Help me find an animation school



  • So here's my story.

    I studied architecture in Romania for about 5 years and I feel like it's going nowhere and it's leaving me very much unfulfilled and out of place. Drawing on the other hand has taken a huge role in my life and it's been the only thing keeping me sane throughout these years.

    I really want to go to an animation school and basically start my life over. Now I know SVS is an animation school and I now it's the portfolios that matter, not the diploma. But I feel that going to a physical college and studying art & animation the traditional way is important nonetheless and this is what I want.

    My questions are:

    1. What school do you recommend?

    After listening to the Chris Oatley interview with Jen Ely and Loish, I realized how important it is to have a school where you are in tune with the professors. If you haven't heard this podcasts, Jen Ely went to a school where everyone was basically a performance artist, the vague, artistic post-modern kind and pretty much no one taught basic drawing skills.

    Loish went to a more proper art school, but the professors there were only interested in fine art and discouraged her from pursuing her own style because it was "too girly and/or commercial".

    It's really important to find professors that understand what you're pursuing and help you obtain the skills necessary to improve. I love Chiara Bautista, Alphonse Mucha, J.C. Leyendecker, Kelly Vivanco, Koyamori, Puuung and Claire Keane. I love the romantic-to-realistic painters, Lucien-Victor Guirand de Scévola, Abbott Handerson Thayer, John William Waterhouse and a whole host of russian realist painters. I love, love, love illustrators like Edmund Dulac, Kay Nielsen and Arthur Rackman. And most of all I love Studio Ghibli and Cartoon Saloon whose recent animation, Song of the Sea, made me realize I want to be in animation.

    I'll post bellow some of my work to give you a better idea where I'm aiming at. Basically I want to focus on animation and illustration. I like drawing girls, stories, architecture, historical stuff, girls, concept art, girls. I want to have a playful naive style that inspires a lot of emotion. A lot of my favorite artists have a very realistic style, but realism isn't the point to me. It's the poetic playfulness of pure emotion and emotional storytelling that I want to develop.

    1. What are the pros and cons of an animation school as opposed to an art school. If I can't find a suitable animation school, is a regular art school just as adequate to help me work in animation?

    2. What was your experience with an art or animation school. What would you change if you went back in time when you where in said school.

    3. Is it still possible to earn a scholarship in any of these school even though I'm 25 years old and was a lazy jackass with poor grades in my last college (architecture).

    Disclaimer: I live in Romania, so a school within the EU is preferable, but if you know any good school outside the EU go ahead and mention them, since I'm definitely curious. :)

    Tg Neamt 2.jpg
    Rebbeca 1.jpg
    Tg Neamt 1.jpg
    James Vicent Mcmurrow.jpg
    lica3.jpg
    Girl who stole the Sun 1.jpg
    J.C. Leyendecker 1.jpg
    Eminescu 15 - Copii eram noi amândoi.jpg
    Eminescu 11 - Epigonii.jpg
    Eminescu 14 - Mortua est!.jpg
    polonia 1.jpg
    Bucur 4.jpg
    01 - Povestea incepe.jpg
    02 - Nasterea Aniya.jpg
    15 - Aniya se trezeste singura.jpg
    Eminescu 9 - Cand privesti oglinda marii.jpg
    Capra cu 3 iezi.jpg



  • I don't have any suggestions for animation schools (I went to art school at the University of Michigan). I just wanted to say that I love your work!



  • @Callaxes - I think the main question to ask is "what are you hoping to do in the animation industry?" If the answer is that you want to be a character animator at a studio then I would highly recommend Animation Mentor ( www.animationmentor.com ) BUT, this is amazing online school, with classes only taught by working professionals at studios like Disney and Blue Sky, is going to teach you to animation, not draw or illustrate, or model characters. I graduated from Animation Mentor about 10 years ago, and have taught animation courses at a college a few terms in the past, but realized through the whole process that I'd much rather illustrate and create art for books and video games! It was still money well spent, since leaning to animate will definitely improve your understandings of form, composition, weight, etc., but I think it's very important to make sure you know what you want to do and in what capacity.

    Beautiful work, wonderful style and appeal! I hope my advice helps you on your search.



  • Hello Callaxes.

