Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Getting cramped in here anyway

Yeah, I can be an arrogant ass sometimes.

As you would have gathered from my last post, I (we) am (are) tired. In ways, I feel defeated. I just want to go live in a warm cave with some beer and play Gears of War or Little Big Planet for a while. Yeah, a little defeated. In some aspects of my life.

But not all.

When I started in animation college, things were looking rosy. There were loads of huge 2D studios producing features, loads more doing TV and video features. I was pretty much guaranteed a good job that would be a great training ground.

By the time I finished college, things were very different. Some studios were gone. Others downsized and relocated. Others still thought they were giants and yet were going down the crapper and wouldn't last much longer. And they didn't.

Simply put, my job prospects were buggered.

I saw a lot of people suffer major career hits at that time. Some people had spent years training in effects departments in large 2D studios, producing amazing work. These people had no place when the large studios fell. They became obsolete. Nobody could pay someone just to do the odd bit of water or fire. People who had perfected clean-up, waiting for their chance to move into animation, ended up competing for clean-up scraps with hundreds of others and most of their skills went to waste. Many moved out of the business. Even the animators were hit. The marketplace was flooded with animators looking for work, and there wasn't a huge amount of it to go round.

In my first few years in the business, I saw a lot of people forced out of it.

My timing seemed kind of crappy but it wasn't. Because it taught me very quickly to adapt. That I couldn't afford to specialise. And that I had to be pretty good at what I do because there will always be people looking for the same jobs I want.

I think this is more true now than ever. But when things go to shit there will still be work. People still want to be entertained. There's still work. There's just less of it. But if you're adaptable and good at what you do, that's not a problem, right?

Bring it on.


Humphrey Erm said...

Well this was a refreshing post Bitter :)

You usually complain about the state of the animation industry and such, but to hear from you that you aren't worried about your job during the recession and how you have learned to adapt makes me feel better about the situation as well as my future employment.

Congrats on this positive post!

Mitch Leeuwe said...

Yeah great to read a positive post from you.

"And that I had to be pretty good at what I do because there will always be people looking for the same jobs I want."

That's something that frustrates me about art...


I wonder how it is in the UK. Especialy how hard it is to find a job at an animation studio.

I can't find any animation job here in NL (I mean animation for animation shows), but there are plenty of jobs here in gaming, comercial agency's who need illustrators/flash animators and you can find some nice freelance work as well. I don't hear allot of a bad economie here... But I hope I can work on animation shows one day, one that is funny ;)