So where are you at within the CG life?


3 years ago, started with the music industry as a freelance doing logos and little animations/motion graphics using Cinema4D. This past month, just started a paid internship with a studio that operates within a huge auto parts manufacturing company. Loving it so far. Learned to work in Maya/Zbrush. Still connected with some folks from the music industry(nothing big), but I love the auto parts gig alot more since it feels more professional(based on the people I work with).
Only thing that sucks is that the internship is all the way in Torrance and I live in NorthEast Los Angeles. But I leave early in the morning and hit the gym before. Getting back home is a pain though. But gotta sacrifice a bit.


just keep plugging away and building your experience and network.

I’ve been at it for 26 years. I was laid off (for the first time in my career) from December 24 2016 - about July 2017. Freelance and some minimum wage jobs carried me through barely supporting my family. A long time colleague and former college classmate was able to give me a break. I started as a modeler and texture artist back in 1996. Worked my way through to the position of animation director and creative director at companies and now I am back at modeling. I work 4 hours away from home so I stay in Airbnb places Monday through Thursday and home on the weekends with the family. At some point we’ll relocate or the gig may stop and I’ll rebuild again.

Point is, keep enjoying the journey and the contacts and relationships you build now, are most likely to save your ass 20 years from now, so be cool, awesome at what you do and be very likeable.

oh yeah, start learning how to sell and develop business. When you can consistently go our and find clients for yourself or an employer, you will always be of value (an asset, not a commodity) and will also have more control over your income.


When you start out, it’s mostly about you and your skills. Later on it’s about our local group skills and getting the best out of your immediate team and increasing their efficiency. Later it might be more about having influence in other dept’s or teams. Maybe you notice patterns or things that seem like they could run better as a process.

Communication and team-teaching/training I think take on a larger role as you move on, or at least in my experience. Your art skills are always needed and need to be sharp, but it seems like people/team/political skills end up taking on a larger role as you move on in responsibilities where you need to spread your skills/knowledge across to other team members and get their buy-in.

The skills you spend your time focusing on is up to you, but I personally think there comes a point where you’re good enough in an area that you probably shouldn’t spend your time micro-polishing a particular art skill if that’s not going to actually make the broader difference in your job. If it is and you want to be the top-senior specialist in that area, then go for it because that uber-skill will likely be in demand. But I still guarantee you that you’ll be asked by senior management to find a way to teach that skill to your local group so they can all harness your skill/knowledge.

For a lot of people though that stick things out over the years, at some point you might need to branch out and learn more about other parts of production and even basic leadership/management training skills because those things could be more relevant when working across and within teams.

my 2 cents anyway


I’ve been in it 16 years and i’m a partner at DBOX, leading the Miami studio and a great team here. But I came to Miami via London, then NYC, brief stint in Buenos Aires all with DBOX.
It’s still only the second studio i’ve ever worked at. First job was up near my hometown in the UK.

When I first started I thought i’d be happy sat with my headphones on, working away on art not being bothered. But as time went on I found myself enjoying the client meetings, navigating politics, coming up with ideas, and fighting for them so we got the room to make something better. To do that you naturally need to know budgets and staff managing - over time I have ended up doing a lot of things (and really enjoying them) that I never thought i’d handle. As I got more experienced and parts came easier to me it was only natural to take on more roles.
Still keep myself sharp and get my hands dirty with production. I’m currently taking orders from one of my team who is leading a huge film project, i’m buying a house so he’s taken on the main lead role.