Yesterday, Mr. Warburton (you read his blog, right) posted a post about resumes in which he absolutely nails the fact that some creative types have a very boring, traditional resume. He proclaims the need for a creative resume, and you know something? He’s right!
If you work in the creative arts, you would expect a portfolio/demo reel to do the hard work of showing off your creative talents, but why should you rely on just that? If you’re looking for a job, you should be using every single opportunity you have to try and grab that reviewers attention.
The resume is one area that is often forgotten about or neglected. Plenty of people think that it is simply a synopsis of your skills and nothing more and that’s the problem. The average resume gets a 10 second slot in which to impress the reviewer. A mediocre design will be glanced over and forgotten. One that stands out is more likely to be read which improves the chances of employment by a lot.
For starters, Resources has 70 creative resumes that you can use for inspiration. Sure, some are better than others but they are all much more than the minimum. Animators, you have some drawing skills, why not put them on your resume and let your reel do the heavy lifting for the actual animation.
Having a unique resume also does much more than make you stand out from the crowd, it also showcases your independent capabilities as well as a willingness and passion for your work. Which are all good signs potential employers like to see.
Creating a nice resume may take a little time, but won’t that be time well spent if you land a job?
It’s a tough question that’s not too easy to answer straight off the bat. So let’s look at the advantages and disadvantages and compare them at the end, OK?
Having you own particular style of animation can have many advantages. Although it may sound tough to be unique in a market filled to the brim with creativity, there are always ways to make your own mark. A unique style can serve as a fantastic calling card. For example, look at the picture below. Can you tell who drew it? I bet you can.
Besides being instantly recogniseable, a particular style can serve you well in your films as well. Arguably Bruce Timm’s style of hard edges and stylized characters and backgrounds served the original Batman: The Animated Series very well and played a significant role in that TV show’s success.
The same goes for the likes of South Park. Yes, it is incredibly crude, but it suits the incredibly crude nature of the show and after so many seasons, it is impossible to imagine it any other way.
Is there anything else a certain style can help you out with? How about merchandising? It’s something that is not necessarily at the forefront of your mind when you create a TV show is it? Or is it? Did you know that Chowder creator C. H. Greenblatt supposedly designed Chowder with a plush toy in mind?
Forget the fact that Cartoon Network never took up the opportunity but think about how easy it would be to turn the round little guy into a toy. Chowder is not a toyetic show in the traditional sense, but it style does lend itself quite well to marketing.
Now the bad news. Can a style hurt your career? Sure, it is easy to become typecast into a particular style although a lot of the time, this could be due to a multitude of other reasons besides the style of your work alone.
In fact, if you think about all the poor animated films out there, the style normally doesn’t even factor into it. Why? Well for one, a lot of poor films attempt to copy successful styles and appear as such, and secondly there are usually even bigger problems with the likes of the story or script that overshadow the style.
As an animator, it is these problems that will be the ones you will have to watch more so than your style. Having said that, there are still plenty of opportunities to go wrong, especially in the are of character design. An area where many non-Disney animated films seemed to fall short (at least according to my mother).
The second danger with having a strong style is that it may go out of fashion. A great example are the fantastic Cartoon Modern TV shows and films put out in the 1950s and early 60s. As fantastic looking as these shorts are now, they apparently could not stay in style forever and by the end of the 1960s, it was extinct in the mainstream.
This is not fault of its own, just the whims of consumer taste. Just bear in mind that if you have a very strong, contemporary feel to your style, you should be prepared to adapt a new one at some point.
Overall, the reasons for adopting your own style far outweigh the disadvantages. Signs of uniqueness and individualism can go a long way in the creative arts (just ask Andy Warhol or Georgia O’Keefe). In animation, developing a particular style should be a priority when it comes to your personal films or indeed your creative pitches to others.
What are your thoughts on a unique animation style?