Vital Soft Skills Every Successful Animator Needs To Have

The demand for animators is increasing, with employment expected to reach 81,400 in 2026, which is up from 73,700 in 2016, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reveals. Animation is a rewarding and exciting field that requires a big investment in time and money to develop skills and further training. It can therefore be useful to know if your personality is suited to the role before you go ahead and make this commitment.

Strong analytical skills 

Having a thoughtful and organized personality along with strong analytical skills are all important traits for animators to have. Animation requires a curious and logical mind that’s constantly observing how things work and move in order to create successful animations. The job also largely relies on technology, so it’s also important to be able to understand software and work well with desktop and online tools. Similarly, it’s important you have the ability to concentrate for long periods of time. The work process associated with animation takes hours upon hours, which means you need to be willing and able to focus easily. Although the amount of detailed and technical work involved can be intimidating to some people, animators ultimately find it rewarding and love seeing drawings they’ve spent hours working on come to life. 

Thick skin

Forging a successful career as an animator isn’t easy — you have to become comfortable with your work being constantly critiqued and picked apart. It’s therefore important you’re not overly sensitive or upset by criticism, or at least can learn to build up a thick skin. Remember, if you get some negative feedback from a director, that doesn’t mean you’re terrible at drawing. Directors have their own vision and you need to work to meet their expectations. Taking on board criticism and feedback and then going back to the drawing board is a staple part of the job as an animator.

Sense of humor

Any successful animator needs to have a great sense of humor. In fact, it’s essential in order to be able to animate funny and endearing characters. As an animator, it’s your job to weave humor into your character’s body language, movements, and facial expressions and exaggerate these subtle details when necessary for maximum comedic effect. Since children are usually the target audience, you have to be able to adopt a child-like mindset and understand what makes them laugh. So, if you love to joke around and often notice the little ways animators include subtle visual cues to heighten humor, animation is the perfect career for you.  

While there’s no set description of the ideal personality every successful animator should have, these basic soft skills are important. However, even if you don’t quite have all these exact qualities, but still have your heart set on being an animator, that’s okay — no one can be talented at everything. With hard work, dedication, willingness to learn and grown, and technical skill, you’ll be able to find success in the industry.

By Jane Evans

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