Animation Jobs dilemma

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Brooke
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Animation Jobs dilemma

Post by Brooke » Sat Jul 09, 2011 2:28 pm

I never started out wanting to do animation, but for the last 4 years it has become something that I just have to do.
The problem is that here in the UK there are just no jobs in this field. I did obtain a degree in digital Media arts - which is an umbrella of lots of digital areas like web design, motion graphics, post production etc. To be honest if I had had more insight I wouldn't have gone to Uni (especially here in the UK)- its bullcrap - you don’t get an education, hands on experience, links or access to decent tutors/software. What you do get is a bunch of sell out tutors theorising and pontificating on an area they have no direct knowledge or hands on experience ..but that’s another story.

So basically I have never studied traditional animation - although I have and continually try on many occasions in my own time. It needs a huge amount of time invested on it and I'm often left wondering - if there are no jobs is there any point? Plus there are many animators out there in the industry who just rely on computer software, I'm unconvinced that having traditional skills is a pre - requisite - especially if your not intending to work for Disney or Nickelodeon etc.

Also I believe (having dabbled with Maya) that 2d has the most time input and consumption for the least output. At least with Maya you make one model rig it and that’s it sorted from every angle. And as for 'motion graphics' tweaking a few buttons in AfterEffects can create a polished 'industry' style moving image. The very few employers that want 2D animation skills appear to be under the 'delusion' that 2D is just a case of making illustrations move and something that can be completed within a matter of days!

I personally have a love hate relationship with 2d animation - it takes so much from you, time energy, passion....life blood! and doesn’t necessarily yield the seemingly mainstream polished look that appears to be the current trend. I also feel that it is so underrated by others outside of the animation pool. It also seems to be an industry that is based on connections. I have also noticed that lots of 2D companies are shipping their work off overseas to countries like Korea and China.

I'm between a rock and a hard place - I can't get a job in animation, but am continually creating them for pleasure? but also with the aim to be hired or taken on by a company - Maybe I should cut my losses and turn my attention to post- production - in a fraction of the time I can churn something out at top 'polished' quality - But its not really what I want to do - and I am currently in the middle of a full scale animation that I am predicting is going to take me at least a year to create!

Does anybody else feel the same way?
Brooke
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slowtiger
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Post by slowtiger » Sat Jul 09, 2011 4:28 pm

This is the first time I hear from someone who considers animation "just a job". If that's your point of view, well, then you need to watch the market, have a look which jobs are offered, which qualifications are needed, and then act accordingly.

Thing is: it's not any different elsewhere. Germany throws about 200+ skilled animators on the market every year, which by far exceeds any number of open jobs. Have a look at http://jobs.awn.com to see which kind of jobs are in demand.

But I see an attitude in your post which would prevent me from hiring you, if I were in a position to do so. "in a fraction of the time I can churn something out at top 'polished' quality" - no, that's not true. You can only do that if you are really skilled and know all your tools in your sleep. "But it looks good enough" is what I hear from poorly educated "media producers" here in Germany, who only know one program, and nothing more. Do you really dare to start a carreer as a one trick pony? On the very next opportunity you will be replaced by someone who knows at least one trick more than you.

Classical animation is the foundation of nearly everything in the field, so it's never a waste of time to learn it. You also need drawing skills even when working completely digitally, because you need to sketch, storyboard, or simply draw something in a meeting or as part of communicating to a colleague.

You need to be versatile, and that means that you broaden your horizon. Learn whatever crosses your way, it will always pay.
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Brooke
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Post by Brooke » Sat Jul 09, 2011 5:12 pm

:evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil:

I haven’t got an attitude. Unlike yourself (I have seen pictures of your boastful indoor work area on other posts) I'm literally living on the breadline. - Maybe if you came and lived here for a while you would see how exploited UK graduates and the 'job' market has become (regardless of the field).

A job is something that sustains you - Actors refer to their work as jobs. I want a 'job' in a profession. Whether you are working in the arts or manual labour a 'job' is some thing where you exchange your work/skills and time for money. This area of the forum is also called Animation Jobs!

