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Networking Issues

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Networking Issues

I know that who you know can help in obtaining a career in animation. I live in Minnesota and finding great networking opportunities here can be exceptionally difficult. Does anyone have any suggestions on meeting animators and creating great connections?:confused:

Thank you very much guys. When I first posted the question I was concerned it was too simple to answer. I just seem to be having a hard time finding those people. Dan, this will help a lot, much appreciated!

Oh, and I plan on sticking around here at AWN, everyone here is really great.

www.becomingananimator.blogspot.com

The only suggestion I can make is stick around here at Awn and make friends.

Pat Hacker, Visit Scooter's World.

Kind of a silly question, but have you poked around looking for local groups or chapters of larger organizations? Interest is so widespread that often places with low population or places not known for being production centers still have active communities you can become a part of. I don't know many people who'd scream Kansas if I told them to list off states that support animation but my friend just got hired to a studio there indirectly through a relatively big association of computer graphics professionals.

You have to dig and research, but...

You can find similarly interested people almost everywhere. Here are some of the things I would do in your position:

1. Contact ASIFA-Central to see if there are any members in your area
2. Contact all the art schools and animation schools within 500 miles of your area to see if there are any school groups or outreach involving current or past students who might be into animation or closely related areas of art/industry. Same goes for the main universities - they have traditional and digital art / new media classes I'm sure. There might be clubs of some sort.
3. There have to be some local post production companies, ad agencies, web development firms, etc., all of whom brush up against animation in various forms. See if you can arrange to come check out their studios/offices, possibly even do an internship or otherwise make yourself helpful to them.
4. Expand your regional reach into Canada - lots of animation going on in Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa, etc. I know it's not super close, but its closer than LA.
5. Use the web. Search for websites of individual artists and animators. Track them down and write to them explaining you're looking to network and meet other people who are interested in / working in animation.
6. Contact local computer product stores (such as CompUSA) or Staples/Office Max, to see if they hold any classes in digital art programs such as photoshop, illustrator, as well as web graphic programs. Track down instructors and contact them to see if they have affiliates that you can access as well.
7. Go to the websites of all the main software vendors, such as autodesk, softimage, adobe, etc. Find their lists of authorized resellers, education partners, etc. They all have scores of different types of affiliated business to support their distribution channel. I would bet there are some companies in your region that are listed. Track them down and see what they're about. Pick their brains about local resources.

I hope this gives you a start. As I said, these will all take some effort to hunt down, but you'll be surprised what you'll be able to find in a short period of time.

Dan

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