Monday, September 25, 2017

"I Moved to LA to Work in Animation" new 112-page graphic novel

I moved to LA in 2015 to storyboard for animation studios. I get a lot of questions from artists who are interested in making similar career moves themselves. I wanted to make a comic about my experience, half for me and half for anyone looking for information about LA / storyboarding for animation. It took a LOT of my weekends over the past year, but I turned all of my experiences and feelings and things I wanted to tell my younger self into a graphic novel!
(The 112-page graphic novel is coming December 2018 from BOOM! Box - check out the press release and some preview pages HERE)

Thank you to everyone who sent me your questions when I put the call out earlier this year, and thank you to Molly, Diana, Matt, Paul, Lissa, Erika, and Luis for the proof-reading and encouragement.

Note: Please do not send me your portfolio or your work; I cannot look at it. I wish you all of the best, and I hope that this comic and the resources below will help you, but I cannot mentor you or give you individual feedback. Thank you for understanding.  Good luck!



Let me know in the comments if any links are broken or you think I’m missing something important. If you’re more interested in resources for a career in comics, check out this post.

Different story artists’ advice to check out:
Anthony Holden's comic about gaining life experience before working in a studio:
Toniko Pantoja's tips for Story Portfolios:
Matt Jones’ Dreamworks Feature story test:
Karen J Lloyd’s tips for storyboard tests:
Studios / job portal links:
Disney Television Animation:
South Park Studios:
Nord-Ouest films:
Moonbot Studios:
ToonBox Entertainment:
Yapiko Animation:
Bent Image Lab:
Chez Soi / Studio Soi in Germany:
Banjo Studio:
Film Roman:
Bardel Entertainment:
Deep Sky Studios:
Man of Action Entertainment:
Monster (aggregate job site):
Indeed (aggregate job site):
Entertainment Careers (aggregate job site):
Creative Heads (aggregate job site):   
AFJV – French aggregate job site with primarily video game art positions, many of which seek English-speaking candidates:

Free online tutorials:
Flooby Nooby: a free, online crash course in storyboarding for animation:
Mark Kennedy’s blog Seven Golden Camels:
Alex Grigg: animating in PS (“phantom limb”)
Cheatin' production blog:

Courses / academic programs:
Concept Design Academy:
California State Summer School for the Arts animation program:
Tron Mai’s story classes (normally at CDA, but do your own search for the latest info)
Rad Sechrist:
Schoolism (I recommend Alex Woo's gesture drawing class!):  

Animation organizations:
Women In Animation:
The Animation Guild:

Los Angeles Animation Festival:
Center Stage Gallery:
Model Drawing Collective Empowering Models/Inspiring Artists life drawing:

Contemporary story artists to follow / study:
Louie del Carmen:

A few story art masters:

Storyboard animatics to watch and study:
Lego Movie clips by various artists:
Kiki’s Delivery Service:
Glen Keane thumbnails from Tarzan:
Star Vs The Forces of Evil:

Framed Ink by Marcos Mateu Mestre
Storyboards: Motion in Art by Mark Simon
100 Tuesday Tips by Griz and Norm
Art of Storyboard by Don Bluth
Five C’s of Cinematography
Animation Writing and Development: from Script to Pitch
Directing the Story by Francis Glebas
Shot by Shot
Setting Up Your Shots by Jeremy Vineyard
Story by Robert McKee
The Visual Story by Bruce Block

Other resources:
Glassdoor – employees review the companies they work for and report their real salaries:
Every Frame a Painting:
Chris Oatley's website: 
Disney’s Zootopia documentary, "Imagining Zootopia" has lots of great footage, including the actual story room and what story discussions are like.
Some figure drawing sites if you can't go to sessions in person: