Working as an animator is one of the best things in life, but that is just my opinion.
Having an occupation where you can entertain and influence other people while doing something you find fulfilling is a rare thing to find. Especially if you have the mindset to only chase safe jobs devoid of surprises or challenges.
Another great perk of being an animator is the option to work remotely.
Despite applying for many on-site jobs, I have only worked from home in these last two years.
Mainly due to me often being employed by studios who just wants me to work on a quick job, or hire me on to save a project from the horrors of deadlines.
I do still chase the on-site jobs, where I can work side-by-side with fellow animators and artists, but I do still love the comfort of sitting on my big recliner chair, with a big cup of coffee at my side, and my custom-built PC in front of me.
I can give a couple of tips on how to be a stay-at-home animator.
One of the more important things of working from home is being able to communicate. Very often you'll be bombarded with e-mails from your employer with new assignments, new directions, and new critiques.
Having a trustworthy internet connection is then key. I often struggle with my internet in my area, so often that in my current house hunting I am only considering areas with great connection. Be sure you have a great provider.
When you are working from home, just like in any other offices, you need a work horse. A beast that can handle almost every task. This is especially important if you work in CG animation, as I often do. Make sure to research properly and extensively for that one computer you need, and never overpay. It might be tempting to get the £1000 PC that promises to do everything you cannot do, but often time it is better to shop smart. Find the one that suits your requirements more, rather then adding stuff you don't really need.
Lastly, be comfortable. One of the chief perks of working from home is the relaxed environment. Invest in a proper chair, a nice desk, and a good coffee machine. Spruce up your office with decorations, entertainment, and motivations. Your work output will increase dramatically if you make the effort to make yourself feel relaxed at work.
My apology for this week's blog post being so short.
I am currently working on two huge projects and I'm gearing up for some major job interviews.
Not sure what I'll post next week, but I'm planning a small character animation tutorial in the near future.
Thank you for reading, and have a good week.
Welcome to the first proper blog post of this site.
I thought I could start it off by divulging in information about where I come from, where I went, and what I am planning for the future.
I am a Norwegian and I was raised in a small town called Skjetten in Eastern-Norway, not far from Oslo. Nothing hugely exciting about this town unless you are really into football. Which I wasn't.
Skjetten is a great place to grow up in, but it didn't have much for me to want to stick around. My first proper taste of independence came when I was 19 and started at the Folkehøgskolen in Fana, near Bergen.
For those unaware of this chiefly Scandinavian practice, a Folkehøgskole is a private school where students live and study for a year doing pretty much whatever they wish. A good place for anyone wanting to try out on their own in a safe environment.
In Fana I studied Cinematography. My first step into the world of film, as I had set my eyes on becoming a Film Director. A lofty dream considering I was heavily introverted at the time and had problems communicating with other people, but I stuck with my ambitions none the less. At least I made very good friends, who I still keep in touch with to this day.
Afterwards I started studying Film History and Theory in Lillehammer University College, which I hoped was a clever academic move towards getting accepted into the film school. It didn't come to pass, but it was a important life lesson none the less for me to set my goals more straight.
While studying Illustration at the Telemark University College I was largely feeling unsure about what I wanted in life. I felt pretty pointless at that stage. However, it was at this point that I got more interested in the art and mechanics of animation. This set my eyes on the prospects of studying animation abroad, as animation studies in Norway was still quite limited and very hard to apply for.
Then things changed. The next year I was accepted into the Animation & VFX course at Falmouth University and was now suddenly on my way to England. From Heathrow I took a coach that was provided by the school, and I remember looking out the window as we crossed the Tamar Bridge and entered Cornwall that I found this region to be rather peculiar. Palm Trees in England? Bizarre. Warm sunny weather? Even more bizarre.
I enjoyed myself immensely in Cornwall, and studying at the Falmouth University was an absolute treat as I got to experience an education system that actually paid attention to your progress and did its best to make you succeed, while at the same time letting you do whatever you want to reach your goals.
Three years flew past as I got to enjoy the Cornish weather, make more friends, achieve a degree, and gain a career that I could call my true purpose.
I moved north to Scotland so that I could live with my girlfriend, who I have been in a relationship with for six years and counting. Things got difficult at this point, I got to admit. Jobs were few and far between as I didn't have much job experience and a fairly weak showreel. I did manage to get enough to keep myself afloat, but I continued to chase the big ones.
At the beginning of this year that big one finally arrived. Will Adams, the co-founder of Once Were Farmers in Glasgow, was generous enough to offer me a job on a project for BBC. We had met before, but I was always worried that I hadn't made much of an impression for him to keep me in mind for future jobs. Thankfully he did, and I got to work on the Bitesize Maths series. It was a lot of fun, and under the directions of Rory Lowe I learned so much about animation production that I didn't learn from the University.
Thanks to this job opportunity I was shortly afterwards offered a job at the Cornish studio Spider-Eye Animation by Erica Darby, where I got to work on a massive project for Turner Broadcasting called The Happos Family.
It was an insane amount of fun, and I am glad I got to experience it all after such a long time of uncertainty that I would even make it as an animator.
Animation is my passion and I love every frame of it. My goals is so much clearer after I've discovered my enthusiasm for the art, and I've set my mind on working hard to achieve even more from this.
I want to work on more children animation, I want to use my skills to teach people, and one day I wish to write and direct my own animated short. Ten years ago I would have considered this all lofty goals, but now it seems a lot more clearer and reachable.
Thank you for reading, and have a good week.
- Patrick Høiseth
All the photos you see above are available for purchase on my Artflakes profile.
My name is Patrick Høiseth. I am an Animator who mainly work in CG productions, but also have experience with Flash/2D animation.