Los Angeles Animation Jobs: Guide to Your Dream Career
Written by  Daisie Team
Published on 8 min read


  1. Overview of Animation Jobs in Los Angeles
  2. How to Prepare for a Career in Animation
  3. Finding Animation Jobs in Los Angeles
  4. Application Process for Animation Jobs
  5. How to Ace the Animation Job Interview
  6. Tips for Working in the Animation Industry in Los Angeles
  7. Challenges and Rewards of a Career in Animation

If you've been dreaming of being part of the animation industry, Los Angeles is the city where opportunities abound. The city is a hotbed for animation studios, from titans like Disney and DreamWorks to independent studios making a name for themselves. But landing a role in this competitive field requires more than just talent and passion. This guide will help you navigate the journey from preparation, job hunting, application process, and acing that interview, to finally working in LA's animation industry. Let's dive in and discover the top animator opportunities in Los Angeles!

Overview of Animation Jobs in Los Angeles

Los Angeles, also known as the "Creative Capital of the World," is home to an impressive number of animation studios. This city is a hub for top animator opportunities, offering a variety of roles for those ready to bring their talent and creativity to the table.

Start with the big names. Studios like Disney, DreamWorks, and Pixar, are always on the lookout for fresh talent to join their teams. These companies have a long history of producing world-renowned animated films and series, and being part of them could be a dream come true for many. Positions in these companies often range from storyboard artists, character designers, to animation directors.

But don't forget about the smaller, independent animation studios too. Studios like Titmouse and Bento Box Entertainment also offer unique opportunities for animators. They often allow more creative freedom and might give you the chance to work on a variety of projects, from TV shows to video games, and even virtual reality experiences.

Los Angeles also hosts a thriving video game industry with companies like Riot Games and Blizzard Entertainment, where animators can find roles creating dynamic characters and immersive environments.

And of course, there's the freelance route. Many animators choose to work independently, taking on projects from various clients. This path offers flexibility but also requires a high level of self-discipline and business acumen.

Remember, each of these paths presents its own unique opportunities and challenges. It's about finding the one that aligns best with your career goals and personal preferences. But no matter which path you choose, Los Angeles offers some of the top animator opportunities around.

How to Prepare for a Career in Animation

So, you're ready to chase your dream in animation, but where do you start? Here are some steps to prepare yourself for grabbing those top animator opportunities in Los Angeles.

1. Education: A degree in animation, graphic design, or a related field can give you a solid foundation. Many colleges and universities in and around Los Angeles, such as the California Institute of the Arts and University of Southern California, offer these programs. But remember, a degree is not the only pathway into animation. Online courses and self-teaching are also viable options. What matters most is your skill and creativity.

2. Skills Development: Animation is a blend of art and technology. So, it's important to master the necessary software like Adobe After Effects, Maya, or Blender. But don't forget the traditional art skills. Drawing, storytelling, and understanding of movement and timing are all crucial for an animator.

3. Portfolio Building: A strong portfolio showcasing your best work is a must. It is what potential employers will look at to gauge your talent and style. Include diverse work that shows your ability to animate different characters and scenarios. Don't forget to keep updating it with your latest work.

4. Networking: In a city like LA, who you know can often be as important as what you know. Attend industry events and workshops, join online forums and local animation groups to connect with like-minded individuals. These connections could lead to job opportunities, collaborations, or simply valuable advice.

5. Gain Experience: Internships or entry-level jobs can provide hands-on experience and a peek into the industry's workings. They also add valuable entries to your resume and can sometimes lead to full-time positions.

Remember, the journey to becoming an animator is not a sprint, but a marathon. It takes time, patience, and a whole lot of practice. But with the right preparation, you'll be on your way to grabbing those top animator opportunities in Los Angeles!

Finding Animation Jobs in Los Angeles

Now that you're all geared up and ready to dive into the world of animation, let's talk about how to land those top animator opportunities in Los Angeles.

1. Online Job Portals: Websites like Indeed, Glassdoor, and LinkedIn are a great place to start. You can filter by location, job title, company, and even by experience level. Make sure to set up job alerts so you're the first to know when new opportunities pop up!

2. Company Websites: Many animation studios, like Disney, Pixar, and DreamWorks, post job openings on their own websites. Make sure to check these regularly to stay in the loop.

3. Recruitment Agencies: Agencies like The Creative Group or Vitamin T specialize in creative industries and can help connect you with potential employers. These services can be especially handy if you're new to the industry or the area.

4. Networking: Remember those industry events and animation groups we talked about? They can also be a great source of job leads. You never know who might know of an opening or be looking to hire someone with your skills.

As you start your job search, remember to stay patient and persistent. Finding the perfect job can sometimes take time. And remember, every application and interview is a learning experience and a step closer to your dream job in animation. Good luck!

