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Do you prefer animating or teaching more?

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Do you prefer animating or teaching more?

Hello to all the edjemakators here. I was just curious to get your opinions about what you prefer doing more now that you have been in the work place and you've taught future animators. Is it more rewarding to see your finished work along with the collaborative effort of your fellow artists up on the big screen (or small screen) or is it better when you see the instant one of your students figures out a solution and puts it into motion. Is it the enjoyment of the process of countless days of animating with your co workers all around you or is it watching a students progress and knowing you taught them what they know.

Is this apples and oranges?

Or is it the same thing as when sports coaches tell you they prefer coaching to playing (or are coaches players that can't hack it in the game anymore?)

I am wondering because I have given strong consideration to wanting to teach animation and other artistic production like classes one day... a very long time from now, but all the same it seems like it would be very unteresting and rewarding.

hett15's picture
"All we have to decide is what to do with the time that has been given to us." ---Gandalf

"All we have to decide is what to do with the time that has been given to us." ---Gandalf

Some people like to say that "who knows, make; who doesn't know, trach". But that's just an excuse from people who are too lazy to study anything. :)

I'm sure both activities are very rewarding and complement each other. Take a look at the text of "The Illusion of Life" and you'll see what I mean.

I'm coming at this one from the other side...

I've been a teacher for 10 years, and had never taken an art class or persued my secret wish of making cartoons. A couple of years ago I got a chance to take a weekend seminar in animation, paid for by my school, since I have taught multi-media and film stuff at the high school level for the last 6 years.

Right now I'm on summer break, and have spent as much time as possible working on a cartoon I've written. I expect to spend another 2-3 years on this piece, and I find it really rewarding.

Teaching is a cool gig, but sometimes the students (grades 9 and 11) wear me out. Since I don't have a lot of chance of jumping into the animation field ("don't say industry"-- Nick Cage as Charlie Kaufman in Adaptation) full time at this point, and teaching is a pretty secure job, I choose to enjoy it and have fun.

After teaching video and multimedia for several years, my current school had me go back to teaching English for a few periods last year, which I wasn't too thrilled about. By the end of the year I was back into it, maybe more than I had been before, to the point where I often think about just doing English. The benefit is it keeps me engaged with story and symbol and other things that keep the big picture alive in my cartoon.

Probably not the kind of responder you were after, but I figgered I'd pitch my hat in the ring as well....

Cartoon Thunder
There's a little biker in all of us...


For me, anyway.
Working on a drawing project can have heart-break--especially if the project doesn't go well, or ends up in the hands of outside talent that doesn't care as much. Been thru many jobs like that.
Teaching is something that's more in my arena of control, because the influence I can have is direct and powerful.
Teaching is more purposeful for me, and more fullfilling beause there's that purose there.
When a student "get's it" then its all worthwhile--even if its just one person out of the class.

I don't teach kids though--they are a tough crowd from the get-go. I teach adult-age trade-school type courses ( obviously animation/cartooning-based) so the maturity of students is a "relative" constant. Teaching, for me, is more like play ( employers, past, current and future will love hearing this!) because its not "really" like working.
You stand up in front of a group of people, pontificate about some subject or another, hold their attention for a while then let them go to it...........and if you can avoid making a jack-ass out of yourself, then its been a good day.
Ya, I'd hardly call that work--LOL!
I can and still do the drawing gigs though, and its a good test of my wits and judgement to do those jobs--keeps my senses and focus keen and re-kindles topics to pass on to the students.
I don't consider myself as someone who "can't" because I haven't reached the pinnacle of "can" as yet. I still have the strong drive and desire to pursue my own skills--and teaching is a part of that as well.

Teaching is a tough gig--make no mistake about it. There's many more bad teachers--okay, mediocre--than there are outstanding ones. Teaching well and dynamically is a responsibilty to the paying students--they are a client after all. Its not enough to just impart wisdom, you have to impart passion as well. Not everyone has the zest to do that.


"We all grow older, we do not have to grow up"--Archie Goodwin ( 1937-1998)

Teaching or Animating?

When I first learned the "secrets" of animation, it was like taking magician's classes and every day was a revelation. I had so much fun, I wanted to just take that year over and over again. I fell in love with making things come to life. But since it's too expensive to take the same course forever, I decided the next best thing was to teach it. I figured I would need 10 years studio experience first and started my career. Once in a studio (working on "The Raccoons" in Ottawa), I realized I had hardly learned ANYTHING in school (it was a fine art animation program that let you do your own thing) so then I really wanted to get into teaching and teach animation the way it was done in the studios. A few years later, after working in every part of the production process, I got my chance and have been teaching first year career-oriented Animation Drawing courses for 14 years! I still love seeing people's faces when they shoot their first drawings and see their stuff moving...just like when I was in their place.

So, yeah....teaching is more fun. It's also more rewarding 'cause you're working with people rather than paper. I tried to see where I would be when I was sixty and thought that looking back on a life of helping people get their careers started was better than just creating revenue for a studio's shareholders. Of course teaching in a career program demands that you keep working in the industry and that part is fun too because I can pick my jobs (and turn down others) since I'm not totally relying on them for income.

Well, well, well...

Imagine running into you here Mr. Perro. Small world, this animation industry is. Good to see you are still alive, and at Capilano. I sent you an e-mail at your school address.

We will have to go for a beer during the Ottawa festival and catch up! You DO still drink beer, don't you?

Talk to you soon


"Don't want to end up a cartoon in a cartoon graveyard" - Paul Simon