When it comes to applying for animation jobs, your portfolio is one of the most important parts of your application because it’s one of the pieces that shows off your technical expertise and your work history – so it’s important to get it right.
On this page, we’ve included our top Dos and Don’ts for animation portfolios (you can find our top tips for animation demo reels on this page).
*Don’t forget to check out our job board if you are looking for a new animation job to see who’s currently recruiting in the space.*
Include A Decent Number Of Pieces:
In your animation portfolio, it’s always worth including a good selection of projects which show off your depth and breadth of work. Not sure about numbers? We’d suggest including between 15 and 20 projects which show off your best work in a variety of formats, including drawings, sketch books, digital work, contextual research and any examples of stop motion work. Depending on your role, you may also want to include examples of life drawing and character design. This will show that you’re an experienced animator who is talented in a number of key areas.
Take The Employer On A Visual Journey:
It sounds really cheesy to say it but when it comes to your animation portfolio, it’s important to take the employer on a bit of a visual journey into your past – so you need to think carefully about the order in which you put your portfolio in – hint: shoving your work in your portfolio in any random order isn’t going to cut it. When it comes to the journey, consider which elements of your portfolio are the most relevant to the job you’re applying for – and consider placing these at the front of your portfolio where a prospective employer is almost guaranteed to look at.
Make An Impact:
At the end of the day, you only get one chance to impress a potential employer from a major studio with your portfolio so it’s important to make sure it makes an impact and really catches their eye. Be sure to include projects which are bright, colourful and stand out for all the right reasons (we’ll talk about this more in the ‘DON’T’ section).
Include Work Which You Don’t Have Approval For:
Completed an animation project under an NDA? We’d really urge you against including it in your portfolio if you’ve not sought out express permission to include it in your portfolio. Why? Because there’s a chance you could get into a lot of trouble, particularly if the client was a major studio that was trying to protect their IP!
Include Work To Fill Up Space:
Don’t have 15 to 20 strong pieces of animation work to fill up your portfolio but have 10 really strong pieces and 5 OKish pieces? We’d definitely urge you to leave out the 5 OKish pieces. Why? Because your OKish pieces might let down the rest of your portfolio and make an employer question your skills and suitability for the role. Instead, include your 10 strongest pieces which you’re really proud of and which you think will help you land the job you’re applying for.
Include Inappropriate Imagery:
When putting your animation portfolio together, you need to think carefully about which projects and imagery are appropriate for the employer you’re applying to. For example, if you’re applying to a really family-friendly studio like Pixar, you probably shouldn’t include any images which are overtly sexual or offensive. Why? Because it’s just not appropriate and will make the employer really question your suitability for the role.