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So you want to be an Animator? Here's what to expect.

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i live in England and wanna really move to America to persue this career. does anyone have any advice on how to prepare?

There is no preparation for America. Because, in America...no one can hear you s c r e a m. :D

complete and utter beginner

Hello everyone, I originally wanted to be an architect but after being in a 2-yr Computer-Aided Drafting program at a technical college in Atlanta I changed my mind towards the end. I did High School in the Caribbean and the closest thing to animation on my island (Dominica) was Technical Drawing:( so I came to America with no experience in art classes. I can sketch pretty well though, I'm particularly good at reproducing images and doing still life, ofcourse all of those skills I had to develop on my own.

What would be the best direction to move in terms of getting into the industry for me? I know it's not completely hopeless. I've been reading up as much as I can on animation magazines and drawing books so that I can get as much information as to what I'm getting myself into.

The crazy thing is I got into SCAD but I seriously lack the funds to actually start a quarter there.:o

Can somebody please give me some words of wisdom?:confused: I'd really appreciate any kind of help.

There is no preparation for America. Because, in America...no one can hear you s c r e a m. :D

Mostly because everyone else is screaming. (Hey, if Dubya was my president, I'd scream too).

Order my book Jesus Needs Help on Amazon or download on Kindle.

You can also read the first 18 pages of my next book for free at this link: The Hap Hap Happy Happenstance of Fanny Punongtiti

Welcome RJ. Don't know what you mean about drawing over 3D frames - do you want to add 2D elements or make the 3D look 2D? Or maybe something else?

There are a couple of free 3D packages that come to mind. The best-known and most widely used is Blender. It's very robust, but has a somewhat complex interface:

http://www.blender.org/

Another free package is Anim8or. It's significantly simpler to get started with, but isn't nearly as versatile as Blender:

http://www.anim8or.com/

Welcome RJ. Don't know what you mean about drawing over 3D frames - do you want to add 2D elements or make the 3D look 2D? Or maybe something else?

I would kinda like to learn how to do both, both mostly adding 2D elements.

Hi, be sure to check out my blog! A few thing there, and I'll also be putting some of my work (pictures and short carttons) there too in the future: http://ukracattack.blogspot.com:)
I am also making a Flash animated cartoon that I plan to air on it's website in Fall 2008. It's called Tednut and it's about an personified peanut named Ted and his friend Kernal, and their basic adventures in their town of Sleepy Oaks, New York: http://tednut.sampasite.com:D

........

The Wife would prefer I go "In-House" somewhere to find that 33 year job

The long term job virtually doesn't exist even in office/suit jobs....Neither does 9 to 5...(stay and get the job done)
"They" say the average worker has 7 career (that's careers, not just jobs) changes in their lifetime.
I too grew up watching my dad working over 20 years at the same place. When I was young and wide-eyed I had this naive notion that creative jobs worked the same way....being totally clueless about freelance, etc.
If I could have had my middle-aged mind in my 17 year old body back then, would I have still pursued animation? I don't know.

I'm not sure exactly what you're asking for. What I meant was, learn the basics of whatever software you're interested in, then add the skills you need to accomplish the task you've set for yourself. For example, if you wanted to be a modeler, you'd need to familiarize yourself with the modeling tools in whatever package you're using.

So what you're saying is If I want to be a TD I need to learn the basics of lighting/shadows and character setup? Like if I'm using 3ds max or Maya I should learn how to use the basics? but how do I do that if I don't have the software?

"You can never be a real winner if you've never been a loser" -DPoV

My wife has been at the same company for 20 years, and the guy who was the best man at my wedding is close to that at his company. Aside from those two, everyone else I know has moved around a lot.

And my wife and best man have had lots of different jobs within those companies too...

If I could have had my middle-aged mind in my 17 year old body back then, would I have still pursued animation? I don't know.

No, G-man, you would have done what I was gonna do: become a lion-tamer.

We coulda head-line in Vegas, baybeee! We woulda been BIG!!

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

I am only in High School and i have always been into animation. I take mostly advanced level art classes in school.

I Want to become a 3D Animator but i dont know what i can come to expect in this career.

I just need some advice on how to go about getting a job in 3D Animation

What to expect?

Well.........you can expect to work harder and longer hours than in most other jobs.
You can expect NO job security, instead your skills and developed talent will become your job security. You can expect to travel to work in another city at some point.
You can expect competition from other people, both before and after you get a job.
Do not expect to make a lot of money, but you should be able to support yourself once work is steady.
Expect work to be seasonal, in the respect that projects ( games and shows) have starting and stopping times and there's not always another project following it up.
Expect to work for people that, at some point, will not know what they are doing--most do, but there's a few out there that do not.
Expect to really bust your ass in getting the best training you can, it developing your ARTISTIC skills as well as computer skills. Expect that mediocre skills will land you mediocre to no jobs--accomplished skills will give you better options. Do not shirk at talent.
Expect to get stiffed on pay at some point in your career--it might not happened for a long time, it might only happen once, but its VERY likely to happen.
Expect fear, frustration, sweat, accomplishment, elation, joy, devastation etc.--the gamut of human emotions.
Expect to love the job and hate the job at the same time.

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

So making tons of money in games is just a myth?

Thats some good advice. Im assuming that you are an animator.

I would kinda like to learn how to do both, both mostly adding 2D elements.

Most likely you'd composite elements together in a package like After Effects.

Its been a while, but here's some more things to think upon---

Competency.

This one is tricky because it plays into areas that really bruise egos and can appear quite insult if you have to question it.

But you do, daily.

Not just your own competency, but that of others as well.

Here's the reasoning: Animation is about about the "link in a chain", right?
No one image is more important than the other, but every image is important in concert with each other. Have an single image out of place, or not working properly can look out of place, pop at the wrong moment, or just "hit" the viewers eye the wrong way.
So applying some TLC to each drawing/image tends to be important--and we understand that, right?

Now, the same goes for the PROCESS in creating animation, not just the actual act.
Question for you.......a script is as important as a storyboard, as a layout drawing as..........etc, right?
You need the one "before" to do the one "after", pretty much.

Yet, what often happens in the process, in actual production, is something called compartmentalization. That means that a particular segement of the process becomes isolated and on its own, either through accident, design......or ignorance.

An example of compartmentalization is something that commonly takes place in the design stage.