Your exactly the kind of person who gets under my skin - in fact very similar to the tutors I have encountered at university. Because they got a lucky break or got into their sector at just the right time - they don't have any grasp on reality and the real struggles out there! Your behaviour and responses are almost elitist in their nature! I would rather starve than be hired by somebody like yourself, your response is so pretentious!

I'm not talking about "what looks good enough" Here everybody wants a template of the same thing - 2D animation can never compete or be as slick as the type of stuff you can produce...and yes churn out in After Effects or Maya - it doesn’t matter how skilled you are, the time consumption is still a massive factor. I can make a slick motion graphic intro with 3d depth, particles, lights all the works in a matter of hours! 2D just cannot compete with that!

I may have been poorly educated at Uni. But I made up for that by being dedicated and teaching myself all the practical aspects of software and coding that I needed to know. I also have a grasp on reality…as I am living in it! and feeling the full extent of the harsh times we are living in – I’m by no means a slowTiger, I’m ahead of the pack – it’s just the slow ones have been in their position for too long and are cluttering up the industries.

In all honesty it would have been better if you kept your opinions to yourself - There was nothing constructive in what you had to say!

Thanks…but no thanks

PS - And as for skills look at my website compared to yours - I've had no art training or worked for an animation company... and at least I can draw whats your excuse! And as for being a one trick pony.....Dont even get me started!
Last edited by Brooke on Mon Jul 11, 2011 9:44 am, edited 1 time in total.
Brooke
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jahnocli
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Post by jahnocli » Sat Jul 09, 2011 5:25 pm

A Zen master once met a disciple on the highway. Both were travelling towards the town that the other had just left, so they were comparing notes. The disciple said: "All the people in the town you are about to visit are crooks, liars and con artists".

The Zen master said "You will meet the same people in the next town".

---------------------------

You must purge your mind of all this negative energy. Sounds like crap, but you only really start learning when you approach a subject with humility.
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Post by Kedric » Sun Jul 10, 2011 12:43 am

I have not gone to school for animation but I share your frustration.

My fiancee is in graphic design and she is in a similar situation.

It seems that most art schools teach art and they teach how to get a job in art, but the problem seems to be that most artist don't "get a job." I think many go into freelance work and/or start their own businesses. Most of the artists I know never go into their field after graduating because they fail to get a job.

My fiancee has gone to three art schools and none of them taught her how to do freelance work or start a business.

I feel that at least 1/4 or maybe even 1/2 of an artist education should be about how to start a business. Perhaps not, I am unsure because it is not my field.

Though I am not a professional animator, I have started my own animation business. I do it because it is a blast. I have not made much money yet but I firmly believe I (all all the animators working with me) will eventually make a lot of money in about a year or two.

Our rate of growth has been tremendous.

I share your frustration because I have not been able to get a job in my own profession. It seems we go to school with the ideal and promise of getting a job and it just doesn't work out. It sucks.
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Post by DK » Sun Jul 10, 2011 2:04 am

The very few employers that want 2D animation skills appear to be under the 'delusion' that 2D is just a case of making illustrations move and something that can be completed within a matter of days!

Can I just add: I have been running my animation studio here in Australia for over 15 years and our biggest volume of work is 2D Animation. I have found that a lot of our clients still want traditional style animation and have done for many years. I do agree with you that they are deluded when it comes to the production process.

Cheers
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slowtiger
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Post by slowtiger » Sun Jul 10, 2011 9:23 am

So - if you're that proud of your skills that you need to put down others, maybe your lack of jobs has a different reason? Just a guess.

And No, I don't make a fortune. I live from month to month, from freelance job to no job, exactly like anybody else.
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Post by AmigaMan » Sun Jul 10, 2011 1:07 pm

Hi Brooke,

I know it's very easy to become bitter and frustrated but you need to try and become more positive in your attitude. Firstly, you may feel like venting your anger on the internet but should refrain as a lot of possible employers will 'check you out' on the internet and whatever you say is there forever, no matter that you regret what you wrote 10 minutes later.

If you say there are no jobs and therefore no point learning traditional animation then I would say you probably don't want it badly enough? Above all else you should learn traditional animation techniques as that's what employers will be looking for even if you are working in Maya. No animator can "just rely on computer software". Not if they are doing any kind of character animation anyway. If they had no knowledge of traditional animation techniques they wouldn't get very far.

