Advice for an Aspiring Animator, please

Hello! I am currently a senior art student in China (I'm Korean, though) and I am really interested in going to an animation school. While searching for many different colleges, I 've come through a variety, and I've been wondering if you could help me out with some questions .
Should college be a time when one experiences different medias and explores the vast field of animation or a time that one should prepare and train professionally for a future career? 
Actually I have two colleges that I'm really interested in (both are in Canada), but they kind of part in this sense. I'd love to be in any one of them, but I am worrying about the future after college graduation. As people already out there studying animation or working on the animation industry, what do you think, especially in these days when it is hard to get your dream job? Any other advice for an aspiring animation student? It'd be awesome and a great encouragement if you could help me out. Thank you. 
Daniela Jung on September 11 at 05:40 PM in Art School
3 Answer(s)
Hi Daniela, 
 
I didn't have the opportunity to study at a traditional arts college, but I did went to college in my country. One thing that happens when you are are actually in person on site, studying with collegues, is that you'll have a strong friendship with the people you spent all this time with, that will eventually help each other throughout your professional career. 
 
Having said that, I did studied at iAnimate and Animsquad, both online schools, and I must say, the sense of friendship, although in small scale, is still there, and everyone is willing to help each other as well.
 
One thing against online animation schools is that they usually doesn't teach art fundamentals or other aspects of the industry itself.
Anyway, I hope it helps you and if you have any questions about online schools, I'm happy to share my experience.
 
 
Cheers!
 
Daniel Cabral on September 12 at 06:33 PM
I'm actually thinking of going into this college with a very small community, so it worries me sometimes if I'll be able to get much experience with many others. Thank you for your help! It means a bunch X)
on September 14 at 05:20 PM
Im not sure how much help I can be in terms of experience in the industry, at the moment I am studying animation at university. But what I found in my first year I gott to kinda dip in and out of aspects of the industry like 2d, CG, stop mo and are taught the fundamentals animation, as well has getting the fundamental drawings skills you need. I suppose it helps having an opportunity to try and experiment with what works well for you as an art form. I know many people who wanted to do stop motion but found cg was a similar thing and switched. CG animators deciding to go to a 2D because a natural charm that 2D has. But I agree with Mario that really which ever school you choose to go too it comes down to you get that solid skill you need for the role you want to do. Online animation schools are also a opportunity, sites like animation mentor, ianimate, animchool, animsquad all start with the basics of animation in 2D or CG if you have an idea of what role you want to do already. Like I said im not in the industry myself but I have had a couple of animation internships at companies here in the UK Great aspiration to have you love animation. Just remember the words of Jim Carrey 'You can fail at what you don't want to do in life, so you might as well take a chance on doing what you love.' Keep going and dont stop!
Sam Traynor on September 12 at 01:57 AM
I had never thought about online schools but I can surely take a look. Thank you for your advice! I will remember those words
on September 14 at 05:17 PM
Hi Daniela, I think it all depends on whether you have access to the money or not!  If you have the financial situation taken care of, then I wouldn't discourage you to spend it on exploring and experimentation. But if you don't have a bunch of money reserved for your college education, you might need to approach college with a much more heightened sense of urgency!  Like I did!  
 
I took out about 100k in student loans to go to CALARTS.  I was very stressed out but the good thing about it was that I wanted to squeeze every last oz of value out of CALARTS that I could - because I was on the hook for loan repayment!  So I definitely took a bit more of a practical approach even though there is always risk of not finding work in this industry.  I just made sure that whatever I leraned at Calarts would be applicable to a studio career. I wanted to make sure I had a solid skillset to take with me so someone could pay me to do a specific task.  This is important if you really need to get financially grounded. 
 
So whatever you do, make sure you have a foundation of skills that will help you land that job. But if you feel strongly that you're just not a fit for the studio environment, perhaps you have something bigger than that in your future. Maybe you'll go off and do your own films, etc.  Only you will have the answers ultimately.   But just dont' completely disregard your financial situation.  Make sure you don't dig yourself in too deep of a hole with loan debt!
 
good luck!
mario
Mario Furmanczyk on September 11 at 11:47 PM
Thank you! I am personally thinking of a studio career as you mentioned. I am still kind of a newbie in all this searching, but that was great advice to keep in mind. Thumbs up!
on September 12 at 12:23 AM