Rich Murray, RichToons
I think there is an increasing demand for animators, but it's a matter of finding, or even seeking, new opportunities. The downturn in the world economy definitely affected the amount of content being developed for traditional media such as TV and movies. What I did with RichToons was to seek out the opportunities to where animation was not necessarily being applied, and that was the starting point for building my business. Who knew you could use animation to develop a web series for a mall? Or motivate a sales force to increase its sales? Or create a moving logo for a small production company? Or create a fun, interactive training application? Or create an animated story app for kids? I did. And then it was a matter of finding a solid client base that agreed.
Eric Lee, Steelhouse
The demand for animators is increasing daily. With more and more forms of media incorporating animation and interactivity, animation is being found everywhere. As a result, quality animators are in demand. On the other hand, animation-software and capabilities are becoming easier to come by, creating a larger number of people looking to get into the animation industry, so it is always important to learn principles/technique over software/tech in order to maintain an edge of quality over the competition.
Adam Jeffcoat, Studio NX
I would say decreasing as with a huge increase in schools and online animation courses the market has been flooded with animators and there's not enough jobs to go around. Luckily the video-game industry is doing well and is soaking a lot of people up.
Laurent Donnay, Managing Director of TouTenKartoon
Yes, the demand is increasing for the moment and why, well, because the animation used to be outsourced in East Asia for decades because of the price, but now, as the Digital Animation age is still young and affordable, Animation came back in western countries...but not for long I don't think.
Bert and Zeea Moss, Owners of the Untitled Project
I'd say there's a steady demand, but that's not the problem. The problem is that the college system is popping out animation grads at many times the rate that the industry can absorb. Some would say there's as many as 20 times as many art & animation grads as there are jobs for them. So there's going to be a lot of animation grads working in cubicles making PowerPoint presentations for big corporations, or some other soulless, boring jobs in the near future.
This is all the more reason to stand out from the crowd. It could also be a reason to not go to college and instead persuade your parent to blow your college fund on sponsoring you to make a film or TV series.
I have felt an increasing need for programers (web, games, application, everybody seems to be needing a programer today). If those programers also understand animation, narrative, storytelling they'll be able to make extraordinary things. The social media tools are making us write and read more than ever, we're -somehow- back to a mostly typographic form of communication. So, the next revolution should be visual, and animations should be a huge part of it.
Enoc Castaneda, bTrue Light Media
The future of animation is promising but in a state of flux, especially for animation companies and animators in North America. The good news is that over the lest few years there has been an increasing number of content delivery platforms and with that an increasing need for a variety animated content.
Daniel Beaudry, Zen Images
The demand and need for animators in the CGI field may be a bit slow since there is an increase of students searching for jobs--which is subsequently, creating an overflow of talent. In response, it’s harder for those that have weaker portfolios to find that dream job. The idea though is not to think about it, but to take positive actions: get out there and find a position that suits your experience. Don’t over rate your capacities, instead start out somewhere (or anywhere) and build up slowly but surely. It’s sad but let’s face the facts you have to be excellent, or else, your neighbour will bury you in their dust!
For more industry advice from our panel of experts check out other topics in our Interview Series.