will benefit you throughout your animation career. Get started with our FREE marketing handbook for animators and take your career to the next level.
Stay With The Animation Times
The animation industry has a big dependence on technology. This means that animation evolves the same way technology does. It is very important that you, as an animator, stay up to date with the newest developments in the industry so that your services are always on par with industry leaders.
Upgrade Your Animation Tools
Investing in your craft is just as important in animation as it is in any other industry. Your equipment plays a vital role in your animation's quality standard. Make sure that your animation tools allow you to create what your client needs. Invest in quality tools that make your job as an animator more convenient.
A Healthy Animator Brain Is A Creative One!
Taking care of your mental health, as an animator, is of paramount importance. Exercising combined with healthy eating habits could greatly increase your productivity and focus. Increased productivity and focus will boost your mental health and ultimately your creativity. Take care of your mind and your mind will take care of your animation.
Your Career As A Successful Animator Starts Here!
So now that you're ready to take the animation industry by storm, where do you start? Well, an animation program with the experts of course. A good basis of animation knowledge is the foundation of your successful career.
Our FREE online masterclass gives you the knowledge needed to take that first step in your animation career while our animation accelerator program is an absolute must for all aspiring freelance animators. Complete them today and claim your spot in animation!