Character, prop and location designers are required to read the script to do their work. They take their cues from the written description. The storyboard then takes its cues from the designs.

But........often times, the designers will only be handed the PAGE in which their assigned design is mentioned on.
OR they will only look for and read that page, ignoring the rest.
Sometimes they don;t get the script AT ALL--just a quick description.

Now comes the question of competency into this.

The design of a simple location, say a office, or other room usually sounds straightforward. But if that room has interplay with the characters, and specific moments by those characters within, then the specifics of that design are governed by that interplay. The context in how that design is to be used governs how it'll be depicted.
To wit: if a character is to place a ball on their desk, and the ball is to roll off the desk and out a window, then the desk must be placed where in the room?

By the window, right?

But, if the characters involved in the piece are to later chase each other AROUND said desk, then what do you do?

At least half the time........., the designer might only read the first part, or might only read the second part, and design accordingly.
This creates problems for the folks in later steps because they now have to reconcile a design that doesn't work.
This kind of thing doesn't always have directorial oversight because directors are usually pretty busy people, right from the get-go.

What's required is that designers read the scripts IN ITS ENTIRETY, and understand the material just as much as a storyboard artist or animators needs to. The design crew might be saddled with a particular restriction, or licensing circumstance and be forced to show the desk by the window......or, ( perish forbid!) in the middle of the room. The 'board artists might well beable to handle the desk being beside the window because they can work some business with the characters chasing each other OVER the desk in that situation. Or maybe they chase each other around a couch, or a chair.
Someone, at some point, has to think it out and that will affect what tales place on paper and on screen.

That's competency.

It doesn't end there either.
'Board artists and layouts need to understand how a given scene is to be animated so they can field the best, most economical use of the animators time. If the medium is limited animation, then elaborate twirling scenes of characters dancing arm in arm--staged wide with a half dozen characters--well.......its a nightmare in the offing.
And its a question of competency.

At every stage, every person is responsible, in some way, for their part of the storytelling process, and in acknowledging the other tangent tasks related to their job.

When someone doesn't believe or accept that it is their responsibility, then you have problems.

Many times I've seen work travel a ways through the production pipeline, actually go through approvals, but ultimately be unusable. Simply because someone compartmentalized their task.
Honestly, this can be frustrating, esspecially when deadlines are involved, or when heat comes down on you or the next person because you had to make a judgement call on your own.
Its a situation that can, if allowed to fester, politicize a production to the point of bitterness.

The only way to avoid it is to be on top of YOUR OWN game at all times. If you notice something, bring it to someone's attention asap. Don't let things slide, assuming someone else knows what they are doing. You cannot make such assumptions because actual practise so often proves people will not always be responsible. One of the best ways to deal with this is to latch onto one of Disney's most valuble snippets of advice: don't bring me a problem without bringing me some kind of solution.
As Walt so often observed, usually the provided solution was the best one.

If everyone looks out for the ultimate goal of the production, the final product becomes that much better, and the working process to that goal becomes more enjoyable and satisfying.

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

Just so you know, that was curiousity from my own sense of observation and visual judgment. Drawing from photos has its place and you certainly demonstrate one useful thing (having an eye for technical, rote accuracy). But it's just one of many muscles to practice flexing.

Would you be willing to share some of the life drawings? Not for criticism, I'm just curious what they'd look like coming from a mind with that strong of a power. To see if it applies academically or more expressively.

No, G-man, you would have done what I was gonna do: become a lion-tamer.

We coulda head-line in Vegas, baybeee! We woulda been BIG!!

LOL! OMGosh, WHat a mind-picture is that!:D (A la Sigfried and Roy :D )

I know this is my first post.
I've read through every major thread on this forum and others, so I'm not just posting this randomly.

Here is my situation:
I'm 24 and have never been to college. So i have no art training. I draw, and have been picking up books to learn real techniques (not learning to draw anime). I'm not the best but am working real hard.

I'm currently saving money and trying to prepare myself to commit to going to school full time. I don't want to do something half way, I want to commit and go all out. So commitment shouldn't be a question.

I'm very very computer savvy and learn really fast so the technical side of things I'm not worried in. I've been able to accomplish everything I've ever put my mind to.

However, How well should I be able to draw before even trying to apply to these schools? I know once in the school quite a few classes are taken to further to give better understanding.

Basically, I'm trying to figure out where I need to be to get in the door (not saying I'm going to set my goals for the minimum requirement) I just need a goal to start with. So if this is holding me back from even starting school, I'll work as long as need be.

So, basically, I'm trying to find out how big the overall importance of this skill set is to start with and then later on. I've kind of read some people say they don't draw that well, and I've also read the complete opposite.

In advance, thanks for any help or advice.

LOL! OMGosh, WHat a mind-picture is that!:D (A la Sigfried and Roy :D )

Prolly more like Buddy Hacket and Don Rickles.

The cats there woulda looks at us like we were the $1 buffet!

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

I know this is my first post.
I've read through every major thread on this forum and others, so I'm not just posting this randomly.

Here is my situation:
I'm 24 and have never been to college. So i have no art training. I draw, and have been picking up books to learn real techniques (not learning to draw anime). I'm not the best but am working real hard.

I'm currently saving money and trying to prepare myself to commit to going to school full time. I don't want to do something half way, I want to commit and go all out. So commitment shouldn't be a question.

I'm very very computer savvy and learn really fast so the technical side of things I'm not worried in. I've been able to accomplish everything I've ever put my mind to.

However, How well should I be able to draw before even trying to apply to these schools? I know once in the school quite a few classes are taken to further to give better understanding.

Basically, I'm trying to figure out where I need to be to get in the door (not saying I'm going to set my goals for the minimum requirement) I just need a goal to start with. So if this is holding me back from even starting school, I'll work as long as need be.

So, basically, I'm trying to find out how big the overall importance of this skill set is to start with and then later on. I've kind of read some people say they don't draw that well, and I've also read the complete opposite.

In advance, thanks for any help or advice.

In my opinion, the more advanced your drawing skills are, the better.

Sure, there's voices here and elsewhere that sniff at drawing skills, claiming that you "don't need them" or don't need to be super-skilled. Alot of long-time pros simply swear by good drawing skills.

Its an asset having them, and if you lack them, you WILL miss opportunities that you might otherwise have a shot at.

