10 Things I Wish I Knew About Animation & Design When I Was Starting Out

Now more than ever, producers are looking for remote artists.

So, curate your work, put it on any social platform you can (IG, Behance, Dribble, etc.), and give people more chance to stumble on your work. Make it easy, get online, and don’t be afraid to reach out; even if you think they won’t hire you, you’ll never know if you don’t try.

1) Animation curves are really important

To me, this is the most crucial skill to have as an animator. I can’t tell you guys how many times I’ve seen awesome designs & illustrations with linear keyframes that kill the vibe. I’m not saying only focus on your key framing; design is very important too, but pretty much every director I know looks for designers with a good sense of timing, so focus on those curves! Make them look sexy! Make it flow!

2) Make it easy for me to see you

Put your best work out there and curate your social media to display it. When people are looking for talent, they always look for it on social media first; very rarely do they go directly to your site. So make it a point to display the best of you in one single scroll.

3) Everyone is also trying

No one has anything figured out, and every new job comes with its challenges. So don’t compare yourselves to others. Everyone struggles with visual challenges; what makes you good is just how much you are willing to push yourself. If you have the will, you are set.

4) Be nice

Talent is one thing, but a good attitude is another. I’d rather work with a mid-level artist with a good attitude than with the strongest designer that finds a way to make everything a headache. All of us just want to hang out, and every project is hard, so it’s always better to spend that time with someone you like working with.

5) Just get it out there

That piece you are working on will never get done; there’s always something you can improve, so just put it out there and move on. I struggle with this a lot and it doesn’t go away with age, but remember that there are more things to do out there, so go at it.

6) Enjoy your time

Guys, work hard when you have to and hone your skills as much as you can, but learn to enjoy yourselves, too. Life is not just about work!  Go out, focus on your friends and family. Get good at what you do, but don’t put all your energy into it. You can always get more work, but you can’t replace time away from the people you love.

7) Push yourself

At the end of the day, how you see yourself is how we see you, so try to make everything you put your hands on the best thing you can make. Even if the project is bad from the start, push yourself to learn and improve. Believe me, it will pay off.

8) Find the time to make stuff you like

I hate to break it to you, but most of the projects you will work on will not be showstoppers but don’t worry, that’s a good thing!

All those cool projects that you like to reference come out of passion and that’s exactly what you need to find; what are you passionate about? Always keep it in the back of your mind and pounce on them when you find the time to do them.

9) Everyone references each other

I don’t think that there has ever been an artist that has fully invented a trend without referencing someone else, so don’t be afraid to reference someone else’s work. Learn how they do it, improve it, and make it your own.

10) Getting good takes time

It’s very easy to get discouraged when you see your peers doing cool work and think to yourself, ‘How the fuck did they pull that off?’ But guess what? It’s not so much about talent; it’s more about time. It’s the extra time they put in, the extra hours they punch in after the day is done. Being good takes time, so the more time you put on your craft, the better you will become.