Could you possibly give some advice to a 16 year old aspiring artist who really wants to do something art-related after high-school but doesn’t really have a lot of financial backing? ie are student loans worth it? Can you get a job that pays them off if you go into art? I know you’re an animator at Disney, so I was hoping you’d could give me a few tips? Is it really hard to get a job at Disney, for example …
The short answer is: Don’t take out student loans and expect a job at Disney to pay them back.
The long answer is much longer:
Oh my gosh I can’t agree with this more and recommend everyone to read it.
Certain schools come with resources and connections, and have relationships with studios, thats true - but they do not guarantee you a job. You get the job on your own merits in the end, if you can’t afford these schools is not an indicator of whether or not you will succeed. My friend has a job at Disney animation and he went to the same school I did, a solid but fairly unknown school compared to the giants, and he did it based on his own merit and work. Dont cripple yourself with debt - the industry fluctuates so much you will most likely have to move around to find a job at one point. Contract work isint the best for paying off mountains of loans - and if you’re worried about your school not providing you with contacts , we have the internet! Its much easier nowadays then before to connect with other artists and put yourself out there.
“Certain schools come with resources and connections, and have relationships with studios, thats true - but they do not guarantee you a job”
I agree with this sentence and yes it’s true. As you know I go to one of those “top school” Art Center College of Design and my school has a lot of resources, connections, and wer’re pretty much located right int he middle of huge companies (Disney, Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network, Titmouse, ETC)…but you getting into Disney or any animation studio/Vis-Dev studio…that depends on your portfolio (and how well known you are in your school)
Yes applying for Disney isn’t that hard but making portfolio is super hard (my friend applied twice and she didn’t get in)…Disney wants to see new things (ex styles, how well you design, your design skills, and of course how well you put your portfolios)….I know one of my friend’s friend is very well known at our school (she was one of hte guest student? at CTN and she now mentors for this well know animator….her name is Sunmin if you want to look at her stuff…
top school WILL TEACH you all the techniques that other teachers learned from Disney/Dreamworks (for example Will Weston, Mike Humphries, Lou Police and I can name a lot of teachers that worked in Disney/Dreamworks)….BUT you won’t guaranteed with your dream jobs…that all depends on your graduation wall and how well you can “design” characters/props (because they don’t want to see the same thing over and over)…and intern spots are super hard to get too…
BUT TBH it doesn’t matter if you go to top schools or not….but if you do want to learn from professionals that worked in top animation studios for 10 years then go for it….My friend’s sister (and her roommate) went to community college and they both started working on Avatar in their junior year at college…
I know I went to Art Center because of Ent Art, but now I’m in Illust Design because there are a lot of freedom (and I want to focus on illustration)…but going to top schools are very stressful (like money, stressing out if you’re guaranteed to get a job right after or competition..yes Art Center has a lot of competiton…it’s not healthy)…and money problem…please don’t stress out applying to top colleges w/18k per tri-semester/two semester….if your financial can’t cover all of your school money, try going to CC and transfer (and apply for scholarship…scholarship will help…I got 3K this year and it cut off my money around 6K [that’s w/financial])
and all art students that graduated have a “gap” after they graduate/they don’t get their dream job…three people will get an internship but that depends on how well you put your grad wall…I know one of my school’s alumni came to our school and he told us his experience…he started off as advertising his own art for one or two years (and then he stopped going to school for one year because money)…but then year later he started getting a lot of job offers.
and it’s not just animators…illustrators, painters, and motion designers, etc…we all go through this. What I can tell you it do what is right for you…I know few people are better off w/top school or CC/small colleges…but remember think about money first and if it’s worth it.