Why You Should Think About Transitioning to Animation
Individuals may opt to switch careers for various reasons. While some are looking for new challenges, most are looking for a workplace that offers a balanced career and allows them to unleash their creativity. Knowing why people change careers can help you deduce whether this is the right choice for you and can allow you to transition successfully.
You will require a career change cover letter and a clear idea of how to go about the entire process. Today, we shall examine how you can switch careers to become an animator and its benefits.
Who Is An Animator?
Animators are creative professionals that work as part of a team to produce connected images known as frames. These are created using hand-drawn pictures, digital tools, and models. When the images are connected, they suggest movement, known as animation. Animators work for production studios on video games, graphics, computer-generated sequences, and 2D/3D films.
How to Make a Career Switch to Animation
Step 1: Assess Your Current Situation
The first step is to assess where you currently stand. Ask yourself whether a career switch is what you truly want, how it will affect your future, and whether it is the right choice. Evaluate if the shift is feasible and consider job security, financial stability, and other personal factors.
Step 2: Education
Most individuals will have to get a bachelor’s degree to become an animator or multimedia artist, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics. The type of animation program you can choose will ultimately depend on primary education, existing skills, and personal career goals.
You can also opt for an associate degree, certification courses, and diploma programs. However, make sure to keep in mind that degree programs provide more knowledge and cover both foundational and advanced courses.
Non-degree programs focus on specific specialties and may require existing skills or prior knowledge. Opt for a program that allows you to develop the industry and technology experience that is required in the animation field.
Step 3: Hone Your Skills
You may have the best instructors and might have enrolled in the best animation program around, but only so much can be taught. To become an animator, you must practice and work hard to unleash your artistic creativity.
Aside from developing editing or animation skills and foundation art skills, you may also want to invest your time and energy to enhance your observation and acting skills. These will allow you to understand movements and body language, which you can use to add specific emotions and qualities to various characters.
Working as a team and learning the art of collaboration is another crucial skill you may want to develop. Practice being a good member and managing critique/feedback to prepare yourself to work as part of a real animation team when you land a job.
Step 4: Create a Demo Reel and Portfolio
The key to becoming an animator is having a portfolio that stands out. It is a good idea to host your portfolio online with a section containing a short demo reel and another portion for longer work samples.
Ensure that each piece you share includes a recap of previous work and project goals. Always share your best work and keep updating your portfolio as you improve. Add contact information, a link to your website, and a brief overview of your interests and background. Research online for portfolio ideas, and ask your instructor for help/advice if you are still in school.
Step 5: Get Work Experience
Get a hold of freelancing jobs and internships while you are still in school to obtain valuable experience outside of your regular curriculum. Once you graduate, you are likely to land an entry-level job as an animator rather than getting a lead role.
You can ensure career advancement by networking with other professionals in your field, obtaining additional education/skills, and expanding your portfolio by volunteering and working for organizations you like. Make sure to take out time to practice on your own and be patient with your progress. Hard work and practice are key to a successful animation career!
Advantages of Becoming an Animator
Freedom of Expression
One of the greatest advantages of becoming an animator is the chance to express yourself through your work. Even though you may have to work within the confines of a script, you can still add personal touches and visual aspects that reflect your creativity.
Most creative teams meet when hired to work on a specific project. Collaborations and partnerships with other animators can last a lifetime. They can also lead you toward better opportunities and allow you to have someone to consult when you feel stuck.
Flexible Working Hours
Animators working on personal projects or as freelancers get the chance to set their own timings for work. You can work the morning shift, night shift, or evening shift based on what you find easy.
Pursue Your Passion
Successful animators are often satisfied because they can pursue their hobby and passion as a career. Animators earn $40,464 per year on average in the United States. They can earn even more based on employer, work experience, geographic location, and expertise. Animators that work in a well-known studio earn more than those at entry-level jobs. The best part is that you can even choose to freelance and can take on a single project, sign a contract or even work on multiple projects at once.
Disadvantages of Becoming an Animator
- Animators do not have complete freedom, as they must follow the artistic plan of a creative director. These ideas may differ from an animator’s, which prevents them from working freely.
- Working as an animation artist at a studio means you will have less motivation and time for personal projects.
- Getting work may be challenging, and it may take several years before a studio recognizes your talent and efforts. Most animator posts are extremely competitive and require industry connections.
- A professional animator must match the style and quality requirements of their creative director. Failure to do so may lead to negative feedback and even revisions.
- Some projects may be hectic and require a lot of production. You may have to meet certain requirements and submit work within a set timeframe.
A career switch can be rewarding, and pursuing a career as an animator is even more so. Ensure to follow the steps above if you intend to become an animator and wish to show off your artistic skills in front of millions.