    First off, Congratulations on taking a step toward something you are truly passionate about. You have some very beautiful work here! I love the style. The type of art you do I think fits well in the Illustration and or Visual Development world. They definitely tell stories. (Also I love listening to Chris Oatley’s podcasts. Was just listening to him about an hour ago haha)

    Second, have you figured out what exactly you want to do in animation? Are you looking to work in 2D or 3D? Are you looking to be an Animator? Rigger? Concept artist? Storyboard artist? Background artist? Visual Development artist? I think if you can narrow it down to what exactly you want to be, the easier it will be for you to figure out which path to take and what classes to focus on. Have you thought about where you want to work too? Also depending on what job you want, you will either A. Need to have a solid portfolio or B. a solid demo reel or C. both. Which as you stated you do not need a degree for.

    From what I can see and am deducing, I think you are aiming to be a Visual Development artist/ that works in Feature Animation?

    Just taking a guess.

    Anyways, here are some of my answers to your questions. I wont be able to hit everything right now but hopefully this gives you some ideas.

    1. Schools- Calarts, Sheridan, SCAD, and Gobelins. (Animation Mentor is another option) I personally went to MCAD but I know the top 3 I mentioned have very specific programs towards animation. I really think the French and Canadian schools are doing wondrous and beautiful things for animation.They really know what they are doing and the trailers that I keep seeing from these places are breathtaking. I would have loved to had the opportunity to study at colleges like these. Something that these schools do right is having their students collaborate/ work together to make one big movie. In animation, it is a one big collaboration. I would also look into the online schools and workshops. I personally like being in the classroom but for a cheaper route going to workshops. They can give just as much information or more.

    2. Pros and Cons. Finding a school where they teach the fundamentals of animation is going to help you greatly. But its impossible to cover everything you need/want to know in 4 years. A lot of learning will have to come from your own personal research and journey. If you go to an artschool that has no classes on acting, storyboarding, or any animation/media classes, but have classes on storytelling, design, life drawing , etc, you are still going to benefit from being in the class setting and improve your portfolio. Because that is what its about. Its all about your work and being able to make stories. The downside to not going to a school with animation classes is well, not being exposed to animation. However there are plenty of online options to look into too.

    3. Experience- I was a transfer student into art school. I graduated with a BFA in Animation. My primary focus was on 2D animation. For us transfer students we had to work very hard to catch up with the other students who started right away in the college. My animation classes took up most of my time during school and I had little to no room to take any illustration or design classes. (Which I really wanted to take more illustration classes, learn design, and take sequential art classes like comics since those things strongly tie into animation) I took storyboard, stopmotion, character animation, intro to animation, digital illustration, lighting for film, figure drawing, 3D animation, and 3D modeling. I did not do well in 3D because I am more focused working in 2D. Going to art school was probably the toughest thing I have ever done. I did not sleep, did not eat as healthy, and did not get to see friends and family often. I worked, and I worked extremely hard. The only thing I would have liked to change was knowing some of the programs before I went. It was a tough learning curve for me to learn programs like Maya and After Effects. Trying to learn these while working slowed down my progress/process.

    4. Scholarship- The college I went to was very particular on what credits can transfer or not. When you decide on a place to go, make sure to connect with the college and ask if anything you took at architecture school can transfer. You may have to start over again but that is not always a bad thing. Also know what you are going into. I am $36,000 in debt and I DO NOT regret going to art school. I learned a lot that I was not able to learn on my own. I never touched Photoshop before I went, and I learned so much from my peers. I was surrounded by people 20x better than me and it helped me grow. I was able to get loans and grants but even so, the best art schools out there are extremely expensive and cost more than law school. (So if you go to a very good school, it may be more difficult to get grants for it) Again, there are alternative ways to get the information you seek like taking online classes from people actually in the industry. Since graduation, listening to podcasts from Jake Parker, Will Terry, Will Terrell, Chris Oatley, Bobby Chiu, and Stephen Silver have given me so much soul food that I was not able to digest in art school. These people are in the industry and give everyone the formula to succeed. And for that I am grateful <3 Thanks guys.

    Reccomendations/Advice- Go purchase Richard Williams Animators Survival Kit, Drawn to Life, Timing in Animation, Character Animation Crash Course, Cartoon Animation, and the Illusion of Life. (And books on acting) These are a few books that will push you in the right direction. Take as many life drawing classes as possible. Drawing from life will improve your art tremendously and give your characters depth. Many students avoid it, but if you want to draw characters and people you have to learn how to draw the form. In order to break the rules, you have to learn the rules. Do not hide behind style. Its important to really understand your characters and give them a soul. Learn programs like Photoshop, Illustrator, and editing programs like After Effects, Premiere, and Audition. Knowing digital programs will help because most studios use these and want to have their workers be able to work in these. Learn the business side of the industry as well. Know your rights, protect your art, learn how to deal with contracts and invoices.