Having taught at film schools for over 10 years, I've seen all manner of student walk in the door. My observation has been that the students that were more accomplished in their drawings skills, more professional in their mindset did better and accomplished more AFTER graduating than those that approached art skills hestitantly. The closer you are to the industry, in terms of your skills, the more many of these schools can help you.
Otherwise, schooling can be a big waste of time--as it is for many.

Also bear in mind that many schools offer curriculum, but schedule VERY little time for self-discovery, which is a critical component of artistic skill development. Exploring articially yourself before you get into school, can help you overcome many of the obstacles and frustrations that will come in class. Again, this follows with being more industry ready before you enroll.

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

You know, just for the record, $35k is a decent salary when you're living and paying your rent/mortgage in Minnesota, but when you're living in one of the big cities where animation studios are actually located, where rent alone can be several thousand dollars a month, those average salaries start to get a lot tougher to live on. Just sayin'. :)

Yea, in a big city, its a pittance wage. Add to it that the work can be for only part of the year and .........yes, you can struggle.

I've had good years and less-than-good years income-wise. It took a while to accept that, but its the nature of the beast. The effort and persistence a person applies can affect this though, from what I have seen.

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

Just so you know, that was curiousity from my own sense of observation and visual judgment. Drawing from photos has its place and you certainly demonstrate one useful thing (having an eye for technical, rote accuracy). But it's just one of many muscles to practice flexing.

Would you be willing to share some of the life drawings? Not for criticism, I'm just curious what they'd look like coming from a mind with that strong of a power. To see if it applies academically or more expressively.

Oh certainly, but.. sadly I'm roughly 400 miles from them and I don't have them on the internet. Otherwise I'd be happy to. I drew a concept car of sorts today. I thought it up myself and kind of looks like a newer dodge with a mustang tail end and a Chrysler rear and a Mitsu front grille. It's a sketch and I'd put it on there If I had a scanner here. there's one on the lower floor I could ask using. I might just go and scan it today if it will work. Just wait till Saturday and I'd be happy to get them on there. I'm comming back to the wasteland I call paradise of sorts..? Naw, The dale sucks.

"You can never be a real winner if you've never been a loser" -DPoV

Ken, I have a question. Can a person have a dialog with a potential employer and back out, with out slaming that door shut for some possable work in the future.

hey thanks for the response.

I'm pretty much so trying to plan this upcoming year for working on my drawing alone. I was originally thinking, time wise, that I would try to just see if i could get accepted into schools but maybe I'll end up taking the whole year to try and get myself up to par.

Also first year at most of these schools contains core classes?
So I could possibly clep and take some local college courses to soak up those credits and save money?

Ken, I have a question. Can a person have a dialog with a potential employer and back out, with out slaming that door shut for some possable work in the future.

I don't see why not, just be upfront and honest about things.
Hell, about a year and a half ago, I bailed on a job two weeks into the project---because I was overloaded-- and six months later I was back at the same place on another project. And I thought I had bailed on BAD terms....

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

drawing

Well I went and scanned my concept sketch. I Designed it myself, no still life, no picture, just me thinking and putting it on paper, I started it today when I woke up and I "finished it" today. I'm still not sure if I'll finish finish it but It was good practice in design. Well I guess I'll let you decide if I should finish it. I'll get those still life drawings up as soon as possible. When I scanned it it became blurry so when I made it sharper it made it darker, and I wasn't familiar with the software downstairs so, I just left it. It was done in pencil. (which explains all the smudging and stuff that makes it look like crap.)

If you want I could take a picture of it with their camera and try it that way to preserve the pencil look to make it look less pen like.

keeping it real - DPoV

"You can never be a real winner if you've never been a loser" -DPoV

hi ken..,

u said the fact...but the way u wrote it..i feel nervous....

Mostly because everyone else is screaming. (Hey, if Dubya was my president, I'd scream too).

Hay he was our governer for two years before he got the big office. Please don't blame us. :D

And now back to the thread. In Austin there is a film society and they offer help with getting funding for films. I was thinking that this might be a source to get funding for an animation project. Has anyone every tried to get funding for any type of cinema?

Being a good at drawing in an art field is never a bad thing.

By the way, how old are you?

Aloha,
the Ape

...we must all face a choice, between what is right... and what is easy."

As far as finishing it, that's your decision, but if you're honest about improving I think it's good sense to finish what you start just to see what you learn along the way.

I had a figure drawing teacher last term that discouraged us using our erasers if we could limit the temptation, because it was interesting to see the progress, or at least the so-called 'scars' that helped the drawing get to where it needed to be. With that perception I think it's actually pretty attractive.

Personally I dig the sharp pen-like line for anything that resembles a design or schematic drawing. Really it comes down to a few perspective issues and some indications of thickness and solidity, but for being self-developed it's pretty strong, especially since going by your comment and the date on the first drawing you're in...9th grade?

In any event three cheers for having the courage to bear all -- it's how you're going to get better. I really look forward to seeing the life drawings. Don't be afraid to invite criticism either, as long as the people you're asking understand it should be constructive opinions only. Also don't forget we have Show and Tell forums where you can showcase your own personal gallery and have others watch your skills develop whilst they contribute their thoughts.

I am an animator--have done that. I'm a cartoonist, storyboard artist, comicbook artist, illustrator, designer, caricaturist.........done a LOT of jobs.
My experience is in the 2D arena, and I have contributed to 3D projects.
I also have taught, until recently, this stuff to adult students.

Making a ton of money in any of these fields is mythical, but possible IF you go about doing the right things. There's a lot of what Oprah Winfrey talks about regarding luck here: the meeting of preparation with opportunity.

MOST people make subsistence wages.....that is averaging around $30K-$40K a year. Some will report more, few a bit less. Some with jobs holding more responsibility can take home up to and over $100k a year--but that's not going to happen overnight.
Bear in mind that ONLY the TOP 10% are making the huge money--$250K or more--and those folks are very talented to boot.
The mega-stars in this biz sacrifice a lot to get where they are, and its a unique sacrifice for everyone that attempts that stature. If you want to hit that kind of goal--that stratus--then you'll find out what that is on your own.

