Thursday, March 3, 2011

6 Steps to accelate your animation career

Do your best work

It doesn’t matter if you’re animating at school, at work or at home on personal projects – but practising with the intention of doing your best work is the fastest way to get better.

George Leonard’s brilliant book Mastery: The Keys to Success and Long-Term Fulfillment says it’s not enough to practise. You must practise with the intent of perfecting your craft – regardless of the outcome.

Update your reel

Your reel is a living document, and if you still have a demo reel that hasn’t changed in a year – you need to address that as a matter of priority.

As a start: Why not focus on adding one thing, and removing one thing.

Progressively culling your worst animation and adding more awesome shots is a must if you want to keep moving forward.

Meet some new people

It’s a simple fact that jobs get offered to people that studios already know. Especially in an industry as small as ours.

Take the opportunity to expand your circle of friends: go to an industry night, volunteer at a film festival, attend a guest lecture or a panel session.

The more people that know you, the easier you are to hire.

Connect with people in your network

Haven’t given your animation school buddy a call in a while? Jump on the phone, email, skype, facebook – whatever.

There is nothing worse than someone who only reaches out to contacts when they want something.

Don’t be that guy.

Keep in touch. Ask about their work and their personal projects. Offer your help. You know – be a friend.

That way when you do need a favor, you’re not cold-calling random people in your network hoping they remember you sufficiently to help you find work.

Revamp your website

Ahh … you have a website, right?

If not, then don’t put it off. Setting up a personal website is something you can do in the next few weeks that will greatly increase your exposure and improve your ability to advance your animation career.

You can start with a free service like Blogger, Tumblr, or WordPress. Or if you’d prefer to have your own domain name, grab it before it gets taken and create your own site to host your reel.

Personally – I use PowWeb because they’re cheap, reliable and have great customer service, but there are tons of great web hosts to choose from.

And if you haven’t updated your site in a while, spend an hour adding some new information about you and your work.


Yes really. (Did you think I was going to miss that one out?)

Make a film. Enter a competition. Experiment with a new medium.

Unless you’re working in your absolute dream job, chances are you have some ideas and techniques you’d like to try out, but can’t do in your regular work.

Adding to your set of skills is not just valuable – it’s marketable.

Best of luck! Looking forward to what you come up with this year.

original source of this article at