For the past few months I’ve been teaching 3 seperate classes in 2D hand drawn animation at Academy of Art in San Francisco, filling in for faculty teacher Daisy Church while she was out on maternity leave. Here is a photo of my final class, which was held just this morning; Traditional Animation 3 . (Sadly I did not think to get a photo of the other two classes; Trad 2 and Trad 4).
Although I’ve been working this animation racket for over over 30 years I’ve never taught it to others before. In one sense, this was being dropped into the deep end, teaching around 40 students in 3 seperate classes, but in another sense it was the best case scenario, in that I had Daisy’s well established curriculum to follow each week. Once I thought of myself not as a teacher but as a crew member, collaborating with students and brainstorming towards a creative goal (which is what I normally do anyway) it all clicked into place for me.
I’m not sure if teaching will be something I do often or simply a temporary thing, but it was a very interesting experience to work with these young artists, especially as I’m currently restoring a super-8 movie I made when I was 16 (just slightly younger than these students). The past few months have reminded me of the teen enthusiasm for animation that got me into this career in the first place, and took me around the world. Entering the animation industry will be so very different in 2017 San Francisco than it was for me back in 1982 Sydney that my advice about career specifics is almost meaningless, but hopefully I conveyed enough of the technical issues, and broader career strategies for the industry that these students love as much as I do, to make a difference to these young artists.
56 thoughts on “Animation Teaching”
So when are you coming to Sydney to do a summer school??
Ha Ha! That’s actually a lovely idea, Lisa.
James Baker https://www.aftrs.edu.au/short-courses
I taught storyboarding at the Academy- it’s a nice opportunity to pass on real- world, job tested, real life tools that work to people eager for the knowledge.
John Hays has been teaching that lately.
There’s a lot of ex Colossal and Wild Brainers teaching there now- what a break for the students!
Yeah, bumped into Ed Bell and Carl Willat as I left my final class!
Haahaa- and Tom Bertino from the old days at ILM was/ is in their faculty- I know Arnie Wong was teaching storyboarding as well-
Go Jamie! I want to take that class
My next symposium is in ‘Creative Ass Kissing 101’.
Jamie, you could probably get a full time teaching job there if you wanted to-
I might need more book learning for that, Kevin.
Hmmmm- well, grab a copy of Richard William’s book and dive on in!
Great to see. You look very happy, and should be. A satisfying, rewarding and commendable thing to do. They are lucky kids!
Have you ever done something similar, Deane? This was a first for me,
This is great <3
That’s awesome! Those are some lucky kids!
Thats so feakin cool Jamie!! They are lucky kids to get your knowledge! Right on!
That’s awesome Jamie, those kids are lucky to have you
A few of them look more haggard than lucky!
Yay Jamie. AAU is so lucky. That’s great indeed!
Did you teach someplace, Amber?
Yes, I was a grad student mentor at AAU way back. You may have some of my old binders there — Hopefully! And I’ve been one here at HU on and off.
Awesome, Jamie! 🌟👍
That’s awesome James
Excellent news! And you look like you fit right in.
“Professor Baker” has a nice ring to it.
Way to go Jamie!!
It really sounded like a fun class! Those students were lucky to have you as their teacher and mentor!
You the man!
That’s graeT Jamie.
Those lucky kids!
They get to pay to hear me pontificate!
…and watch The Simpsons.
Their final assignment was to animate a scene in the Simpsons style
Makes sense: awesome story teller + enthusiasm + patience = great teacher!
Way to go James, reminds me of the time I covered for John Elie at Grifith Uni.
I had a blast.
I wouldn’t say teaching is my ‘calling’ but it was interesting.
So glad for you Jamie, and well chuffed for your students – they are soooo lucky to have you!
Skill, style & wit – how fortunate are they!
Aw man, I’d do anything to be in that class.
Why u never teach me?!?!!?
What could I possibly teach YOU, Mr Renaissance man?
hey, thats great. also doing teaching for them but online. trying to get them to bring me down there and update my videos,will let you know.
These AAU students are too lucky to get you guys as teachers
Right back atcha, Ed!
Hope you and your students learn a lot and have fun doing it!
They are lucky to have you, Mr. baker!
BTW I might know Daisy if she is the one used to be an intern on “Valiant” back in 2003-2004. You actually might have met her when visited our office with Tony on Olympic Blvd in LA. Small world.
Pat, I did not know that Daisy worked on “Valiant” but that is interesting that maybe we had met before. The teaching gig is over now, but maybe I’ll get other opportunities to teach in future, who can say? My preferencel is to get back to being a professional artist as soon as I can.