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View Full Version : What is the average age for animators to retire?


StefanStavrev
09-11-2006, 05:56 AM
Hey guys

You have any idea what the average age for animators to retire is?

And what is their life like after?

OneSharpMarble
09-11-2006, 06:22 AM
Animators don't retire they get put on a piece of ice and floated out into the ocean.

vrf
09-11-2006, 06:59 AM
or they burn out because of the insane hours...

Actually, for computer animators, there's probably not a lot of data out there yet as the industry is a bit young to have many retirees.

ndat
09-11-2006, 07:03 AM
LOL, have any CG animators actually retired yet?

danshewan
09-11-2006, 10:01 AM
The Japanese have a word for animators that retire - the term is 'Karoshi' and it means "death from overwork".

ntmonkey
09-11-2006, 10:03 AM
LOL, have any CG animators actually retired yet?

I'll let you know when I do. Don't hold your breath.

mech7
09-11-2006, 10:05 AM
I suppose when RSI kicks in.. :)

Leionaaad
09-11-2006, 10:27 AM
Hey...Listen to something "deep" (Are you paying attention?): Artists never retire. They live forever.

Dennik
09-11-2006, 01:12 PM
Why? Do you want to retire already? :)

Seriously now, i wondered about that, and i don't seem to see myself doing the exact same job 10 years from now. I better be supervising or having enough money to do my own stuff.

Kanga
09-11-2006, 01:33 PM
I plan to die with my boots on!
There goes that last keyframe,.......AAAARRRRRGGGGHHH!

leigh
09-11-2006, 02:04 PM
Actually, for computer animators, there's probably not a lot of data out there yet as the industry is a bit young to have many retirees.

Exactly what I was going to say.

What's up with all these odd threads lately? :curious: The other day we had "what does the average animator look like?" and now this. Very strange.

pwallin
09-11-2006, 02:27 PM
Exactly what I was going to say.

What's up with all these odd threads lately? :curious: The other day we had "what does the average animator look like?" and now this. Very strange.

That "average animator look like" is surely an odd one, but I do not understand why you think this one is odd too...:(

Only "odd" thing in this thread is just those weird answers...I too surely would like to know if animators has some age that they can retire like people in most other professions.

Pasi

lazzhar
09-11-2006, 02:48 PM
Looks like old CG people have no will to retire hence there is no place for newcomers. Meet you likely in the next century :D

Kanga
09-11-2006, 02:53 PM
...
Only "odd" thing in this thread is just those weird answers...I too surely would like to know if animators has some age that they can retire like people in most other professions.

Pasi
I don't think animation is really a typical profession. A google search reveals only a handfull of known retired animators and doesnt have too much info on the age they retired. Also those animators are 2d ones as 3d it is a young industry.

It seems to me if you are talking about 3d animation there is so much to learn so fast that people involved in it stay younger longer (or burn out quick) because their minds are more active. I am already very old and just hooked a client today who organises those dance festivals (acid house techno stuff) and need insane 3d poster/flyers and animations. If you ask me that is work for someone half my age,... apparently not.

That's what I meant by dying with my boots on. I believe I will be found slumped behind my computer,... but not today:twisted:

eek
09-11-2006, 03:27 PM
You retire when the flame for it dies out, or your hands stop working.

NanoGator
09-11-2006, 03:39 PM
Exactly what I was going to say.

What's up with all these odd threads lately? :curious: The other day we had "what does the average animator look like?" and now this. Very strange.

Leigh, can I start this thread?

"Best Buy or Circuit City? Which store is better for the average 3D animator? Does preferring Fry's mean I should be a modeler instead?"

archerx
09-11-2006, 04:30 PM
When the latest software replaces your job.... :D

Zoober
09-11-2006, 04:38 PM
I have yet to meet an animator that has fully retired. Most will stop working fulltime in a studio, but will continue making their own short films or work as illustrators.

I think that the majority of the artists working professionaly in this field would have had drawing/painting or CG as a hobby before breaking in.

Based on the people that I have personally encountered, the seasoned animators usually phase out of studio work in their 40's or 50's unless they become directors or producers on projects. Once you have years of experience under your belt and some savings built up, it's not too difficult to back away from the grind of production to become a teacher or freelancer.

OneSharpMarble
09-11-2006, 04:54 PM
Leigh, can I start this thread?

"Best Buy or Circuit City? Which store is better for the average 3D animator? Does preferring Fry's mean I should be a modeler instead?"

I kinda want the fries one answered myself. :)

Improv
09-11-2006, 05:01 PM
Exactly what I was going to say.

