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15 tips to get a job in animation

Updated on 2 February 2024

Head of Art at Axis Studios, Jon Beeston, reveals the dos and don’ts of snagging your ideal job in the animation industry:

Quick, easy, no commitment!
  1. Be prepared

    Have a CV and business cards ready. We see hundreds of candidates at these events; it’s a great idea to leave a CV or business card so we have your details on hand.

  2. Do your homework

    Research the companies you are intending to speak to, know their work and style. We don’t only want to see what you can do but if you will fit into the team or project. Our company culture is super important to us – take a look for yourself.

  3. Look at our current vacancies

    At Axis we’re always looking for new talent, it’s always useful to get an idea of what positions we’re looking to fill on our website. Sometimes we’re hiring for specific projects – right now we’re hiring for SyFy’s new adaptation of the graphic novel, Happy for instance.

  4. Don’t show your portfolio on a mobile phone!

    If you don’t have a laptop or tablet it’s worth investing in printing your portfolio. Showing your portfolio on your phone doesn’t show off your work. And if you do have a laptop or tablet, make sure it is charged.

  5. Be well presented and polite

    It isn’t just your portfolio you are presenting it is also yourself. Keep a smart appearance and remember, manners make the man, or woman, or person, or posthuman, or transpeciest…

  6. Be sober

    It might be obvious but you’d be surprised!

  7. Be on time

    If you have an allotted time slot be on time, it’s unprofessional and could cut into your time to present your work.

  8. Don’t show work under NDA

    You might have an amazing piece of work that you think could land you your next job, but under no circumstances put anything in your portfolio that you are not authorised to show. A studio’s relationship with a client is very important, if you are breaking a confidential agreement to showing us work then we cannot trust you to keep any agreement you sign with Axis. This will always go against you.

  9. Be patient

    We do our best to stick to allocated time slots, but sometimes, there’s a lot of ground to cover; if we’re talking to someone, don’t interrupt.

  10. Be aware of the difference between recruitment and folio reviews

    If we’re recruiting, we’re probably not doing folio reviews. Having said that, we’re usually happy to look and review if we have time.

  11. Quality, quantity, consistency and if possible variety

    If you can tackle a diversity of styles, subjects and genres with consistency, quality and quantity that’s great to see. So is excelling in one particular area. ‘T’ type people are great to see; a broad range of skills forming the cross bar on the T but then an ability to drill down and focus on one specialist area forms the vertical.

  12. Focus your folio

    Put the type of work that you’re primarily interested up front in your folio, followed by other areas of interest and any support material such as sketches etc. towards the rear.

  13. Don’t tell us your failures

    Pointing out where you think we’ve failed or where you could have done things ‘way better’ isn’t always a good way to start a conversation…

  14. Be clear in your follow-up

    When following up with us through email, be sure to put your name, the place where you spoke to us and the type of work you’re interested/position you’re applying for all in the subject line, that gives us context to your mail at a quick glance i.e. Jon Beeston – In the Hardware Store – Plumber.

  15. Remember to breathe

    Yes, recruiting events can be daunting, but it’s important to remember to try and stay calm; if you pass out because you’re not breathing it really scares us!

Join Axis Studios at XDS (7–9 September), Cartoon Forum (11–15 September), THU (18–23 September) and Venture Fest (20 September). For a full list of vacancies, click here.

Reviewed by , Managing Director

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