As for being nervous.........nervousness only comes from inadequacy.
The industry doesn't have a lot of room for the inadequate--but schools seem to gloss over this point.
I'm not going to mince words with anyone here--YOU HAVE TO BE GOOD. Standing out, in some respect, is a asset.
There's a enormous number of people in the industry that are niche talents--they are good at one or two things.
That limits their options.
The resources and reference material at hand should preclude niche talents because the wealth of material is SO rich today.
When I started in the industry ( 20 years ago) we had maybe 1-5% of the resources there are now--and yet a self-taught guy like myself (and others) could do it.

If you are nervous, then its a sign to bust your ass so you can rely on your skills. Snip out the bullshit in your head and focus on what the industry demands of you--if that's your goal. The thinking that an image is "good enough" to you might not be the paradigm you want to aim for. The idea is not to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with your classmates, but with INDUSTRY work--with your instructors ( if they are any good).
The idea is to bring something better or different with you--not just rehash the same old tired shit everyone has seen before.
I've seen enough ogres, race-cars, mecha, elf princesses and anime crap to choke whole herds of horses--and I stopped paying attention to a lot of it years ago. The ones that took a different spin on that stuff, that showed me something with some artistic maturity , or AT LEAST SOME THOUGHT BEHIND IT, caught my eye. Those folks usually caught the industry's eye as well.

This means more work for you though:
This might mean one more hour (or hours) spent on a image, or a piece of animation, or working on some software.
It means sticking your nose in different magazines than your classmates might be reading, in looking at a movie a bit differently than others around you.
It might mean seeking out key people with answers to your questions, rather than just accepting what a book tells you.
It means not just asking global questions ( like "how do I draw?") but doing the scutwork so all you need to ask is the very specific questions that solve your immediate dilemma ( like:"what direction should hatching lay on a figure to convey a graduated shadow? How do you get those feathered hatching lines on a drawing?" etc.)
It means perserverance and dedication.

Get back to the basics--master them undeniably. Do not BS yourself. If you think something might be an asset, if your gut tells you that you might need painting , drawing, sculpting, writing etc, then take them. Fear of failing those tasks is what keeps people from tackling them, and that is usually what sinks their prospects in the industry.
Do not expect quick results in shorts amount of time-DO expect to spend years honing your abilities. Start NOW.

Oh, yea, you'll get the odd person that will declare that so-and so doesn't draw but they are in the biz.......be wary of that. The tools maybe different, but ARTISTIC SKILLS are the cachet on this biz--do not shirk either.
Short-cuts are rare--rapid rises equally so--expect a LONG time in the trenches slogging and sweating out shitty jobs and "meaningless" work.
That's the same in any business.

I'm also going to say this: not everyone is cut out for this. In EVERY class I have taught for the past 10 years the average has been that 10% of each graduating class have a future in the biz. That's 1 in 10. Thems is realistic numbers because I have seen those numbers make it.
Want to know the number one reason why people do not make it in the biz?
At some point they see just how mich stuff they don't know versus how much they need to know and they GIVE UP. Giving up GUARANTEES you will never make it--the rest have it at 50/50.

But once you make it--if you REALLY bust your ass.....its a good career to have. You'll do things that people will be in awe of, and that's because they will not understand WHAT you do. At higher levels on the job, you'll be paid as much for your intuition as for your skills and there's a pronounced satisfaction/validation that comes from being rewarded that way.
Some folks can claim some fame or notoriety, though most toil in obscurity, but the creations we work on are anything but obscure.

Not a lot of us working in the biz will say this, but its pretty plain that what we do makes a big difference in people's lives.

There's yer carrot AND yer stick in one post.

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

Hey, I'm wondering if any of you guys would mind me asking you a couple of questions about the animation field. I have an assignment for my planning class where I have to interview someone in the field I'm considering (which is animation) about what it's like.

wow... well put! Ken brings up a bunch of very good points. However I think he might be a little doom and gloom for a new guy to hear. As for the money issue, if you stick with something long enough the money will come, eventually. The beautiful thing about animators is we LOVE to do what we do. We'd probably being doing it for free. So getting paid just enough to scrap by when you first start out isn't a huge deal because we simply love to come to work. I get up everyday skipping into the studio! Although think I work at the happiest place on earth. :-D My point being if this is truly your passion then DO IT! And don't be afraid, it's a lot of fun and things will work out for the best. Just as Ken said, it's a lot of hard work, just be aware of that.

Also I side note... he is right about %10 of a class having a future... that has been my experiance as well. HOWEVER most of that other %90 really really stinks. You DON'T need to be pixar quality to get a start in the industry, you do need to show some raw talent and skill that a studio is willing to take you in and in 6 months refine and make you a bad mamma jamma animating machine! (just be aware that it's not going to be pixar taking you in either)

www.MattOrnstein.com
Character Animator - Lucas Arts

I like that the answers here aren't all "Follow your heart and it will work" because we all know that's a ton of bullshit.
What I needed was a good smack from reality and that's what I got.
If anything, the "demotivating" aspects just inspired me to be more stubborn and to keep at it with even more ferocity.
Thank you for your advice, everyone.

However I think he might be a little doom and gloom for a new guy to hear.

If there's ever a good time to hear the doom and gloom it's before you're waist-deep in the swamp... ;)

Want some more advice?

Draw.

Draw your blinkin' fingers to the bone.

This one is the biggie if you are going to be an animator.
Look, nowadays they don't really care what you draw with--pencil or stylus, as long as your drawing skills are sound.

Again, referring to my teaching career: drawing is the crux of this.
Its the one, biggest thing that scares the livin' pee out of most people coming into this field and usually because they have inadequately prepared themselves.
Hey, gang...........the resources are out there, in stores, libraries, on the 'Net right in front of you, there's so much info to be had for only the effort to find it.
Can't afford school? I'll be the bold, cocky bastudd again and say you don't need it......if you have the work and study ethic.
The books and examples exist out there in the market and info-places for ANYONE to tap into. Schooling can fast-track the ones lucky enough to get it, and work at it, but schools can also be a big distraction too.
I've seen plenty of talented people enroll in school only to fall prey to their hormone and spend their valuable time ( and money) pursuing the opposite sex more than putting time in on their animation disc.
Likewise I've seen uber-talented people waltz in the door and then resoundingly display zero discipline for the work--and waste their time and money accordingly.

Hey.........look at that for the message it is.........the playing field is level no matter what path you take. What tilts the field towards or away from you is what YOU bring to it.

