How To Become An Animator: A Step-by-Step Guide

Animation is a highly creative and in-demand field that allows you to bring your imagination to life. As an animator, you have the power to create characters, stories, and worlds through your unique artistic skills and techniques.

But how do you become an animator? What steps should you take to turn your passion into a successful career? In this guide, we will outline the steps you need to follow to become an animator, from education and training to building your portfolio and finding job opportunities.

Step 1: Build Your Artistic Foundation

Animation requires a strong foundation in traditional art skills such as drawing, painting, and sculpting. These skills are essential for creating believable and visually appealing characters and environments. Many animators start honing their skills at a young age, but it’s never too late to start.

Take courses in art and drawing, practice regularly, and study the works of other artists to develop your own style. Don’t be afraid to experiment and try new techniques; this will help you stand out as an animator.

Step 2: Get Familiar with Animation Software

In today’s digital age, most animation is created using software and tools such as Adobe Animate, Toon Boom Harmony, and Maya. It’s important to familiarize yourself with these programs and understand their features and capabilities.

Many of these software programs offer free trials or educational versions for students. Take advantage of these opportunities to practice and improve your skills.

Step 3: Pursue Education and Training

While it’s possible to learn animation on your own, pursuing formal education and training can give you a competitive edge in the industry. Consider enrolling in an animation program at a university or art school, where you can learn both traditional and digital animation techniques from experienced professionals.

You can also take online courses and workshops to supplement your education and learn specific skills or software programs.

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Step 4: Build Your Portfolio

As an animator, your portfolio is your most important tool for showcasing your skills and securing job opportunities. Include a variety of work in different styles and techniques to demonstrate your versatility as an artist.

When building your portfolio, focus on quality over quantity. Choose only your best and most relevant work to showcase. Keep it updated regularly and tailor it for different job opportunities.

Step 5: Network and Gain Experience

Networking is crucial in any creative field, including animation. Attend industry events, join online communities, and connect with other professionals in the field.

You can also gain experience through internships or freelance projects. This not only helps you build your portfolio but also gives you valuable hands-on experience in the industry.

Step 6: Apply for Jobs and Be Persistent

Finding job opportunities as an animator can be challenging, so don’t get discouraged if it takes time to secure a position. Keep applying for jobs and be persistent in showcasing your skills and passion for animation.

Consider starting with smaller studios or working on short films or freelance projects to gain experience and build your resume. Over time, as you continue to improve and expand your network, more opportunities will become available.


Becoming an animator takes dedication, hard work, and a passion for creating art through animation. By following these steps and continuously learning and improving your skills, you can turn your dream of becoming an animator into a reality. So go ahead and bring your imagination to lifeā€”the world is waiting for your animated creations! So, don’t hesitate to take the first step towards becoming an animator and start building your artistic foundation today. Remember, it’s never too late to follow your passion and turn it into a successful career in animation.

Keep learning, keep practising, and always stay inspired. With determination and perseverance, you can make your mark in the world of animation and bring joy to audiences all around the globe. Good luck on your journey to becoming an animator!