What's up with all these odd threads lately? :curious: The other day we had "what does the average animator look like?" and now this. Very strange.

Which of course brings up the question 'who's average?' ;-)

Artbot
09-11-2006, 06:26 PM
With terrible elderly healthcare and pensions non-existant and social security on the road to ruin, I'd say the average animator will retire at death.

Leionaaad
09-11-2006, 06:43 PM
For the pencil pushers being an animator is just another job, so I have the strong feeling that THE EXACTLY SAME RULES apply as for the other non dangerous jobs...I have no idea how this system works exactly...But it should be the same age like for a teacher per se.

adam-crockett
09-11-2006, 07:02 PM
Am I average? Christ! What If Im not average ENOUGH? How can I become MORE AVERAGE, like the average animator?

Help!

CaptainSam
09-12-2006, 12:49 AM
Grim Natwick, who designed Betty Boop and animated most of Snow White (the character, not the entire movie) did his last animation at 86 and died at 100

Joe Grant (character design supervisor on Snow White, wrote the screenplay for Dumbo, head director on Fantasia) died at his drawing table at home at age 96. He worked at Disney up until the day before.

Joe Barbera is gonna direct a new Tom & Jerry film. He's 96. Chuck Jones directed his last cartoon at age 86.

Ken Harris, who did the coyote in the Roadrunner cartoons, retired at age 70. Then he went back to work for Richard Williams and did some the best animation of his life until he died at 82 or something.

As far as I know, Bill Melendez is the last of the golden age animators whos still active, at age 86 or somewhere around that. He was one of the top animators on the Warner Bros cartoons in the forties and did all the Peanuts cartoons.

There are many more great Hollywood animators who kept working into their 80s and 90s. (it seems 1908 to 1912 were very good years for having future animators) As for computer animators, too early to tell.

MisfitAnimator
09-12-2006, 05:25 AM
I sound a little drastic, but:
"You can have my mouse when you pry it from my cold dead fingers!"

(...)
09-12-2006, 12:47 PM
Romanticised "I'm gonna animate forever YEAH!" statements notwithstanding, animators do retire, usually within their 30s or 40s. As it has been mentioned earlier in this thread, things like RSI, deterorating eyesight, automation, and work-related stress tend to retire CG animators long before they turn wrinkly. When this happens, they usually move on to other things.

(http://lostgarden.com/2006/04/joyful-life-of-lapsed-game-developer.html)

mrflynn
09-12-2006, 04:36 PM
Ray Harryhausen is definately past wrinkly and although he perhaps doesnt do stop-motion anymore, he sure as hell wont let the medium die, thats devotion right there ;)

I think its the same for animators, we get to a point where the grunt work is too much, but we dont move away from the medium, just the job. :thumbsup:

I cant see me ever stopping, my last breathe will probaly be spent praising animation :buttrock:

Signal2Noise
09-12-2006, 06:34 PM
An average animator looks kind of like a retired person. Grey hair (if there's any left from the hair pulling) and highly frazzled. :p

aesir
09-13-2006, 12:51 AM
I read an article on this a bit ago. I think their industry lifespan was on average about 6-12 years. As for what they do afterwards. who knows...

BillSpradlin
09-13-2006, 01:14 AM
42........

ManuelM
09-13-2006, 03:19 AM
think noone will work as an animator untill retirement. lets say you start your career as an animator. after a decade or so, you'll be so good that you move on, become an animation director or supervisor... after some time you move on and do something else... maybe directing or developing your own project - who knows... the cg-industry is not like other industries, where you take on a job and you do the same kind of work in the same office with the same colleagues for 20 years. you need to be able to adapt to the changing requirements of the industry and compared to other jobs, it changes rather quickly... but don't worry - personally i find it a lot more interesting to be constantly facing new challenges and working in various fields.

DJ-Nicke
09-13-2006, 05:16 AM
I personally retired from animation when I was 19 after 3 and a half hard years. Then again at 22, and again at 25. Now I'm 26 and don't think I'll retire ever again, but according to my past cycle, I've still got 2 more years before my next retirement.

By retire, I mean sell all my computer equipment, give away my books and swear I'll never animate again. It's usually between 2 weeks and a month before I get that itch again and start looking for work as an animator.

It's not so much the artform I get fed up with as the apes running the businesses.

robcat2075
09-13-2006, 07:43 AM
I think the lack of secure, continuous employment in animation means that you don't retire in the normal sense. You leave the profession at some point because you can't get more work or need something more stable.

I doubt many people working as animators today will be able to fund their retirement from what they are making as animators

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