I've had students shove their latest anime opus under my nose. The SAME drawing of the SAME girl/guy in the SAME pose with NO background or any other indication of artistic progress. Hey, I'll be honest........I patronized those people, because I was paid to do so.

But you know what? THAT is not drawing.

No-one in the biz wants to see that........look around at what's being done in the field you are working in.
Anime is NOT a largely seen domestic style ( in North America at least)--it's only largely consumed here.
99% of the anime/manga done is done in Japan, not here.
I know a lot of people do not want to hear that--that they will challenge that point to the end of the day.

Its the stone-cold, blunt truth.

Classic drawing skills remain king--and they always will.
Basic, bog-standard stuff like composition, staging, and PERSPECTIVE are LACKING in most students work. Figure drawing is given far too much emphasis before, and occasionally after, students enroll in schools.

Buck that trend, willya.

As much as one might not think, something like Spongebob, or Clifford the Big Red Dog, or Ren and Stimpy, or Justice League all stem from the same classic drawing skills. Oh, anime and manga do too......make no mistake, but what beginners often do is master the STYLE before they master the substance. Two very different things.
If you can draw well classically, then ANY style is within your grasp. If you grow up on just one design theme, you WILL be at a loss when faced with tackling others.
I've seen this time and again.

Copy the shit out a GOOD drawing that you see. Analyse the lines and see how the original artist applied them. Get inside their head......the artist was/is using shapes in a specific way. Duplicate that, UNDERSTAND that.
Master it.
Look, here's a concession for those who are now pouting.........draw that anime stuff--keep doing it. But now ADD other things. Grab some Mary Blair Golden Books, some Syd Mead images, some Jack Kirby comic pages. Get some Peter Chung, John K, Bill Waterson, Lynn Johnston, Ron Cobb, Picasso, WHOMEVER grabs your eye.

Look this is a trap here........I'm going to tell you about it beforehand so you don't fall in.
Develop some taste. Pick and choose the creators above--or your own list--and seek out those that work FOR YOU.
Nod your head politely when others revere and speak their favourite artist's names, then shut'em out and go back to your own list. Forget all the names OTHER people mention--unless they grab you--go with your own likes.

Why do all this?
These other talents have the answers in their successful works, and its your job to suck in what they have.
How does Jack Kirby make a comicbook panel dynamic? How does Syd Mead come up with those wild designs? What choices decided that painters use of colour? That cartoonists sense of design? How do they handle things you are weak at?
If they appear weak at it, find someone else who is strong--suck' em in.

Copy their shit. Duplicate their brushstrokes, their pencil lines whatever--do this so you can LEARN.
Once you've done just that, then put on your own spin.

What that?
Mommy says its bad to copy or trace?
Oh fer cryin' out loud....look when I'm done slapping you silly, I'll sit you down and tell you that is not true.
Emulation is a HUGE learning tool--probably the best one out there.
All that bullshit about discovering your own way from the outset is........well, bullshit. You have to be on the damn road for you to FIND your way in the first place. Copying other works/artists will give you that road.
Its just a means to an end, don't sweat it.
If you are the crazy bugger than can duplicate Lynn Johnston, Ron Cobb and Picasso and then MERGE all those styles you WILL be your own person, artistically speaking.

You are not a machine--- your style, your way of saying things will emerge in time.
Take stock of what grabs you......if you love everything, then narrow it down to what get's you all gooey. If you love "too much" stuff you'll likely homogenize your work to the point that nothing really establishes itself.
Have some taste, be discriminating---its oooookkkaaaaayyy!

This is part of your education too, because the work we do isn't just physical effort--the ACT of drawing/animating--its also esthetics as well.
Appeal.
Making pictures purdy.
Honing the intuitive choices you make is vitally important in this craft because ultimately it determines what physical effort you apply yourself to, and whether or not that effort pays off in a successful image.

This kind of thing can be the biggest obstacle for aspiring artists.
Its the leap from consumer to creator.

All of us here are consumers--that's what brought us our respective distances. The difference though, is that the creators have become able to disengage those consumer tendencies ( re: fandom) and focus their efforts on the work and its demands.

This is one of those "gut skills" that you either have or you don't. Some people can seperate the two, and some are so lost in their fandom they can never divide the two.

Draw from life. But don't bore yourself doing it. Draw the stuff that truly fascinates you--chuck the rest--at least for now.
Chip at your fears.
I use to taunt my students by suggest they take that dancing blob they like animating so much, and make it into a Gundam robot. Once they find out what a Gundam robot is they are rightly terrified. I would be too.
Draw Times Square in NYC. Then make it a down angle. Then add in Godzilla and the X-men trashing the whole place. No cheating--draw it through.

Alex Toth once said his personal measure of an artist was a guy that could draw babies........ethnic babies. The ethnic features are so subtle in infants, but they are there....and we can all easily recognize them.

Feeling daunted by now?
Hey, you should be.
Animation is less a career and more a lifestyle--almost any commercial art is.
There is NO SUCH THING as a fully trained artist--God never made any such animal. There's always something to learn.

One last thing:

Doing this stuff is geeky.
People loathe that word, its like admitting you eat manure or something.
There's always people that are in your life, or will come into your life that will question your passions. Hey, we love some of them, but THAT is why doors have locks, folks. Succeeding in this field comes down to a 100% selfish act.
You have to do it, or die.
Anyone who gets in your way kind of/sort of/ deserves the boot prints they get from you. I mean that in the nicest possible way. Art is self-expression and the primal, nigh-unholy ( or holy, if you like) need to GET THIS STUFF OUT is really something only other artists can really understand.
The rest of the planet will just have to accept our word on it and assume we are weird.

I'm starting to ramble some, and I'm not the only seasoned pro sitting here, so I'll let other schmoes chime in. If I've gone off the deep end, they'll offer their own swing.

That's all for tonite.

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

If there's ever a good time to hear the doom and gloom it's before you're waist-deep in the swamp... ;)

Yea, if what I've written dissuades or intimdates anyone then they might want to consider NOT getting into this line of work.
Its probably the smallest hurdle to overcome in the whole process, and yet a LOT of people stop cold once they encounter this "hurdle".

It'll sound harsh, but the biz doesn't need or want people that get turned back that easily.

