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Looking into going to animation school...

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Looking into going to animation school...

Hi all, I graduated last year with a degree in marketing from st cloud state in Minnesota. It wasn't until after I graduated that I figured out what I actually want to do. I want to be an animator for my own 2D fighting game. I know it sounds really stupid right? I can't decide if I should go to animation school and pursue a career animating commercials or if I should develop my own game on my own and see if I can get picked up into a career that way or something. I know I am all over the place and it is really vague. I just know I want to do animation for the rest of my life and not billboards and radio ads which I feel I would be stuck with. I chose marketing because the general business program I was in discontinued half-way through and I had to choose a major. I have never been passionate about marketing, and I regret even pursueing it in the first place. But I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life at the time. My dream job would be to be paid for creating 2D games from my own company but I would be satisfied with any job in the animation field. I have been dilligently learning techniques and practicing everyday to improve my skills and I know I have the willpower to do what it takes. But I'm 26, married, and already completed one college degree and st cloud state doesn't have a very good animation program.. I don't know what to do... I'm not looking for an answer, but just some imput and feedback from other people that have an interest in the field. Thanks!!!

Y'know..................let's be candid here:

You say you are feeling vague and all over the place and that might be the problem.
To use a military analogy: you cannot hit a target unless you aim specifically at it.
Practically speaking, animation is a career choice loaded with specialties. You can animate characters, effects, a bit of both, for games, Maya, Flash, traditional (2D), digital (3D), claymation, can specialize in commercials, TV, features, technical animation, or apps for phones and small electronics.........there's a lot of directions.
You say 2D games.........well, THAT is a bit of a direction.
Not a bad choice, maybe TOO limited, but still a choice and beginning.

So, get started. Find out all about the process of making such games, from inception to completion. Turn it from an affectation and into an obsession.
Making it an obsession will get you an idea of just how involved it will be to do what you want to do. It'll help you start some core skills that you will need anyway, and as you do them and explore further, you'll gain insight into how feasible the goal will be with the resources around you.

You have a degree already, so in my opinion, a second degree will not do as much for you as training will. A certificate program will probably suffice for that, because another degree program will having you jumping through all the same hoops as the marketing program did, all over again. I think getting some training and then honing your art skills will probably do you better than going thru another 3-4 year run at college.
There's probably some training available either locally, or on-line ( perhaps Animation Mentor), and probably some game programming courses as well.

My feeling is that this is a case of where your own personal artistic talents stand at this point in time, or where they will stand at the point in time you project to complete your further education/training.
If your work is at a pro level now, then you can more forward plugging in info to your existing skill-set and start building from there.
If your work is NOT YET pro-level.........then you have to stop and evaluate what you really want to do and how to proceed.
Not being at pro-level means harder soul-searching at this because you have the double-challenge of not only developing your art skills, but also learning the various skill sets to apply those skills to gain work with.
If you are not doing pro-work right now, cannot get work with your talent right don't have the foundation to apply those new skill-sets.
You'll be at a crippling disadvantage in the job scene--your degree notwithstanding.
I say; before ALL the other considerations, if you want to get into animation then get those art skills up to pro-level FIRST.
Reason being that it gives you more options and career path choices than anything else.
This pre-thinks the possibility that, along the way, you find something else that intrigues you, and if you have the talent you can explore it and not have to backtrack to pick up foundational skills.
I like the idea of a "fully-functional cartoonist" because it bring more to the industry that just someone who has a few niche specialties. I think it makes for a better animator, for one, and a talent that offers more to the craft as a whole, and gets more in return.

So I suggest mapping out a plan. Take what you know already chart a course, so to speak. Then keep adding to that, to refine the HOW in the attainment. Change it as needed, snip off the dead-ends ( or explore them as spurious interests) and keep things heading towards that ultimate goal.
There is a LOT of info out there on the 'Net, there's courses and schooling offered all over the place, tons of books, and plenty of people with sound advice and insight.
You MAY NOT need to take more institutional schooling with the info that is all around you, but it MIGHT be easier to pay the tuition to have that info gathered into one place for you.
Yeah, this is kind of a cross-roads moment for you.......there's different paths offered........which to choose?

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

thank you for the reply, I looked at the animation mentor website, and I know that one isn't for me, the graduate showcase looked like they primarily focus on 3D animation and I definately know I am more interested in traditional pencil..

how does an online certificate compare to an animation degree in terms of credibility? Does it not matter where it is from as long as you have something from somewhere and then you allow your work to speak for itself?

I'd suggest you take a look at the last page of the "Art and Animation Schools" thread...Ken had some very helpful advice which I think may answer some of your questions. ;)

Reading some more of that thread may help you make your decision, too.

what your looking for is a traditional art school. most 3d animation teaches 2d and says transfer it to 3d. you would most likely still learn 2d if you take 3d

but you wont find any teaching 2d for games but its no different than 2d for anything else. it just has collision

how does an online certificate compare to an animation degree in terms of credibility? Does it not matter where it is from as long as you have something from somewhere and then you allow your work to speak for itself?

It doesn't matter. The only people that care about school diplomas/certificates are your parents. You could graduate from the top animation school on the planet, but if your demo reel sucks and you can't animate, no one will hire you. Like wise, getting a masters or higher won't get you a better animation job. The only time a higher degree helps is if you want to teach at a university. Focus on your craft and be the best artist you can be. That's what matters. That's what will get you hired. If your art and demo stands out, then YOU will stand out. Unless you're an @$$hole, then you'll quickly get a reputation in the community and no one will want to work with you.

the Ape

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