Professional Practice Industry Research
For this assignment: we are tasked with keeping a blog detailing our individual research into the animation job industry, alongside applying what we learn when it comes to creating our industry facing materials, (CV, cover letter + showreel). For me personally, I’ve known I’ve wanted to be in the animation industry since I was 12. I thought I was hot stuff that discovered the concept of what I found out years later to be 2D rigging. Funnily enough, I’m not. Over the years the jobs I’ve aspired to end up in have hopped from a ‘Storytime Animator’ on YouTube, to a studio owner/graphic novelist, to a storyboard artist. From this last year and a bit in uni, I’ve learnt I have a surprising passion for being the head of a team - so that has spurred my dreams of establishing an animation studio even more. Until then, I believe I’d work best either as an animator, or a clean-up animator.
Through this module, I aim to look further into the role of an animator in particular, and end up equipped with the materials needed to attain work in the industry.
Before I had much knowledge of roles in the industry, the term ‘animator’ was just what I put anyone who animated professionally under the umbrella of. From seeing online studios such as ‘Spindlehorse Studios’ and the work of online animators like James ‘TheOdd1sOut’, Jaiden Animations, etc, I’ve learnt that the role of animator better describes the work of someone who does the rough animation for a project before the clean-up artists take it and complete the lining, colouring, etc for it.
A definition of the job title is as follows:
An animator produces multiple images called frames, which when sequenced together create an illusion of movement - this is known as animation. The images can be made up of digital or hand-drawn pictures, models or puppets. Animators tend to work in 2D, 3D model-making, stop-frame or computer-generated animation.
A more in-depth description of the work an animator does is as such:
2D animators don’t necessarily produce the finished ‘line’ seen on screen. They concentrate more on the overall action and character performance in a scene. They will usually produce a few clean, on model drawings as needed, for the assistant animator to follow. These are known as tie-downs.
In order to have a better insight on the workings and requirements of the role of an animator, I looked into some listings I found online:
The job descriptions tended to vary in specificalities, but generally outlined the requirements as seen below:
Be able to stick to deadlines
Be proficient in numerous softwares
Be able to adapt to different styles and stick to guidelines
I gathered that job listings like the ones above tend to invite the applicant to list their strengths within the industry in particular. The listings tend to vere less from being specific to 'clean-up artist', 'character assistant' and rather stick under the umbrella term of 'animator'. Most of the listings require proficiency in at least one software - and some listing will even show that in the title itself, ('TV Paint Animation Project'). Sites like Indeed make it really easy with its UI to see what a job's looking for - but tend to have few and vague listings when it comes to animation. It also provides tips based on what infor you've given the site on how to improve your chances of landing the job.
Following this: I also figured it would be worthwhile to see if this animator/youtuber that I like had any advice on what would help make a good CV/showreel:
Michelle's videos usually centre around industry-focused topics, with helpful advice on how to deal with the current social media treatment against the artists on their sites, and dealing with burnout. She's currently working on her own graphic novel, but as the video above implies: she's also done work for Netflix. Although this particular video didn't provide much insight on CV or reel design, it taught me that putting your work out there can lead to great things - particularly keeping a Linkedin/Instagram profile.
One of the outcomes needed for our industry facing materials was a CV. To begin work on mine, I decided to look at the CV I had been using for regular jobs:
The problem lies with the wordy and length nature of it. I also didnt have much experience with paid work, so I just crammed in all the experience I had gotten from school placements - creating an unfocused selection of experiences that didn't really appeal to one industry at a time.
During our classes on CV perparation, I learnt that your education is not as heavily important as you might have hoped from spending 7 years in high school being told the opposite. So thankfully, that meant no need to list all my GCSE grades. We were also given some graphic design tips - contrast being a key notion to keep in mind. We were shown some bad eamples, along with some better ones. What I gathered from the best quality ones, is that minimalism with a touch of flair is good for the CV design itself. Keeping the fonts to a small pool of choice makes things easier to take in and read - and whilst images/logos are good, its should really be reserved for your best work, and used sparingly.
I also really liked the idea of presenting what software Im profficient in in image form. It seemed clean, effective and simple; easier on the eyes than a boring, lengthy list of software names.
Following this class, I did some research on what made a good CV specifically for the animation industry:
The general tips that I gathered from this research was as such:
Keep things simple and brief
Be job specific - make changes to your CV based on what role you're applying for
Career experience and skills take priority visually over education
Simple but professional CV design
When looking at the CV examples that we were provided with, I really appreciated how personal they were to each student. Little choices such as colour palettes and fonts make a surprising difference - even down to things like text placements. When thinking of mine, I knew I wanted a fresh, clandestine vibe. I wanted a clean, professional look that still had a bubbly feel to it. Initially I figured I'd go for a loose space theme, but I decided against it in the end as elements such as stars and planets might cause a cluttered CV. I just figured I'd start with a light blue gradient and see where I went from there. I ended up getting the idea to add clouds near the header and footers of the document - which I really vibed with. I used opaque, white clouds to create a clean cut-out gap near the footer, in order fir me to have a neat place to list my software proficiencies in. Initially, I was going to just list them - but when I tested that out I soon saw how cluttered and hard to read it would be with a white font, and the amount of software I was going to list. Looking at CV examples again, I got inspired to simply use the logos of said software and simply line them up in a row. I saved a bunch of logo PNGs, took them into Clip Studio Paint, and whited them out. Next I added my Instagram profile-pic, as I really love the image and figured it was clean and bold enough to represent me. I then added some text for my name and contact details, before taking a break.