My thanks to animator and cartoonist Alex Williams for agreeing to this short interview. Alex’s animation credits include Who Framed Rodger Rabbit, The Princess and the Cobbler, The Lion King, and The Iron Giant.
In 2012, Alex founded Animation Apprentices. I’m incredibly grateful to him for doing so, because it’s where I studied character animation, allowing me to start a career I love.
Q: What is Animation Apprentices for those who might not know?
A: Animation Apprentice is an online animation school specialising in 3D animation.
Q: What made you want to start an online, distance learning animation course?
A: I had done a lot of classroom teaching over the years, and could see the benefits of learning online. If you miss something in a classroom, or are late, or off sock, you can fall behind, but this doesn’t happen online. Online study is such a flexible system, and I personally prefer to learn this way.
Q: The method of learning at Animation Apprentice is different from what you’d likely find at a school or University setting. What is the biggest advantage that your course has, in your opinion?
A: Flexibility is the biggest advantage. Students at Animation Apprentice can study from all over the world without giving up their day job or moving away from their families. Not that many people can commit to a course of classroom study away from home.
Q: How would you respond to people who are worried online courses aren’t sufficient - that you need a degree to be hired as an animator?
A: You don’t need a degree to be an animator. Employers don’t care if you have a degree or not; they only want to know if you can do the work. A great demo reel showcasing your work is all you need – this is far more important than a degree. A degree matters only if you want to have a career teaching in higher education, in which case most universities will have certain minimum requirements.
Q: When does the next course start, and where can we go to sign up?
A: The next course starts on Monday 5th March, and you can sign up at www.animationapprentice.org