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How to break into the Animation Industry: 5 tips

Updated: Mar 11

If you’re a recent animation university graduate or a self-taught animation enthusiast, breaking into the commercial world of UK animation can come across as daunting and intimidating.


Like many sectors, even talent, high-level qualifications or industry related experiences aren’t guarantees to land your first dream job.


Overall, the UK animation industry supports approximately 15,000 jobs, and with around 1000 new hungry graduates coming into the market each year the sector is more fiercely competed than ever.


But how can you make yourself a top candidate for the animation industry’s top employers? And what sort of things should you expect from a career with an animation company?


1. Show them what you’re capable of. It’s more than likely that you’re going to spend some time doing menial labour before your talent gets recognised at an animation company. Having something to refer to, to fall back on or to present to future employers should be in your mind-set if you want to have a long and successful career in animation.


2. Provide value for free. Having a mentor or a boss that you can learn from is critical to success no matter what the industry. Fire up the LinkedIn hunting ground, look at some of your role models within animation and see what you can bring to the table. It is well known that direct, speculative applications go a lot further than applying for highly competitive vacancies.


3. If you want something done, do it yourself. Nobody ever achieved anything in business without taking a risk. The CEO of Starbucks, Howard Schultz, started working as a part time barista to help fund his coffee enterprise venture. Ralph Lauren was working, as a part time sales associate when he speculated whether the men’s tie industry was ready to be disrupted with brighter and more expressive designs.


The fear of failure is what is supposed to drive you on, trust in your own abilities and don’t be afraid to put your own twist on your projects.


4. Patience, patience, patience. Working in animation means this is a skill that you know is incredibly valuable by now. Building a career or a successful freelance is no different. Don’t get beat down by an application for the perfect role. Spielberg was rejected from film school three times. 11 publishers for Harry Potter turned down JK Rowling. A newspaper editor for not having good enough imagination or creativity once fired Walt Disney. Disney World today is valued at $35 billion dollars.


5. Maintain your enthusiasm and passion. Ok, I know this one is a lot harder than it sounds. After all, enthusiasm and passion are fundamental in any career. But in animation, you’re more likely to be subject to criticism from professional others, especially after you put your work out there online to be judged. The styles and topics of those first projects are very important, make sure it’s something you’re interested in!


If you are apart of a company or a business owner yourself looking to future-proof your company branding, then get in touch with us here at Lead Balloons Studios, a Leicester-based animation company. Our animation services include your very own and unique 3D brand mascot, explainer videos and much more innovative and fun branding to help you stand out from the online crowd and bolster your sales growth. We have worked with some of the biggest organisations all around Leicester such as De Montfort University, Niche Business Awards and many more.