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Is going into a animation career worth it?

I'm a 12th grader and I have been doing art for years, but i wasn't serious about it until I was in middle school. I want to become an animator, but I find it hard to lean the basics and find it confusing to use my program, Clip paint studio. I might not because an animator and just be a freelance artist, but I also want to be able to inspire other people and gain experience from working in an environment like that. I'm unsure if it's worth it to keep trying or if I should just stick to freelance. #art #arts #artist #general #the-arts #career-choice #animation

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Carissa’s Answer

Hello Imani! I studied animation in school, and my fiancee is a professional animator, so I'm pretty familiar with what you're going through!

First of all, whether or not an animation career is worth it depends on what you personally find worthwhile! If you love animation and the art of it, there's definitely fulfillment that comes from seeing your work come to life. Financially speaking, animators can make some good money, and especially working for bigger studios. If you work for a company, generally they'll provide benefits beyond just the paycheck, like medical insurance, which you have to pay for entirely on your own as a freelancer. It can be a lot of work, but if you already draw, you should know sometimes making art is a labor of love!

Don't worry about learning animation, especially if you're learning on your own. There's a lot to it, and many people who end up in animation don't actually start to learn animation until they go to college (and some animators don't major in animation, or don't go to college even)! My fiancee didn't actually do any animating at all until about 26 years old, and now has animated on several feature films and a couple AAA games. I recommend trying to start with the 12 Principles of Animation. Most every animator--student and professional--will have a copy of the book "The Animator's Survival Kit" by Richard Williams. It's a great place to start!

When I was learning animation, we were taught on paper so you aren't fighting with figuring out software while also trying to learn animation principles. It might help you to just try making simple flipbooks and small, simple animations. Keep in mind also that animation is a very broad industry! You may find that you don't like the actual animating part of it, but like storyboarding, or character, prop. or environment design. And, if it helps you to know, there are freelance animators out there also!

Don't stress! You'll figure out what path will be best for you! Don't be afraid to follow your passion, because that can inspire others in itself. Best of luck to you!

P.S. I've got some links here in case they might help you out! These are just a few! I know if you search around on YouTube, there's several videos on animating in Clip Studio Paint around too!
The Animator's Survival Kit on Amazon:
TED Talks on Animation Basics:
51 Animation Exercises (the first few exercises are basically an Intro to Animation class' projects):
YouTube Channel of Animator Toniko Pantoja (worked for Cartoon Network, Dreamworks, & others) which has some tutorials:
(Toniko also offers a self-teaching course on 2D animation, you'll find links on his channel I'm sure!)

Carissa recommends the following next steps:

Keep working on drawing! Having strong fundamental drawing skills is important, whether you freelance in a related art field or go into animation.
Try making a simple flipbook animation. You can even just use the corners of a notebook for this, or staple some paper together.
If you want to go to college, research schools that have animation classes or programs. If you can try out one or two animation classes before picking your major, I recommend it!
Follow your passion!

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Kevin’s Answer

A career in animation is one of the most rewarding and competitive industries these days. The animation industry has experienced a tremendous rebirth since many acquisitions from the major studios, most notably NBCUniversal acquisition of DreamWorks & illumination, and the entry of big players such as Netflix.

The future of animation is bright, with many forms of content. Projected growth will be due to increased demand for animation and visual effects in video games, short-form animation & movies, and video games, which require a lot of animation, have become extremely popular across the globe.

Employment of multimedia artists and animators is projected to grow 4% from 2018 to 2028, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Start researching college programs to find your right fit. Here are some strong recommendations of well-respected institutes;
UT, Dallas, Texas A&M, Clemson, CalArts, & San Jose State.

Good hunting!

Kevin recommends the following next steps:

Check out insitutions of further education: examples shared

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Darin’s Answer

Absolutely Imani especially during these crazy times. When a lot of projects were getting canceled or postponed because of COVID the animation field was actually still very much thriving. That's because unlike other projects that require being face to face at a particular location with someone like a studio for example, animation can be done away from virtually anywhere. A lot of your animation companies had their employees work from home and meet up over virtual conference software like Zoom for meetings or to talk with their individual team members. You may think your skills are rusty now but your High School, you still have much time to hone those skills if animation is a field you wish to pursue. There's so many different colleges and universities that can help you hone those skills

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Siddharth’s Answer

Totally worth it if my 20 years in animation is anything to go by, but like with any industry its alot of hardwork and grind while being totally fulfilling if animation is something that excites your.
Remember the key is to never stop learning and be open to adapt to the new tech thats making its rounds, tech and skills come and go at a rapid pace so always never stop learning

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Terry’s Answer

Hi, Imani -

From the sound of it, you seem to have the discipline to become an animator artist. If it is your passion, I would say absolutely YES to your pursuing that path. I spent the last 20+ years in Los Angeles and animators are always needed in the entertainment industry. I would suggest you track down the colleges that have the best placement programs after college and get your portfolio together and go for it!

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Craig’s Answer

The skills you mention can lead also to many other areas including graphic design, if you enjoy it do it. We can't know the future too far ahead