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

Please Helppppppppp

hiiiiii i am an indian and xxxxtreamely interested in animation u mentioned dat the best institute in london is buornemouth university .I went through de site and saw admission procedure it says a total of some 300 points is required some 200 points in creativity nd another 100 in maths or science but my field in india is maths physics chemistry and c++
then how will i get through it
PLEASE HELP ME I AMN't GETTING THE ADMISSION PROCEDURE AND ENTRANCE EXAMINATION SYLLABI

That was great. I just imagined myself sitting in the main office at AWN school, waiting my turn to go up to the front desk, and peering off to the side and seeing a bunch of pamphlets with these diagrammatic illustrations of young kids....Drugs, teen pregnancy, oh, and there's the Ken Davis Guide to Accepting Reality...

Trying to get back on track to drawing more myself, and it's a day-to-day thing to find the time...always good to get the engines revved...

Some MORE thoughts...for your amusement....

The screwjob.
Its going to happen to you. Its bound to.
At some point you'll do work, start a project, maybe work on a job and >poof< that paycheque you were expecting doesn't appear.
But the excuses DO.
Expect to get screwed at some point in your career, but if you are lucky, it will not be for a huge amount.
If I count teaching with my freelance gigs, I've been gouged about $20,000 over the years. and a big chunk of that came in a teaching gig--so freelancing has been pretty tame.
I know of people that have been ripped off more, and less--but I know of very few that have NOT been ripped off at some point.

There's a common conceit amongst the layperson that artists know jack about business--that we do our craft for "art's sake". Likewise some folks think that art--commerical art-- is easy and that anyone can do it, or that it takes little effort and they can just swipe the work once you deliver and "promise" to pay in two weeks.
And those "two weeks" stretch out to never.
This happens with the guy who commissions you from 4 houses down to big corporations with millions in holdings. You'd be surprised at how chintzy and scummy supposedly reputable companies can be with a outside contractor. Getting ripped off happens a lot more common that you might think.

Now, what can you do about it?
First, get an education in basic business, contract and copyright law. Get to know a lawyer--someone in, or around the family or friends. Ask them questions, if you can.
NEVER assume.
There's an old expression: trust, but verify--it'll take you a long way.
Heck, read up on bankruptcy laws as well, because that can be how the perps try to get out of paying you. And it also might help you get out of a personal bind if a non-paying job sinks you.
If you can get contracts for every job, do it--but keep in mind that some jobs can be done on a handshake and a smile. I've done many jobs that way, and most came out fine.
You don't need to be anal about contracts--just be sensible. If they do not offer you a contract, offer them one. If they balk---there's your best clue.
The charming glib line of bs is just that, bs. If someone will not bind themselves to you in agreement, then they ARE planning on running away at some point.
I've had contracts put in front of me that looked like they were written by Nazis. Do not feel obligated to sign on the spot. Take the document home and get someone to look at it--get someone that KNOWS what to look for to look at it. If the client rushes you over the contract, tell them to wait. If they get nasty over that--walk away.
Keep records, detailed ones. Record times, dates and the gist of conversations if you feel the need to. Don't make this obvious, just do it serpetitiously. Make sure you have a copy of your contract too. I'll say that again; MAKE CERTAIN YOU GET A COPY OF THE CONTRACT TOO.
Trust your instincts too.

Here's a tip: if they send you a contract to sign, and their signature is NOT on it yet.......don't sign it. Be wary.
Send it back and request they sign it first--if you agree to the document.
This is a little dodge some idiots try to pull ( and yes, its been pulled on me) where they think that not signing the document means its not a binding contract.
Now, in some places, its not......the argument could be made that YOU made the thing up. But in most venues, its considered to be an INTENT to enter into an agreement and WILL be treated as if the agreement was actually signed by both parties.
If a client is totally sincere, then they will offer you a signed agreement, or sign said agreement right there with you. That is the act of a binding contract.
Continued in part two:

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

That was great. I just imagined myself sitting in the main office at AWN school, waiting my turn to go up to the front desk, and peering off to the side and seeing a bunch of pamphlets with these diagrammatic illustrations of young kids....Drugs, teen pregnancy, oh, and there's the Ken Davis Guide to Accepting Reality...

Trying to get back on track to drawing more myself, and it's a day-to-day thing to find the time...always good to get the engines revved...

Actually, the pamphlets alongside my Guide to Reality would be cautions about over-indulging in tater tots, things like Toy-collecting, Bankruptcy and You, missives on the dangers of too many John K cartoons.
Anime addiction, Trekkies anonymous, carpal tunnel syndrome from holding the pencil too tight ( gawd, parents NEVER understand that one) and the hallucingenic properties of inhaling marker fumes.

I think they throw in the Don Lapre "Tiny classified ADS!" seminars, and Sahara desert whale watching excursions just for spits and wiggles.

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

Part Two:

To continue:

Now.........keep in mind something here: a contract is just a piece of paper. Its a BS hunk of nothing that relies upon a convention, an IDEAL to work.
Oh, it DOES work when its needed, but waving the contract in someones faces usually gets a laughout of them and little else.
That is where the lawyer can come into play.
Lawyers are expensive, right? Yes, they CAN be. In the few times I've needed a lawyer, I've never paid for their services but gottem aid from them nonetheless.
Its a seldom known thing called PRO BONO--which is pretty much work for the communtiy good. Most regions require lawyers to do a certain amount of pro bono work a year. Usually its pretty basic stuff and the lesser the headache it will be for them to sort out the more likely they will work pro bono.
If you have a disagreement, I mean a REAL disagreement over the job--don't get all pissy with some bunghole in the office. Go to your lawyer and discuss it with them.
More hassles have been solved by pre-empting the muthahs that WERE going to screw you simply by having a lawyer call or write the perps and scare the crap of them with legal language. Sometimes its as simple as the lawyer calling the perps and asking why they haven't paid you.
Now, the perps will come to you and ask why you had to be so mean and nasty and turned that awful, awful lawyer on them when you could of all been friends....
They'll try to make it seem like you mean to be against them.
It really says you mean business and that you care about your business. Smile when you do this........because your victims with have themselves some sour-stomach sleepness nights over it. Make no mistake--they'd use the same thing on you if they could.
Of course, with great power comes great responsibilty.......use this "big stick" wisely. Wait until they say "we cannot/will not pay you" before you go all Dwayne Johnson on their heinie.

