All my life I have been surrounded by students who do not know where to go and what to do. Do not worry that is a natural stage. It is a sign that you’re looking/ searching. Many students take ideas and do nothing with them. I have distilled what I learnt through my students into 12 Steps to Crack Animation and Design Career Success Code. Ignore any and you’ll miss the eye of the dragon. Of course, he’ll eat you 😉
Tip 0 – Find a reason to learn (iterate this step after every step).
Step 1 – Learn to Draw. Go for Method Art or Life Art Classes. Study people. Study the history of Art.
Step 2 – Read. Read. Read. You’re going to need a lot of ideas, so this is the time to capture them. Concentrate on Classics and Biographies.
Step 3 – Keep a Journal. Write or draw your ideas in it. This where you’ll dig in when you hit a Writer’s (or animator’s) Block. Study people.
Step 4 – Learn to write stories (or poetry whatever). This will take some effort so don’t give up early. Watch a lot of good (Kubrik, Satyajit Ray, Kurosawa, Hitchcock, Lucas, Spielberg, Tarantino, Ang Lee) movies.
Step 5 – Start Learning, or join the school whose environment you like. Check out the environment first. Do not ask recommendations from students. You never know if you’re approaching the dumb one, even if it’s your brother.
Step 6 – Work very hard at each and every subject. Do all your assignments as if your life depended on them. It does. You’re going to need them all if you aim to be the best.
Step 7 – Participate in everything including standing at the door, counselling new entrants, begging for social causes (like blood donation of course).
Step 8 – Make a lot of unassignments – projects other than assignments. Find something which has a client at the other end.
Step 9 – Time to find a mentor. This is the Guru who’ll take interest in your career and guide you through this maze. Otherwise, there are many good internship/ mentorship programs.
Step 10 – Have your portfolio ready with deep focus on what you do best. First show your best work. Then, present the process you’ve followed.
Step 11 – Take the right job once you’ve got your portfolio tweaked. Do not bother about salary. Weak follow the salary. Salary follows the expert. If the right job is not there, take any other design job – and keep practising your favorite at home.
Step 12 – In the job focus on the process and instead of looking for shortcuts to get the work done in 8 hours, prefer to overstay and stick to your process.
About the author: Vineet Raj Kapoor has been guiding and mentoring students through Shiksha.com and through lectures at Arena Chandigarh 17. He’s also setup his own Mentoring and Finishing School for Designers and Animators – MethodArt.in. This was in response to the issue that Indian students find it difficult to afford schools like AnimationMentor.com which charge about $20000 for an online program. He’s been championing the cause of designers to unlistening School Principals, Parents, Government Officials, Ministers and even Students, and has come to the conclusion that very few are bothered. This article is aimed at those who are..
Use these tips and you are aiming for animation career success.