Every industry is based on connections. That's life unfortunately. You need to make those connections. Have you sent out showreels to studio's? On the subject of showreels, I looked at yours and noticed it's almost 30 seconds in before anything happens. You need to start with the animation immediately and make it no longer than about 2 minutes as a general rule. For my current job I use Maya only and my showreel, the one my current employer saw, has no CG animation on it at all. So that really puts paid to your assumption that companies don't require a grounding in traditional animation.

As far as 2D is concerned, most TV animation is still 2D. Kids still love it and TV broadcaster's still like it. With software like Anime Studio it can be just as quick to produce as that done in Maya. Overall probably a lot faster when you consider all the processes that go into CG animation. I know when I worked in stop-motion we produced probably 3 times the animation in a day that we now produce in Maya.

I'm in the UK too and there are jobs around. As in every other industry it's difficult at the moment but you have to persevere. Keep going and eventually you will get there.

I just thought, my friend Kim has posted some great info on her blog with an insight into the animation industry that might help.

http://kimemsonanimates.wordpress.com/a ... nanimates/

There is an article on 'getting your foot in the door' which may be of particular interest.

You should be careful also about criticising others. SlowTiger knows what he's on about and has worked in the industry a long time. Putting down others says a lot more about yourself and where you are at the moment. As I said at the start, concentrate on a positive attitude and hopefully your position will change. Good luck.

Dale
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Post by Mikdog » Mon Jul 11, 2011 1:28 am

I stopped reading after I read this:
The problem is that here in the UK there are just no jobs in this field.
I somehow don't think that's the problem. At all.
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Post by funksmaname » Mon Jul 11, 2011 4:55 am

Hi Brooke,
I know this is all tough and I think this thread got off on the wrong foot.

The thing is with students fresh out of Uni is that they can expect too much. feel entitled for high pay with minimum work. Are you looking for entry level junior jobs in an animation house? I think your work shows potential and you obviously have drawing skills looking at your site. If you feel you're good enough to produce animation for clients then just go ahead and do so like Mikdog has done - but he shows a level of polish not yet apparent in your animation work.

I understand you're in a tough spot deciding what you want to do. Replying to any advice with an attitude, even if you find it unhelpful (and even if you are actually hurt by what is said), will quickly show you as difficult to work with.

regarding the comment about comparison of website - the person with the worse website is often the more busy one who doesn't have time to work on their own site :) and Slowtigers skills may not be in web-design but he certainly knows what he's talking about when it comes to animation - I don't think any of his comments read as an attack on you personally when read be a 3rd party, you just have too much invested in the conversation to remain level headed.

Regarding the time/results ratio - truth is whatever is quicker and easier to do is going to be the more saturated employment environment. If you think there's little or no jobs for skilled animators, you'll find there's probably even less for people who can churn out some flashy motion graphics at the drop of a hat because there's so many more people who can do that.

The £ has never been so weak, and the environment is such that only the most dedicated and keen applicants will get a look in. If you feel sorry for yourself that will come across and might even cost you a job to someone less skilled.

Keep knocking on doors, and don't pigeon hole yourself as a 2D or 3D animator - 3D has plenty of nuances which make it as less productive as 2D at the highest levels!
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Post by SvenFoster » Mon Jul 11, 2011 9:14 am

+1
Mikdog wrote:I stopped reading after I read this:
The problem is that here in the UK there are just no jobs in this field.
I somehow don't think that's the problem. At all.
--Sven
What *if* the Hokey cokey *is* what its all about?
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Brooke
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Final Response

Post by Brooke » Mon Jul 11, 2011 9:41 am

Although I appreciate some of the comments that people have posted, some of them prove exactly my point. People seem to be assuming and boxing me in with the stereotype of being some fresh faced kid straight out of Uni with no grasp of the working world. I am a lot older than you think and have had a working life in other sectors prior to going to uni – which I paid for out of my own pocket.

The whole reason why I went to Uni was to better my life and progress into an area that I never got a chance to when I was younger.
I don’t feel like I’m entitled to anything. Life experience has certainly shown me that this only happens to a very select view. I’m not at home living with Mummy and Daddy (which seems to be what people think when you say you have not long finished uni) – so don’t have the luxury of subsidised rent or bills etc .

