I am experiencing a slow down with regards to getting work in animation. I think the whole industry in general was affected by the recent downturn in the economy. It was not later than a year ago that I get to work on two productions simultaneously. Now, most of the response that I get from all my job inquiry emails are courtesy letters informing me that they are not currently hiring at the moment.
I have a feeling that it would be very hard for me to grab another animation gig anytime soon, especially as a freelancer. There are no major animation studios here in Calgary; most of my previous contract work I got from Vancouver and recently as far as New Brunswick. Most of these studios at this time could only hire in-house artists, which leaves me out of the equation. What makes it even harder is that there is a tax credit program that only applies for local talents only, which effectively singles me out more and makes my chances even slimmer. The only way I might get a chance at being hired again is if I relocate to Vancouver or Toronto or wherever there is a studio that has an ongoing production right now.
Relocation for me at present is not feasible. No matter how I think about going about on doing it, the more I find it impractical for me, financial and emotional-wise.
I eventually bit the bullet and started job hunting outside my field of expertise. It was not easy to do as my qualifications are from a specialized field so getting companies to take a look at my resume takes a lot of re-wording of my qualifications and skills. I would spend days job hunting online and would send countless cover letters and emails to various companies, some of which are even long shots. It gets really frustrating as the days go by and I could not even score one single interview.
But as luck would have it, I was eventually able to land one, and it was not a surprise to me that it involved a bit about photography. After my interview, the company decided to give me a chance and I am now undergoing training in a field totally out of my league. It’s completely out of my comfort zone as this new job requires constant interaction with people, completely opposite from my previous experience working here alone in my home studio. Although I am completely terrified of it at the start, I am starting to feel more excited about the prospect of advancing in this new field. The work is part-time at the moment; should another animation gig land on my lap anytime soon, I would still be able to work on both simultaneously with no problems.
I intend to commit to this new job. I find it would be a great companion to my animation career. It will be more stable and not cyclical, unlike in animation where we get off and on seasons, just like what we have right now.
I still love animation, but I have to do something to fill in the hours now that there is no work around at the moment.