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5 Steps to Becoming an Animator

5 Steps to Becoming an Animator


Step Three: Assemble Your Portfolio(s)

Why is an animation portfolio necessary? It’s simple — today’s job market is very competitive. In order to get ahead of the competition and show prospective employers you’re the one they need, you must have samples of your best work for them to view. Some animators will even create an animated film and enter into competitions to increase their visibility in the field, win cash prizes, and boost awareness of their portfolios.

Hard Copy Version
First, you must have a hard copy version of your animation portfolio. This should include copies of your artwork, drawings, and storyboards. Your hard copy portfolio will come in handy when you attend interviews and will give your interviewer the chance to glance at your work. Because you’ll only have stills in this portfolio, you should include a hard copy version such as a CD of examples and a website where they can view your online portfolio.

What your portfolios should include:

A Bio: Include a little bit about yourself, your history, what you studied in school, your favorite sandwich (if you think it will set you apart from the rest), and links to your blog or social communities, FaceBook Fan Pages, or Twitter accounts. Basically, this part of your portfolio should give potential employers a good feel for who you are and what you can bring (personality-wise) to their company.

Examples of your work: This section or sections (if you’ve studied or worked in multiple artistic mediums, create separate tabs) showcase your skills, talents and flair as an artist. This is where you bring your history (or bio) to life. Worked for Pixar? Attended the Academy of Art? Those are great accomplishments to highlight on your resume, but without samples, companies and employers won’t know what you’re really capable of. They’ll want to see samples. Be proud and show off your work!

Resume: This page should include your up-to-date resume, as well as a printer-friendly PDF version.

Contact: This page should include your email, a PO Box address, and links to your blogs or social networking pages such as, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter — and ArtBistro!

Need an example? Check out these real animator portfolios.

Erik Westlund
Joe Gorski
Animation Portfolio Workshop

Step Four: Know What Employers Want →

Find the right campus or online art or design program for you!