I’m sick of this mentality and trend with companies and people where they encourage unpaid work experience (yes I agree there are jobs out there if you include all the ones that don’t pay) – work experience is another word for exploitation. What developed nation feels comfortable hiring educated people with skills and experience for the exchange – and this is if your lucky – your travel expenses. I have to eat , without giving too much away – I may even have children that I have to support! This scenario would be fine if we lived in a world where every commodity was free – but it’s not.

And as for people telling me you have to really want something – this isn’t a case of miracle making, I’m not asking for something that is on some higher plane. So people telling me I don’t want something enough is a joke – you don’t know anything about what I have put in or what I have had to sacrifice. (Here is the opportunity for those of you with the mindset to start responding with …ohhh it must be your attitude or some other flaw in your personality, ohh doesn’t she have such a negative attitude yada yada yada) – No I do great in interviews I have always got jobs in other sectors – but I don’t want to work for NOTHING)

People throwing around that I have an attitude is also becoming quite boring. If I am highlighting something other people haven’t experienced or cannot relate to, and you want to label it as an attitude– then that’s fine – I’m glad that you have not had to experience this. But just because the latter might be the case, it does not mean that you can negate or void something that I and (yes many others) are experiencing. This is not a figment of my imagination, and it can’t be brushed off with saying that ‘it’s an attitude’. I didn’t intend to write a pretty flowery fable – I cut through the crap and wrote what I have experienced.

As for SlowTiger not saying anything wrong – I find it extremely interesting that nobody thinks that his observations are somewhat offensive “
"But it looks good enough" is what I hear from poorly educated "media producers" here in Germany, who only know one program, and nothing more.
I’m sure had I wrote the same thing you would have torn it to pieces. Also, had I never let on that I didn’t work in the industry some of your comments would have been slightly different. It’s amazing how having any form of perceived status or title will make people moderate how they support, respond or behave.

I don’t intend to write anything more on this post, because I believe after this response has been posted, some people will get on their high horse and this will become a tirade of abuse and a case of me having to justify to those that can’t relate, which is something I choose not to do – as they will never ‘get it’ until they experience it.

For those who responded without having to throw in about attitude etc I thank you for your comments. It’s funny I never mentioned anything about SlowTigers ‘attitude’ but I was seen to be putting him down “and this apparently tells people what kind of person I am – having to so called put others down”– yet all through this thread others have referred to me as having an attitude…mmm pot kettle black – how ironic
Brooke
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Post by funksmaname » Mon Jul 11, 2011 10:28 am

never do anything for free... you're right about exploitation - and it totally divalues the work.

Slowtigers quote isn't directly referencing anything you originally said, and he said it's what he hears in Germany - so you were maybe on the defensive on that one?

I appreciate what you were saying, the industry is hard to break into... and being a mature student may again make things more difficult. I think the only reason (some) people are being argumentative is because for whatever reason this thread went off the rails.

You weren't really asking for advice, but putting across your opinion and asking if anyone felt the same. I guess the conflict is that maybe some people don't... it's just a discussion after all - and explaining your situation does put a different slant on it.
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Post by AmigaMan » Mon Jul 11, 2011 10:44 am

Brooke, I totally agree with you about unpaid work. Personally I would never have worked for nothing but I have seen it be a useful option for others that has worked out in their favour. It wouldn't be for me though. Why did you only comment on that particular point from Kim's blog?

Also, you are making assumptions about others as I HAVE been in your position. I fully understand your predicament as I've been there. Despite only ever wanting to do animation since I was 8 years old I didn't get my first studio job until I was in my 30's.

If you got a good showreel together and sent it to the company I work for it's highly likely you would get a job if they liked your work.
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Post by jahnocli » Mon Jul 11, 2011 10:52 am

Brooke wrote:...all through this thread others have referred to me as having an attitude...
But you *HAVE* got an attitude -- can't you see it? I, too, have "been there", and one thing I learnt is that you can't thrash around blaming everyone else. The best way of dealing with your situation is doing some wonderful animation and getting it out there -- and that is easier now than it has ever been.
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