Home > Articles

  • Print
  • + Share This
Like this article? We recommend

Like this article? We recommend

How to Get a Job as a Digital Animator/Artist

After 22 years as a design professional, I've seen just about everything when it comes to the ways people get jobs in this field. And it might shock you to know that there are poseurs in the entertainment industry. Yes, I know that this seems unlikely, but it's true—some people try to bluff their way into a job for which they are not qualified. So, it becomes a simple process that comes down to two things when I consider a candidate: the look in their eyes and the work seen in their portfolio and reel.

Going to national conferences, such as E3, SIGGRAPH, GDC, NAB, and so forth, is a great way to make eye-to-eye contact with potential employers. However, don't offer your portfolio or reel unless you're invited specifically to do so. Have your resume ready, and, if asked, have copies of your reel with you to give to companies that you would consider working for that genuinely seem interested in you. Be prepared for all the possibilities.

I invite people to interview based on the quality of the work seen in the reels and portfolios that they submit for consideration. The rest of the reels are returned. Some companies don't return reels; make sure that you're clear about that when you submit your work. Having several copies of your reel will keep you from being held hostage by slow art directors.

Perseverance Is Key

Reels and portfolios are always sent with some prior notice, usually a phone call, to make a personal connection. I like to know in advance that someone's work is on its way for my review; this tells me that it's important enough to them to make the effort to let me know they're sending it. However, making a personal connection can be very difficult sometimes and will test your perseverance. You might have to work through a receptionist or human resources representative to get to the person who will make the hiring decision.

The test is how badly you want to work for the company you are trying to get into, and how long you will persevere to get the job you want. That's the question—only you know the answer. Opening the door takes time and effort—and maybe dozens of phone calls and months of waiting.

The Interview: Two-Way Conversation

I invite artists to interview based on their portfolio and reel; it's what gets my attention. I hire artists based on intangibles, which I refer to as the look in their eyes. I want to know what an artist thinks about when he doesn't have to think, what he reads that he has found interesting; who his heroes are, and who he has been mentored by. Most of all, I'm trying to gauge whether that person can get along with other artists in the pressure cooker of production and if he can take art direction.

The interview is a two-way conversation. Be ready to ask the same questions asked by your interviewers; they are hiring you, and you are joining them. It's the same thing, really. The questions are these: Will these people get along with you? Are the art directors and artists people that you can admire, respect and take direction from?"

Some companies send you through a gauntlet of interviews looking for a consensus from the artists who talk with you about your work and your aspirations. This is a very good idea, and it builds consensus in the team that you will be joining. It is very appropriate to ask to speak with some of the artists you will be working with if it hasn't been previously arranged.

Here are some guidelines to follow when you interview:

  • Be clear about what you want and your goals for the future. Take some time before the interview to write down the characteristics of your ideal job. When you interview, compare the position with that list and ask yourself if this is the kind of place where you can create the job you dream about. How your career progresses is your responsibility.

  • Arrive on time, and bring your reel and resume. Don't assume that the interviewers have it handy for viewing. It's buried under a pile of other reels and resumes in the art director's office.

  • Don't be too impressed with titles, projects, or company history. This is a job; your long-term satisfaction in it will come from the company's creative process and the daily working relationship that you'll have with your peer artists and the production leaders, not from fancy offices and titles. Be respectful of the success of the company and the individuals in it—just try to get over the wow factor of what they've accomplished; it won't serve you to walk around with your mouth open, agog at their credit list.

  • Ask questions about the company, its goals for the future, how you fit in with those plans, and what projects you'll be working on.

  • Be respectful. Don't talk too much. Listen.

  • Be responsible for asking for what you want. Don't expect that the interviewer will know what it is you are looking for.

  • Let your work speak for itself—no need to explain anything before they see it. Just show it and answer their questions.

  • When the interview is over, set a clear understanding of the next step. If they say, "We'll call you!", you have just been invited into the ranks of the persevering. Get business cards during the interview, and, if this is a place you want to work at, call often.

  • Be open to temporary, freelance, or intern positions. Taking advantage of these opportunities gives both you and the company a chance to see each other in action and often leads to a full-time, permanent position on staff.

  • Dress appropriately. If you don't know what the dress code is at the studio, find out. You might be an artist, but this is very much a world of professionals. You don't have to wear a suit and tie; just spiff up a little. (I personally wouldn't work at a place where I had to wear a tie for the interview.)

  • The keys to getting a job as a digital artist are simple: work hard, learn your tools well, creative an effective reel and portfolio, create your ideal job mentally, be clear on what you want, and persevere until you get it. If you do this and take responsibility for getting what you want, you will certainly be successful in your job search.

So, you want to be a digital artist? Fantastic. Your talents, vision, and passion are needed and welcome. And there has never been a better time to start on your path. The important thing to remember is that being a digital artist is more about who you are than it is about what you do. It is out of the wealth of your learning and experience, especially your life experience, that your own unique genius will shine and your artistic vision will be created. Good luck on your journey.

  • + Share This
  • 🔖 Save To Your Account

InformIT Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from InformIT and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.

Overview


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information


To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.

Surveys

Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites, develop new products and services, conduct educational research and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.

Newsletters

If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email information@informit.com.

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information


Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.

Security


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.

Children


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.

Marketing


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information


If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at customer-service@informit.com and we will process the deletion of a user's account.

Choice/Opt-out


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by InformIT. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive: www.informit.com/u.aspx.

Sale of Personal Information


Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to NevadaDesignatedRequest@pearson.com.

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents


California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure


Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.

Links


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact


Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice


We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020