Also keep in mind that, again, the contract document itself is NOTHING if you cannot or will not be able to enforce it.
This is the crux of most screw jobs.
I lost about $18.000 in a teaching job ( and a house, and a vehicle) and couldn't recoup that loss because of the horribly inept accounting by the school's money guy, and his/their bright move of running the school into the financial muck.
Crap happens.
Crap can happen to YOU.
So, are you at these buggers mercy?
Yes, and no.
You do have some tools at hand and you need to know how and when to use them.

#1 is control you work until you've been paid......something.
The people that are most likely to screw you will pay you nothing. Once someone pays you even a token amount, it usually says they are serious.
Theives and creeps want something for nothing--and they will try--serious clients understand cash flow affects you as it does them.

#2 is if they are late in pay, you are late in delivery. Want to see a body move massively? Deny it something it needs or thinks its entitled too. Businesses are organic in that way.
If they refuse to pay you, you can try some bolder actions. I did say before to not get pissy with people, but.........sometimes......there's a place for it.
I had a job that I was getting screwed on...... and i was not happy, so I walked in with the work under my amr and stood in the centre of the studio waiting for one of the key people to emerge.
When they did, I said I wanted to be paid for the work. When they hemmed and hawed for a second, I said it again. VERY loudly. At the top of my voice, rattle the window, turn sand into glass loud.
It constantly amazes me how easy it is to make humans cringe. The perp attempted to usher me into his office.
Nope, I was quite comfy where I was and we could discuss things here.
Boom--shouting match. I was told I was disrupting the studio. I looked around and pointed out to the perp that I was not, as every person in earshot had their head in their work and was staying out of our lil' spat. They were more efficient than they'd been in days.
Boom, more shouting, and then.........like magic.....the perp hits that pinnacle of frustration and says they'll pay me to get the flip outa there.
And I walk out with a cheque in hand.

#3. If that cheque bounces.......unleash holy Hell on them. Now, you've two tacts you can use:
A) Do the same thing as before, and walk in the door. Yelling. Say baaaaaaaad words. Loudly. Be scary--make a scene--but never, NEVER get physical unless accosted first( and stare them in the eye--use your laser-death stare--yea, you have one.).
Do NOT take work from anyplace but your own desk on-site, nor vandalize ANYTHING.
If they call the cops, let them come. The cops will sort things so it gets calm, but it also puts the perp in a pretty awful light with their neighbours. Be respectful from that point, but be absolutely firm--no compromise. You MIGHT get something from it. If you do, cut and run--but do not accept another cheque unless they take it to the bank and cash it for you.

B) Sic yer lawyer on 'em. No holds barred, no announcement. NEVER say you are going to sue--its a empty threat--just do it. Or don't. The chilling effect of quietly turning the lawyer loose cannot be underestimated.
Confrontations are hard. Personally, I HATE them. I'd leave the tussle all shaking and messed up. Its not fun, but sometimes doing what you need to do means taking the "not fun" road. Rehearse if you need to. Practise makes perfect--even in screaming matches.

#4 if the studio you are working for announces that the cheques will be late--stop working. Immediately. If someone comes around and asks you to keep going politely tell them "not until the cheque is in hand".
Look, very few productions are so tight-wound that they cannot bear a couple of days without production. Those kinds of delays are built into the schedule.
Usually pay-stops happen on a Friday. If it does, gather your work from your desk and take it home with you. If they say you can't, again, politely tell them to "eff-off" and take it home anyway.
That work is your trump card--NEVER abandon it in that situation.
If they say taking the work home is a breach of contract, reply that not paying you is ALSO a breach.
NEVER assume the studio will be there come Monday. Bailliffs have been known to come and change the locks 30 minutes after the staff have left.
Do not do a single line of work until that cheque gets in your hand and then clears at the bank.
If it happens again.......bail from the project.
You ALWAYS have the right to remove yourself from a situation that doesn't work for you. I've done it a couple of times, you'll likely need to do it.
Sometimes you just have to walk away and take the loss. Hopefully it will not be a big one.
The work you do is predicated on getting paid and paid in full. If you don't, if they won't, then you shouldn't finish the job.
That work you do is a commodity to them, and the pay they offer is the same in return. Its a fair trade when done right.
But you have to look out to keep it fair.

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

You know, just for the record, $35k is a decent salary when you're living and paying your rent/mortgage in Minnesota, but when you're living in one of the big cities where animation studios are actually located, where rent alone can be several thousand dollars a month, those average salaries start to get a lot tougher to live on. Just sayin'. :)

Here's some thoughts about schools for all those about to enter into school...

First, high school.

High school means nothing. High school is this BS requisite you need to get into college and university and the efforts you make there are meaningless elsewhere.
Once you are in college, or university, or trade school, everything changes.
You no longer just have to "show up"....you actually have to accomplish something.
See, in college, what you do directly sets up what you will do in your career.
The efforts and habits you display count DIRECTLY for your employment after graduation.

If you screw up in class, you are screwing up your job prospects.
In the past few years the most frustrating part of being a art/film school teacher has been watching students piss away their money ( or their parents money) by goofing off in class.
They want to sit at the back and have a gab-fest with their buddies, or "do their own thing" as opposed to what the class is doing or just plain not show up.
Sometimes the students are too involved in pursuing the opposite ( occasionally the same) sex for the year or two they are in school
Sometimes these students will come along and BLAME the instructor for THEIR own piss-poor performance.

Hey, great for them--they have demonstrated they do not have what it takes. The industry does not want or need them. They lack committment, focus, discipline and guts.
Doom on them.

Look, I'll say this now and it bears repeating: an education is TAKEN, not given.
Simply sitting in class listening to lectures will not help you retain the lectures /examples given. Seen this HUNDREDS of times with many, many students.
Learn to take notes IN HIGH SCHOOL--if you come away with ONE skill from the place, make note-taking the one.
Personally, I'm appalled at the number of students.....MORE than 80%.... in my classes that do not, will not, or do not know HOW to take notes.
The ACT of taking notes helps to hardwire the information into your brain because its not just a visual/auditory stream its also a kinesthetic/tactile stream as well. It forces you to process the data at a much deeper level than you would if you were simply being exposed to it. There's a lot of value in the see/hear/do method of learning--the do part being what cements it.
Note-taking will save your ass.

