Animation is a booming industry, with increased demand from both the professional and amateur sectors. The type of work you do as an animator will vary depending on your skills, experience, and available resources. If you have even a small degree of interest in animation, there are plenty of ways to start getting involved.
You don’t need to be an expert in the field to get started in animation. Even if you have only a basic understanding of animation software, there are still ways that you can contribute as an amateur animator. Here are nine tips on getting started with your animation career.
1. Join a Community
Regardless of your experience level, you should seek a community of animation fans to reach out to. Since animation is such a diverse field, you can get involved in plenty of different ways. For example, you can join a local animation club, create a Facebook group for animators, or ask your friends if they have any contacts that might be able to put you in touch with other people in the industry.
Your local city or town typically has a local animation society. These organizations are excellent places to learn more about the industry and meet other animators in your area.
2. Learn How to Use Animation Software
If you are interested in animation artistry but don’t have much experience with animation programs like Maya or 3D Studio Max, it’s still possible to contribute as an amateur animator. There are numerous tutorials on simple tasks with animation software or for tasks you’re already familiar with.
3. Connect with Other Animators
Because the field of animation is so diverse, there are various social groups for animators to join. There are numerous forums where you can meet other animators and share information about the industry. Whether through social media or specific online forums, there are plenty of ways to connect with other animators for networking and professional development.
4. Get Involved with Other Activities
In addition to learning more about the industry, you can also learn how to work various other jobs. By becoming familiar with different types of jobs that are related to animation, you can provide a leg up on the competition. For example, many animators work in the film industry in various roles behind the camera and as visual effects artists. Other typical jobs for animators include producing, production management, and directing.
5. Apply for Internships at a Motion Graphics Company
Another way to get started as an animator is to apply for internships. Motion graphics companies are an excellent place to start working in the field of animation. These companies typically hire interns in the summer months and offer training opportunities throughout the year. You can look online and compare places to find the best motion graphics company to intern for.
6. Consider Learning 2D and 3D Animation
Whether you’re an aspiring 2D artist or a 3D animator, you’ll need to develop skills in both areas to have a successful career. Some of the best-known animators have skills in both areas. If you’re starting, deciding which area is best for your skill set can be difficult. However, the fact is that there are plenty of jobs in both areas, so you will have no trouble finding work in either field.
7. Find a Mentor
Having a mentor can be extremely helpful if you have trouble figuring out how to get started in animation. A mentor can help you figure out which types of jobs are best for your skill set and even introduce you to key people in the industry. They can also help you get a jump start on the competition by introducing you to potential employers.
8. Present at a Conference
Similar to applying for an internship, it’s beneficial to present your work at a conference or expo. This can help you showcase your work and gain experience in front of colleagues and potential clients. For instance, you can showcase your work on websites like DeviantArt or Behance or upload videos of your animations on sites like Vimeo and YouTube.
9. Be Patient
If you are starting as an amateur animator, you should always take steps to improve your skills. The most important thing is to be patient and work hard to get ahead in the field of animation. Even if you don’t see immediate results, these efforts will pay off down the road as you become more experienced and develop a reputation for yourself in the world of animation.
If you are starting with animation, you may struggle to find work in the industry. However, by improving your skills and developing a reputation for yourself in the field, you can ensure that you have an exciting and lucrative career as an animator.