CIU111 – Social Media and Your Career

Hello, and welcome to my last blog post for CIU111!

This week our topic of discussion and lecture material was ‘Social Media and Your Career’. Looking at a number of concepts and ideas to aid in setting up your own social media on a number of platforms, this week’s material also examined ways in which you can more effectively reach, and engage your audience. The coursework also provided some techniques to aid in defining what you’re trying to gain, or get back, from your social media presence and how it can have a positive impact for you professionally.

why-are-we-on-facebook-social-media-comic
(Why Are We On Facebook?, n.d.)

The way I have tended to use social media from a personal perspective, has always leaned towards the consumption, and discussion of content. However I have always been fairly passive when it comes to writing my own posts, or sharing content that I have created.
Since I have started this course, I have realised the importance of starting to roll out my own social media in order to help promote my work. I have also started to research and follow other artist’s social media presence, while beginning to involve myself in online communities based on my potential work in the animation field, such as cgsociety.org and polycount.com.

I came across a DIY Social Media Plan, during my research into this week’s topic. Provided by Arts Access Australia, the plan poses a number of questions relating to topics examining the curation, creation and maintenance of your social media. A copy of the plan is located at http://www.artsaccessaustralia.org/resources/advice-sheets/440-diy-social-media-plan and I found it to be a helpful guide when it comes to planning my own social media presence.
(Arts Access Australia, n.d.)

It has become more apparent throughout the reading of this week’s coursework, that if, as an artist, you’re not taking advantage of the resources or opportunities that can be created by employing a strong social media presence, then you are only hurting your career. (Zimmerman, 2014)

There appears to be some very common sense themes running through most of the material I have read on the subject. Some simple tips include:

  • Have a plan – It might seem obvious, but well defined goals will help get your social media working for you.
  • Define your brand identity – Having a clear identity linking your social media platforms and your overall marketing, and can give potential customers a strong sense of your business goals and work.
  • Manage your social media presence – It is important to make sure that you are able to manage your social media platforms comfortably, and that there is a consistency of message and information across the board.
  • Publish regular and relevant content – Content can take the form of a wide range of media created by you, or it can be content created by someone else that you are sharing. It is important to have a good balance of both.
  • Cultivate and engage with your online community – If you are able to engage with your audience, and interact with them, on top of providing them well curated content, they will feel more invested in your brand, and your community of potential customers will continue to grow.
  • Make the most of analytics – There are many single or multi-platform analytics tools available for use with the major social media platforms. These can provide useful data such as what types or topics of content your audience is finding most engaging, what time of day is most popular for viewing your content, what nationality your audience is, and many others. This data can help you better curate your content in the future.
    (Catlett, 2014)

I also found this video from Wacom, featuring some art industry professionals, very insightful with it’s handy tips and tricks regarding their social media use.

(Wacom, 2014)

I found this weeks course material to be extremely valuable and well timed. As I mentioned earlier, setting up a solid social media platform is something that has been on my radar lately, and so it was good to be able to get some more structure and thought behind my planning.
This knowledge, combined with what we learned about networking a few weeks ago, will be invaluable to my career moving forward and I look forward to putting it into effect!

References

Arts Access Australia. (n.d.). DIY Social Media Plan. Retrieved fromhttp://www.artsaccessaustralia.org/resources/advice-sheets/440-diy-social-media-plan

Catlett, R. (2014). 13 Tips To Build Your Social Media Presence. Retrieved fromhttp://www.business2community.com/social-media/13-tips-build-social-media-presence-01052908#RbquDw7IgKQCgeqY.97

Wacom. (2014, January 29). Using Social Media To Boost Artists’ Brands. [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e4g8OQdU9ko

Why Are We On Facebook? [Image] (n.d.) Retrieved fromhttp://www.socmedsean.com/50-social-media-comics-and-cartoons-for-use-your-presentations/

Zimmerman, C. (2014). How Artists Can Use Social Media to Discover and Promote Their Voice. Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/carlota-zimmerman/how-artists-can-use-socia_b_4756824.html

 

 

CIU111 – Inclusive Design

Hello, and welcome back!

