One of my students is getting really into his animation - he knocked this up just for laughs in super quick time!
Check out the ‘Dubstep Turtle’ and click through to see some of his other work!
Anon asked: Hey, I study animation and I’m in my 2nd year. I keep wanting to do an internship over the summer in NYC or somewhere else over seas. What do you think about this? Should I just do an internship in the UK then see what happens when I graduate? What are your views on internships during your time at uni? This would be over the summer..
I have some what a mixed view on internships as a whole, as you may have seen from a previous post. I think once there was no need for an over-reliance of voluntary internships, but now I think, especially in the current climate that they are of more value than ever.
People generally don’t like working for free, whatever the circumstances, and most people like some reward for giving up their free time when they could be earning money from a waiting job or barstaff or whatever. Well, in this case I think you have to be objective as to what ‘reward’ actually means to you. Does it mean money now, or the opportunity to increase your desirability and earning potential for future positions?
During your time at university/college I think undertaking a variety of small workplace internships absolutely essential to enhance your chances of gaining a foothold into an industry early. They may lead to nothing, but then again you have experience that can be placed on your CV to possibly entice other companies to take you on, as it shows that you are willing to get into the industry seriously.
Whether deciding on whether design interships are for you, there are issues that you have to consider. Such as;
- What can I offer the company? Just like if you were applying for a job, give the company valid reasons why they should take time and space out to allow you to come and spend a little time working with them. Detail this in your contact with them, linking them to examples of your work or even including a concise pdf portfolio, which allows them to quickly see what your abilities are like.
- Do the company actually want me there? If you’ve beaten down a company with 500 emails requesting a days internship before they actually give you one, they may just be doing it to stop you from emailing them further - know when to give up on a company and look for another opportunity!
- Don’t just fire off email requests to large companies - chances are if they are well known they will have hundreds of these type of requests a year! Look instead for more localised businesses first. A lot of time they will be more wiling to open up some time for you to learn, and you will probably have a far better chance of finding out useful information and contacts. It is okay thinking big, but just remember, start at the bottom and work your way up!
- Decide whether you can balance your uni course with the internship. Don’t let one get in the way of the other, because remember you do actually need to pass the course!
- Be willing to learn, and be receptive to anything that is asked of you. Chances are you will be asked to make the coffee, or do small errands initially, do it - part of the time it is a test to see whether you have the attitude to work in a creative environment! (Take it from me, you will make a lot of coffee for people in your first few months of any design job!)
- Don’t just do the internship because it is offered. Find out the opportunities that will be on offer - contrary to my last point, if all you are doing is making coffee and running errands, you aren’t learning about your industry, thank them for their time and offer, but leave it well alone - you are doing an internship or work experience for the actual ‘experience’ of it all.
- Be realistic when it comes to searching for internships or work experience. You are probably not going to get paid, or if you do it will be a nominal amount, so consider if you are having to relocate for a week or two, can you afford it? Linking back to the initial question, finding a placement in New York or somewhere abroad will take time, effort and planning way in advance. You can’t just rock up at Pixar and ask them for a weeks work experience - chances are you wouldn’t get past security, but if you try to arrange something way in advance you may have more likelihood of success. You could try talking to British companies first, think Aardman, Calon, etc. - they may be more than willing to find you a place to learn for a couple of days.
- Don’t think of an internship or work experience as your big break - you are there to learn and companies as such on the most will treat you with that respect. If you start critiquing the senior designers work, or articulating that you can do better, this is never going to come across well - I have seen this first hand and it still makes me cringe even thinking about it! It may be your first step on the ladder, but that ladder is tall, very tall……
- Keep in touch with your internship - not everyday, but keep them updated with projects you are working on, perhaps even asking for their critiques, and inviting them to your final exhibition personally. It is these touches that will help you linger in their memory, but whatever you do don’t flood them with contact - treat them like the aunt and uncle you only have contact with at birthdays and social events.
- Finally, document what you have done each day in a journal - not only does this help you remember key points from your learning experience, but it is something that you could possibly utilise when putting together your CV and portfolio. Design moves so fast that sometimes it is the little things throughout the day which are the key things you should be remembering!
I think all up and coming designers can learn from an internship as long as it is the best fit for the experience you are looking for. I think being realistic you can probably learn more from a locally based company than going straight to a big name in NYC. You will probably not see the inner workings of the industry you are wanting to be a part of, which is the whole point of doing an internship. There are a multitude of companies up and down the UK that are possibly more worthy of your attention than companies who have an NYC postal code - think of what you are going to learn, rather than where you are going to learn.
Working as part of a team on a small branding project, along with a personal recommendation from the senior designer in a locally based firm, is worth more on your CV than having a generic reference from a designer who you may have never worked with about your coffee making skills?
Judge every opportunity on its own merits and always ask the question, how will it help advance your career?
Hope this helps, as with every post, if anyone else can add to this reply send me it and i’ll post up anything I think will aid the discussion!
(excuse the reblogging from the other blog - I will eventually only post these over there, but for now i’m just making people aware the blog is there! Thanks for your patience!)
Google’s ‘Google Doodle’ Commemorating what would have been Freddie Mercury’s 65th birthday.
One of my student’s parts to their final major project.
Tom produced a pilot episode for a stop frame animation series called ‘Bloo and Blunt’ and in addition to this he produced a proposal that outlines the series, episodes an most importantly the characters and their world.
By: Adam Limbert
Used to love this show when I was younger -until the introduced ‘Game-Boy’….
I found the digital version of the proposal for the animated series Ig the Cavegirl that is shown on Channel 5 early morning that I put together when I worked at the consultancy.
I will endeavor to get the whole proposal up so you can actually see what it takes to get an animated series commissioned.
Tom’s quick claymation character - he has skills…
The REAL Up! house floating!
From your other mother……..