The advantage of learning animation in CalArts is you are expose to a lot of industrial professionals that are still working in the industry. To learn animation, you need to be have a lot of heart, a lot of patience, a lot of passion, because it is a really hard work, if you are looking for a easy job, animation definitely is not.
If there was a main skill I think you need to be an observer. You need to live a life and observe it, because what we do, we give life to these characters. Without observation, they are just drawings, just polygons, they don’t have any life. Then we come in, and inject the soul and we gave the illusion of life.
I love to see drawings, quick sketches, life drawings, animal studies and anime studies(all original ones of course! )……Some people can do really great drawings ,but not original, then it is not you, it is not something. If you don’t bring anything to the table, your voice… make people want to see that again. Use your experience and apply it.
I think it is the key to be diverse when you are creating something，and to gain inspiration you also need to be diverse. If you kinda stick to one thing, you kinda lock in yourself in a box. You learn more animation, the inspiration will much wider and richer.
I think in any discipline, if you think you are done, if you think you already known it, you lose. You never will be there. There is a thing, if you think you are almost there, like 70%. That thing almost there always extends, because with project progress, your skills are developed too.
it’s just everyday life. how can you get the illusion of life if you don’t live.you need to have experience. Otherwise you are just start recycling all of the stuff. Even if it is subconscious. yes, so keep observing everyday, and checking stuff out, how people move, and I think our brains kind of poke a little bit differently while we was looking.and just watch a wide variety of animation works, I love that, it really trains your eye.