Is animation an unrealistic career choice for me?

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  05 May 2013
Is animation an unrealistic career choice for me?

I want to become an animator, I want it as my choice. I want to be able to go love going to work each day, and create great characters, models, textures, etc.Most people think of Pixar and Dreamworks when they think of animation, the two big ones. While it would be cool to work for one of them one day, honestly I'm so interested in animation I'll work for any movie/video game/animation/effects company, doesn't matter as long as I can spend the day animating things. There's a problem though: I'm not a good drawer, because I really never practiced that much. I like to doodle a lot, but that's it. I'm 18 and this summer I'm going to get serious about my animation career. This summer I plan on improving my drawing skills by buying drawing/animation books, or anything that will help me learn. Then go to community college for the Winter semester, take gen eds/art classes there, and then transfer (hopefully) to an art school after 2 years. Is it too late for me to be a talented drawer? I plan to dedicating my summer and fall to drawing, and animation. Since I'm a late bloomer to drawing & art, will I have any chance of getting into a good art school? Rhode Island School of Design, CalArts, Ringling, Pratt Institute? Any advice? I'm taking this seriously, I know I shouldn't have waited so long to start, but I can't go back in time. I can't imagine me being really happy doing anything besides animation. Too bad I just realized that. Seriously I'll work my butt off to get good at this.
  06 June 2013
Hey there Ambie!

I personally dont think it is ever too late to start something, especially if you express passion for it and you are willing to dedicate your life to it. I myself am a student at Full Sail University in Orlando Florida. I have always been into art and I have always had an immense amount of interest in the CG world. After a couple years at a traditional university, I decided it was time for me to follow my dream and that was to go to school and work in the CG industry, no matter what it took. You asked if it is hard to get into the industry and is it too late. I dont think it is ever too late and like any other industry it takes will power, drive and determination to get where you want to be. I think that if you follow on your plan and get your current art skills up and start learning the software, you will have no issue in getting your foot into the industry because you have the passion and the drive to succeed.
  06 June 2013
Hey man,

Do some research and make sure your CC credits will transfer. Email the schools you hope to transfer too, and see if they will accept the credits. I'm going through a similar thing now, and it takes a lot of work and research to get everything worked out.

  06 June 2013
Originally Posted by Ambie: I'm 18

Originally Posted by Ambie: I shouldn't have waited so long to start.

Are you serious? You're 18, not 80.
  06 June 2013
No one is ever to old to learn. I didn't take classes for animation or modeling till I was 21, just know it takes a lot of time a dedication. I've been out of school for a year and a half and I'm still trying to learn and improve my work, it doesn't happen over night. As long as you have the passion for it and the eye for detail you can succeed in this field.
  06 June 2013
Seriously my friend...


You're no way too old and far from it. I'm 24 and switching skill sets now from games to film... If your heart is set on that dream, go for it. I cannot stress it enough.

  06 June 2013
As Rotem said:

Originally Posted by lo: Are you serious? You're 18, not 80.

At 18 you hopefully still have lots of life ahead of you. Getting an education of some sort is so important, but at 18 you still have a great opportunity to experience or sample different possibilities. Attending a community college and becoming strong in the basics is a good idea, but don't overlook some of the general education requirements. These classes will give you some samplings of other possible areas of interest and will hopefully broaden your world view. As far as choosing animation, I would suggest exploring the other related fields at the same time, like lighting, compositing, programming, etc. I remember attending an educators event hosted by a major studio at the 2011 Siggraph conference where they mentioned that they looked at over 700 student demo reels and 95% wanted to be "animators"; then they showed a brilliant demo reel of one of these 700 that wanted to be a lighter. What I got from this implication is that broadening your view and knowledge base can help you get in the door. Take it for what it's worth. Good Luck.
  06 June 2013
I highly recommend looking into college portfolio preparation classes in your area in addition to CC classes. Private art colleges and small studios like mine often offer them. In my experience, CC classes are great for giving a general survey of art skills (depending on the quality of the teacher) but are not generally enough to focus a portfolio strongly enough to gain acceptance to or scholarship money from major art schools.

My college prep students have earned nearly $2 million in combined offered scholarships, grants, and loans to major art schools and universities. I've sent 4 students to RISD with near full scholarships. Having a teacher with specialized knowledge in college portfolio prep can be a huge benefit for a student. So I recommend researching all of the options for prep in your area.

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  06 June 2013
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