Friday, March 28, 2014

Graduating from Animation Mentor

After an intense 18 month program, it is with great pleasure that I announce my graduation from Animation Mentor. As you may or may not know, prior to Animation Mentor, I attended and graduated from Purdue University. Although Purdue gave me a well-rounded education, in that I learned all facets of the pipeline, I didn't get to focus specifically on animation. When I had first heard about dedicated animation schools, iAnimate and AnimSchool had only just started. Animation Mentor was one of the only schools that had built up a reputation for producing top quality animators (today, there are several schools producing top-quality animators). So, with that knowledge, I had my heart set on Animation Mentor. I'm definitely glad I took the leap and attended.

Going into Animation Mentor, I wasn't quite sure what to expect. In the back of my mind, I knew it would be amazing, but I didn't realize how incredible it actually would be. The first animation assignment was definitely an eye-opener for me. I "thought" I knew how to animate; boy was I wrong. The first class provided the springboard that I needed to continue on throughout the program. Along the way, I met some of the most amazing, incredibly talented, and sincere people that I've ever met, ever. People from all over the world chasing after the same dream as I was. They hailed from the US, Germany, UAE, Austria, Australia, and anywhere else you might imagine. These were just the people you want to surround yourself with as you pursue the journey of becoming an animator. Each week, the Q&A's were full of relevant information that helped shape the animator that I am today. All of my mentors -- Don Kim, Marlon Nowe, Dimos Vrysellas, Joe Antonuccio, Nicole Herr, and Sean Sexton -- were absolutely phenomenal. They pushed me to produce feature-quality work and I can't thank them enough for their guidance and support.

If you're on the fence about attending an animation school or you're not sure which one to attend, do some research and pick one. You definitely won't regret it. You will learn a TON and will become a better animator because of it.

A big shout out to the graduating class of Animation Mentor this term. You guys rock! Keep pursuing your dreams and breathing life into characters. It will be an honor and a pleasure to work with you guys some day.

Now, it's onto the next big journey: finding a job. I know it won't be easy, but I'm still creating new shots to continually update my demo reel. It's time to go plan my next shot. Until next time, happy animating.

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