The other skill to learn is the courage to ask questions, and to keep answering until you get a answer that HELPS you. Not just an answer, but one that can solve your problem. There's more than a few students that are far too timid to project their voices, stand up and ask questions in class. Too many times I've had students come to me AFTER class and ask me to repeat the lesson.
Hey, I don't have time. The time for it was IN-CLASS.
Hell, I had one student come ask me how to storyboard only TWO days before he was to graduate, and had already completed his film--yeesh! Its too late, pal!
Seriously, let's look at this life-skill for a second: If someone is afraid to ask a question in class........what are they going to do on-production in a real job? How can they be seen to be responsible for their task if they are afraid to speak out if they are having a problem? Talent that hides on the job like that gets let go once its found out that they haven't got the balls to manage themselves.
By being open and honest with YOURSELF and others in a direct, forthright way, you are helping both sides--even if its because you lack some knowledge or experience.
Timidity in school is a bad trait to develop and foster. Kill it while its little.

Likewise is something even more insidious: learned helplessness. This is considered the blight of our times, because a LOT of the younger generations are developing this trait.
Ever seen a forum where someone posts they need help with their homework assignment and just want the answers?
Sure, we all have, I'll bet. That's classic learned helplessness.
These students miss the point in that its the EXERCISE that is often the point of the exercise and not the results. Methodology is often very important in determining technical proficiency. Given the wealth of immediately available information sources, if so easy to become complacent in getting answers.
Sometimes completing a task requires simple scut-work..........sweating the stuff and the details until its done.
This learned helplessness also breeds global questions like " How do you draw? or "What makes stuff good?"--questions that simply take far too much time to answer in any useful way.
The way to beat learned helplessness is pretty simple: use your head. THINK.
Don't look for short-cuts to a result if the method is the point of the exercise. Look for the common answers to provide you with the groundwork for SPECIFIC questions that more readily answer your needs. Form some opinions on your own--don't be afraid to be WRONG.
Experience, after all, is the outcome of screwing up a lot, right?
There's a real stigma in making mistake in modern culture.....fight that. Learn from screw-ups, but make intelliegent screw-ups. Do not just give it a half-hearted effort and hope someone will correct you early on.

Now, college....

Every animation school and art college is different. They have common traits, but there's unique aspects to them that influences student life. It could be facilities, staff, procedures, curriculum all sorts of variables.
There are something to keep in mind though:

In high school, you might have been the king-shit artist. Best in the class. In college, its possible you will be just a face in the crowd as far as talent goes.
That can intimidate the hell out of people. I've seen it happen.
Look, here's the prop you need to keep in mind if you feel this: Everyone has come to the school for one purpose--to learn. Sure, there's more accomplished talent out there--there always will be--but whose to say you cannot develop into one?
A typical class will have talent all across the spectrum--its a given.
Foster a learning environment as much as you can with classmates and you can pick up stuff from the talented ones.

Now, bear in mind you will encounter egos. There's hot-shot kids out there that treat others like dirt, or at least indifferently. You can still learn from their stuff--you just have to be sly about it. Internal class politics can come into play and be a hassle. Hell, I'm surprised it doesn't happen more often that it does, given the highly compettive nature of the biz, but it does happen.
If it does, you have to take firm, strident measures, tapping into instructors, staff and school administration. Always remember that with college-level schools you are a PAYING customer, so you should get value for the dollar in terms of instruction and study environs. If the school will not honour that, fuck 'em. Get your money back and get out if you can. Brook no BS if life get's difficult because students or staff turn into assholes. ( okay, I've used up my bad-word quota for the day, I know)

Likewise, if instructors do not know their stuff--CALL THEM ON IT.
There are schools out there that hire grads to teach classes they were taught only a year or so before. Some of these grads have NO work experience. So schools hire instructors that might have done something in the subject area, but they do not have extensive experience in it. It happens. Instructors hate being called to question on this kind of thing, but hey, it helps them and you. Do it if you see it--but be careful.
Another thing that you need to know: degree programs. The usual thing with degree programs is that they need/require instructors with Masters degrees in that subject to teach that material. Trouble is, there's not a lot of folks out there with Masters degrees in animation disciplines, and more and more schools are offering "degree" programs.
Now, these programs USUALLY have government criteria they have to meet, to make them all official. There's bound to be some schools that offer degrees without any criteria in place, the word "degree" being just a sexy catch-phrase.
The problem with the legit schools is that there's been signs they will hire ANY Master-degree ticketed instructor to teach their classes.
And therein is the vicious circle--you can have a degree program taught by instructors that do not have a degree in what they are teaching. I suppose some school aare/have looked into ways around this detail, but its one that is of concern these days.

Likewise, industry trained teachers seem to be the best source of instructing talent, but how does one gauge their quality?
Usually the alumni of a school are the best, most honest source of info on that--as they've measured the staff and can appraise them better than anyone else.
If you have good staff, get on their good side and STAY there. Ask questions--ask SMART questions. Listen to what the instructors have to say. Training in this field is more than just learning about animation principles--its about job life, good AND bad experiences, and outside influences amongst other things.
I've become friends with some of my students after the fact, because they have become COLLEAGUES in the work place.

Something else about staff.........some of these people maybe be the ones that hire you or work alongside you in the industry. So, to return to an earlier point, if you screw up in their class, they can remember you--and not in a good way.
College is the immediate stepping stone to your career, the launching point. Don't blow it.

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

Does everyone agree with me that Ken should write a book? ......

He just did..................................................................................................:D

* c l a p s *

Jon441

Hi all, I'm quite new into animation looking to make new contacts and meet new people i would like to know where events are for all animators to meet up, if anyone knows of any clubs where animators meet up each month, please get back to me :)

Thanks Guys

He just did..................................................................................................:D

Its got no pictures!
It ain't a book unless its got pictures!

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

Definitely agree with the hit in the head thing. I had some major head trauma as a kid and still have the scar. I've read about famous illustrators/animators having head trauma as kids too many times to discount it.

It's sick, but sometimes I think that if I have a kid I ought to drop him on his head ....

Its got no pictures!
It ain't a book unless its got pictures!

Maybe you should think seriously about doing the book as part of a group of contributing authors. Get five people and you make up an outline, divide up the work and go for it. There is a lot more nuts and bolts to work out but it is just my one cent.

I keep saying one cent because I put the other penny onto the bank. :D

Majority of the post here are correct.

But one word of advice is you need to be very dedicated in order for you to succeed in your chosen industry.

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