Welcome to my first post for the A to Z Challenge!
This topic is going to be about a very common question that I have been asked over the years and I would love to share a little bit of insight into animation schools, what to look for as well as my personal experience.
Picking your animation school is quite the undertaking. It's like finding a good pair of shoes. You want something comfortable, functional, that will give you the support you need and set you up for the adventure you are heading out on. You don't want shoes that are going to set you up for pain, blisters and bumps on the road, the same way you don't want to pick a school that doesn't fall in line with your goals.
Here are some questions you should ask/things you should do when you are trying to select a school/program:
Where did I go to school?
So since I'm talking about animations schools, I should probably mention the school I went to which was Capilano University. I attended their Summer Animation Program, their 2 year Commercial Animation Program as well as their 1 year Digital Animation Program.
For me, the Summer program was a little bitter sweet. I had applied for the Commercial program and I was listed 7th on their wait list. I was pretty heart broken to not get in the first try, but I still wanted to pursue my dream so Summer Program it was. The worst part was watching someone else, also wait listed but two spots above me, in the Summer Program get in after a few people dropped out. Other than that, I loved my experience in the Summer Program and if I had to repeat it, I would! ♥
If you aren't sure how you feel about art/animation, a summer school program (or part time program) might be a good place to start. It'll give you a taste of what it's all about.
The Commercial Program was epic, that really is the only way to sum it up. I made friends that I now consider my best friends and it is also where I met my hubby! It was 2 years of the most intense, wild, fun, stressful days ever. We were drawing ALL THE TIME, every single day, always. Towards the end of the program I remember there being days where we would sleep at the school (pretty sure they don't allow this any more) and would make late night trips to Super Store to stock up on pop, chips and candy. It was an amazing adventure! I will cover more of this experience in upcoming posts.
The Digital Program was the one that broke me, kicked me in the ass, made me cry at my desk once or twice and then about mid way through turned me into the single most determined person ever. I knew this was what I wanted and nothing and certainly NO ONE was going to put me off track. It may have been a sometimes painful experience, but it was the one I needed the most. More on this in upcoming posts.
CAP was the right school for me and by the end of it, I had a portfolio, demo-reel and industry list to get myself started.
Wherever you decide to go, just make sure that you do your research and be prepared for hard work and long hours. Remember that the time you invest into yourself in school (be it: college, university, online or in school) is what is going to set you up for future success.
So that's it for my first post for the A to Z Challenge! I hope you liked it!
Stay tuned for more of my animation adventures!
Hi! My name is Courtney and I am currently working as a character designer in the animation industry!
Artwork and Content is © Courtney Pearson 2016