Application Process for Animation Jobs

Once you've spotted those top animator opportunities in Los Angeles, the next step is to apply. But how do you make your application stand out from the crowd? Here are some tips:

1. Tailor Your Resume: Your resume needs to speak directly to the job you're applying for. Highlight relevant skills, experiences, and projects. Did you create a stunning 3D animation for a school project? Include it. Have you interned at a reputable animation studio? Make sure to mention it!

2. Showcase Your Portfolio: In the animation industry, your portfolio is your golden ticket. It's what showcases your skills and creativity. Include a variety of pieces that show your versatility as an animator. And remember, quality over quantity is the rule.

3. Write a Stellar Cover Letter: Don't underestimate the power of a good cover letter. This is your chance to tell your story, highlight your passion for animation, and explain why you're the perfect fit for the job. Make it count!

4. Practice Makes Perfect: If you're lucky enough to be called for an interview, use this opportunity to shine. Practice common interview questions and be ready to discuss your portfolio in detail.

Remember, every animation studio is different, so the application process might vary. But these steps are a good starting point. Now, go get 'em, future animator!

How to Ace the Animation Job Interview

So, you've applied for some of the top animator opportunities in Los Angeles and you've landed an interview. Great job! But now, the real work begins. Interviews can be nerve-wracking, but with a little preparation, you can make a solid impression. Here's how:

1. Know Your Audience: Before your interview, do some homework on the studio. Understand their style, their most successful projects, and even some of their key team members. This will show your interviewer that you're serious about the opportunity.

2. Understand the Job: Make sure you fully understand the job description and the skills needed. This will help you better respond to questions and demonstrate how you're the perfect fit for the role.

3. Be Ready to Discuss Your Work: Your portfolio got you the interview, so be prepared to talk about it. Discuss your thought process, the tools you used, and the challenges you overcame. This gives the interviewer insight into how you work.

4. Ask Questions: Interviews are a two-way street. Asking thoughtful questions shows that you're interested in the role and the studio. It could be about the team you'll be working with, the projects you'll be working on, or even the studio's culture.

5. Follow Up: After the interview, send a thank you note or email. This can go a long way in leaving a positive impression.

Remember, interviews are a chance for both you and the studio to see if you're a good fit for each other. So, be yourself, stay positive, and let your passion for animation shine through. You've got this!

Tips for Working in the Animation Industry in Los Angeles

Alright! You managed to ace the interview and secure one of the top animator opportunities in Los Angeles. You're all ready to dip your toes in the vibrant animation industry of the city. But how do you navigate this exciting yet demanding field? Here are some tips:

1. Never Stop Learning: The animation industry is ever-evolving, with new techniques and tools being introduced all the time. Stay up-to-date with the latest trends and always be open to learning new skills.

2. Network, Network, Network: Los Angeles is a hub for animation. Attend industry events, join groups, and connect with other professionals. Building a strong network can open up new opportunities and provide valuable advice.

3. Work on Your Soft Skills: Besides your animation skills, studios also value teamwork, communication, and problem-solving skills. Working on these can make you a more valuable team member.

4. Take Care of Your Health: Animation can mean long hours in front of a screen. Remember to take breaks, maintain good posture, and keep a healthy work-life balance.

5. Be Patient: Success doesn't come overnight. It will take time to build your career, so don't get discouraged if things don't go as planned right away. Keep creating, keep improving, and your hard work will pay off.

Working in the animation industry in Los Angeles is an exciting journey. Keep these tips in mind, stay passionate about your craft, and you'll surely make your mark. Happy animating!

Challenges and Rewards of a Career in Animation

As you venture into the animation industry, especially in a city like Los Angeles where the stakes are high, you will encounter a mixture of challenges and rewards. Here's what you need to know:

1. High Competition: Los Angeles is filled with talented artists, so the competition for top animator opportunities can be fierce. You have to constantly refine your skills and bring your A-game to every project. But remember, every challenge is an opportunity to grow!

2. Demanding Deadlines: Animation projects often come with tight deadlines. This can mean long hours and high levels of stress. But there's nothing quite like the rush of meeting a deadline and seeing your work come to life on screen.

3. Constant Learning Curve: With the pace at which technology is advancing, there's always something new to learn. This can be overwhelming, but also incredibly rewarding for those who love to learn and grow.

4. Creative Satisfaction: Despite the challenges, working in animation provides immense creative satisfaction. From conceptualizing ideas to bringing them to life, it's a process that's both challenging and fulfilling.

5. Impactful Work: Animation has the power to tell stories that resonate with people, cross cultural boundaries, and even change perspectives. There's a certain joy in knowing that your work can have such a profound impact.

To sum it up, a career in animation, especially in Los Angeles, is like a roller coaster ride. It's filled with ups and downs, twists and turns. But at the end of the day, the thrill of the ride makes it all worth it!

If you're eager to pursue a career in animation and want to learn more about breaking into the industry, check out Michy's workshop, 'How Do I Get Into Animation?.' This workshop will provide you with valuable insights and guidance on how to land your dream animation job in Los Angeles.