So I recently graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology. I was originally going to go into pharmacy, but I think this is too boring and I just don't want to do it. I half assed all the interviews and didn't care if I got in or not. I only did it because my parents were telling me to (and because of the money). What I've always wanted to do involved art/drawing/painting. Now I've decided the best thing to do would be to do what I actually like (yes it took me this long to realize it) and I'm thinking about going back to school in order to get a career with animation. I'll have one year off to just sort of practice, build portfolio, and take some community college classes and stuff.
So I was wondering if anyone can point me in the right direction or suggest what are the best schools to go to for that career. Anything else I have to do to stand out and get better in that field?
Animation can be a career that pays well. The industry, while certainly competitive, is growing rapidly and not just in an entertainment Dreamworks-Pixar-Disney World. Keep an eye on Digital Domain. They are launching a new studio in Florida soon. There are other smaller shops, too. Innovative companies like Crispin-Porter-Bogusky (they do the I'm a Mac ads with Steve Jobs and Bill Gates characters) has looked at ways how to involve gaming in advertising. They have been the hottest ad firm over the last 10 years, and they are in Boulder, CO. How cool is that?
Definitely look at schools with a record of getting students in the industry. Everybody in the world is jumping into offering Animation and Gaming programs, because there is a lot of interest. Most totally suck.
At the same time, Animation is dividing up into a lot of specialties, As much as possible (but don't permanently put yourself into a box), determine a little what you want to do. Know what you want to do after college. This choice is about more than 4 years; it's about 40.
For older students, Boulder Digital Works is doing something interesting things for those looking for grad programs. I don't know that I would consider it for character animation (most likely not). Still, they have vary strong connections to the digital industry (for those who fit their profile). It is interesting what they are doing, I think.