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Career Advice From A Pixar Animator

Carlos Baena joined Pixar in 2002 and has been an animator on a half-dozen Pixar features and shorts, most recently Ratatouille, and he’s on the crew of Toy Story 3. Before Pixar, he was an animator at ILM, where, among other things, he worked on several of the computer-animated characters of Stars Wars: Episode II—Attack of the Clones

Those of you who are animators or aspiring animators may be asking yourself: How do I get that job? Carlos recently offered his answers to that question, and the question of how to thrive in an animation job once you have it. Excerpts:

  • Be professional at work. Don’t be stuck up, and don’t have an attitude/ego or no one will wanna work with you again. There is a fine line between confidence and arrogance.
  • Help your peers. They’ll help you when you need them.
  • Make your environment fun. Simply have fun with what you do…and try not to look at it as a job. I know it’s hard…especially with deadlines. I’ve been there. But try to find the fun aspects of what we do as it’ll make the journey a lot more fun and less stressful.
  • At one point, be ready to call your shot done. We can polish things to death…but some places/productions will need you to move on.

Not bad advice for us non-animators, either.