Career as an Animator


Animators are no ordinary artists.  They specialize in making art with movement — animations, which can be found in cartoons, movies and video games. Young Post meets Faith Lam, who works as an animator in BreamWorks Animations, a renowned animation company which has produced many popular movies.



            You have to be good at art, and have a passion for it.  The main difference between an artist and an animator is that an artist usually draws a picture once, but an animator has to draw the same picture repeatedly with a minor change in each — to produce the ‘Moving’ effect.  You must be passionate about animation-making to stay sane in such a process.

            You need to have good computer knowledge and skills.  Nowadays, animations are made in the computer using software like Adobe Flash or Blender.  It involves not only animation-making but also some basic programming.  In other words, the computer is the painting brush of an animator.

            You must also have a passion to tell stories and make movies.  Making animation is simply telling a story.  It can be a 1-min short story, or a 2-hour cartoon. You have to enjoy telling stories in order to enjoy the job.



            Animation-making is a new industry.  There are not any vital qualifications that you must acquire so as to be an animator.  Instead, you have to make several animations and send them to the company.  They act as a portfolio which can show your skills for the job.

            A Bachelor’s degree in Art may help you to get the job.  Although it is not a must, the degree is a strong piece of evidence showing that you are capable of making fine art works.  It can also show that you have the ability to get to university, meaning that you have the ability to work effectively.


Work Prospects

            Once you enter the animation company, you have to handle some clerical work like filing for 3 months.  This can help you understand how the company works and understand the duty of different posts.  Afterwards, you can start to animate the minor changes in each frame — the ‘picture’ in the animations.

            When you are more experienced, you will be able to draw the animations by yourself.  Eventually, you may be able to handle group productions of certain animation videos.


How to Apply

            Send the animations you have made to the animation company and wait for their reply.  They will contact you if they want to hire you.  If they don’t, ‘don’t give up and find ways to improve,’ Lam said.  


A Day at Work

            As an animator, you should be light-hearted during working because making animations is your interest.  ‘I consider it as an entertainment,’ Lam said, ‘Animating is so much fun.’  Usually, an animator has to cooperate with programmers, IT support and other animators.  Therefore, there will usually be a meeting in the morning discussing the progress of each member and then they will get back to work.


            ‘That’s pretty much it.’ Lam said.