    Also know there are tons of industries out there besides feature film. There are tons of commercial studios all over that need artists to make their vision come true. In school, they did not talk about the different paths people take. Too often people say they want to work for Disney, but there are so many more companies out there then them to help grow! Just keep an open mind and really hone in on what you are good at and what you want to do. :)

    PS Here are some links to check out.

    http://webneel.com/top-best-animation-schools

    https://www.gnomon.edu/

    https://ianimate.net/

    http://2d.cgmasteracademy.com/programs/

    http://www.animationmentor.com/

    http://www.academyart.edu/academics/animation---visual-effects

    If you want to discuss further please feel free to message me.

    I hope this helps.



  • To @stacilyn @natiwata @Joslyn-Schmitt

    Thank you so much for your kind words about my work. I'm still at that "impostor syndrome" point where I can't believe people actually like my stuff, so I really appreciate you guys saying this :)

    @Joslyn-Schmitt said:

    Second, have you figured out what exactly you want to do in animation? Are you looking to work in 2D or 3D? Are you looking to be an Animator? Rigger? Concept artist? Storyboard artist? Background artist? Visual Development artist?
    From what I can see and am deducing, I think you are aiming to be a Visual Development artist/ that works in Feature Animation?

    Honestly I'm so eager at this point that just about all of those sound amazing to me.

    I know that I want to focus on 2D art and I know I want a job where I can use my storytelling skills as much as possible. So yeah, your guess is pretty spot on :)

    @Joslyn-Schmitt said:

    1. Schools- Calarts, Sheridan, SCAD, and Gobelins. (Animation Mentor is another option) I personally went to MCAD but I know the top 3 I mentioned have very specific programs towards animation. I really think the French and Canadian schools are doing wondrous and beautiful things for animation.They really know what they are doing and the trailers that I keep seeing from these places are breathtaking. I would have loved to had the opportunity to study at colleges like these. Something that these schools do right is having their students collaborate/ work together to make one big movie. In animation, it is a one big collaboration. I would also look into the online schools and workshops. I personally like being in the classroom but for a cheaper route going to workshops. They can give just as much information or more.

    My dream was to go to Gobelins since they seem to be the kung fu masters when it comes to 2D stuff, but I can't learn french fast enough. I really want to enlist this year, knowing french is obligatory for enlisting there, so either I postpone it a year or go to an anglophone country.

    @Joslyn-Schmitt said:

    Going to art school was probably the toughest thing I have ever done. I did not sleep, did not eat as healthy, and did not get to see friends and family often. I worked, and I worked extremely hard.

    Usually this sounds scary, but to me this is exactly what I want. As I stated I've been a lazy jackass. I've studied in my home town, so I've never had to move out of my parents house or learn to live by myself, so I still feel like a child.

    Going to a school that will make you work hard and make you use your free time sparingly sounds ideal to me. It's also the reason why I insist that I need to go to a physical school, even though I'm well aware of how awesome these online courses are. I need to leave my home town and start something new. Also, my mother insists on finishing a college.

    @Joslyn-Schmitt said:

    I was surrounded by people 20x better than me and it helped me grow.

    Pretty much what I'm hoping to happen to me and why I still want to go to Gobelins because they're the kung fu masters.

    @Joslyn-Schmitt said:

    Reccomendations/Advice- Go purchase Richard Williams Animators Survival Kit, Drawn to Life, Timing in Animation, Character Animation Crash Course, Cartoon Animation, and the Illusion of Life. (And books on acting) These are a few books that will push you in the right direction. Take as many life drawing classes as possible. Drawing from life will improve your art tremendously and give your characters depth. Many students avoid it, but if you want to draw characters and people you have to learn how to draw the form. In order to break the rules, you have to learn the rules. Do not hide behind style. Its important to really understand your characters and give them a soul. Learn programs like Photoshop, Illustrator, and editing programs like After Effects, Premiere, and Audition. Knowing digital programs will help because most studios use these and want to have their workers be able to work in these. Learn the business side of the industry as well. Know your rights, protect your art, learn how to deal with contracts and invoices.

    Thank you so much Joslyn :) I can't tell you how much your words mean to me. Sometimes I feel like life is better when you're a beginner because encouragement and kind words are worth their weight in gold at that fragile state.


Log in to reply
 

Looks like your connection to SVS Forums was lost, please wait while we try to reconnect.