Our coursework for this week explored the topic of Inclusive Design. A broad and far-reaching topic, inclusive design looks at areas and ways in which, with a little bit of planning and forethought, art and media can be designed to include commonly overlooked and discriminated against areas of society and culture.

Some of the areas that the course material looked at were:

  • Accessibility in design and ways in which media can cater for people with disabilities that can affect the way that they consume content.
  • Racial diversity (or the lack thereof) in media. As well as cultural appropriation and stereotyping.
  • Gender and sexuality, with a focus on equalities such as more female roles in stories and media, not overtly sexualising all female characters and designs, and being diverse and respectful with portrayal of characters with varying sexual orientations.
  • Diversity in the job market, and the ways in which men and women compete differently in both the world of gaming and the job market.
girls_and_videogames_by_eleyonart-d5vmcve
(Girls and Videogames by IreneMartini, n.d.)

While I have had to deal with some accessibility issues in my previous line of study (multimedia), it was interesting to look at how it affects other industries.

I do try to be mindful of, and inclusive when it comes to my dealing with the other social issues mentioned in this week’s coursework in my everyday life, however, it was good to see how it applies specifically to the creative media industries.

Having recently been watching a lot of traditional 2D animation from the early days of Disney and Warner Bros, one area that I thought would be interesting to explore further from this weeks topics is that of racism in the animation industry.

Cartoons are a medium that by their very nature, rely heavily on caricature and exaggeration to help convey story and humour. (Amidi, 2012) In the early 1900’s, a lot of the racist stereotypes prevalent in animation were introduced due to crossover from comic strips of the time. Typical depictions of racial stereotypes are consistent across both mediums, however for visual humour to work, characters and imagery tend to be simplified and exaggerated. This often results in a negative stereotype, with Asians, African-Americans, Italians, Jews and the Irish regularly portrayed using negative caricatures in the early days of animation. This practice was common place from the early 1900’s, right through World War II when Japanese and German soldiers were portrayed using racist stereotypes. (Dubb, n.d.)

By the end of the 1940’s, racist stereotypes had for the most part disappeared from the animations of larger studios such as Warner Bros. (Cohen, 1997, p. 54)
Fortunately today, most people find derogatory and racist stereotypes to be offensive and grotesque, and these forms of caricature, as a result, have largely vanished from modern animation. (Cohen, 1997, p. 49)

(ETC News, 2014)

Inclusivity is a topic of very important discussion in today’s society, and I found it very helpful to look at it in some depth from a creative media perspective.
As artists, I believe it is very important for us to not only portray and discuss current social issues and topics, but also pave a way for positive change when we have the opportunity to do so. And while the animation medium will always use caricatures and exaggeration to effectively tell a story, it is important to think about your portrayal of characters from different perspectives to make sure you’re not offending or excluding people from your audience.

Thanks for reading!

References

Amidi, A. (2012). The Problem With Cartoons: They’re All Racist!. Retrieved from http://www.cartoonbrew.com/cartoon-culture/the-problem-with-cartoons-theyre-all-racist-64889.html

Cohen, K. F. (1997). Forbidden Animation: Censored Cartoons and Blacklisted Animators in America. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company, Inc.

Dubb, R. (n.d.). Racism in Animation. Retrieved from http://museumofuncutfunk.com/2013/02/02/racism-in-animation/

ETC News. (2014, October 5). Old Cartoons Were RACIST!. [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ewb0ZspDtvs

Girls and Videogames by IreneMartini [Image] (n.d.) Retrieved from http://irenemartini.deviantart.com/gallery/48139165/Comic-Strips

CIU111 – Secret Interview Techniques

This week in class, we examined the job interview process, looking at it from the view of both the interviewer and interviewee. We also went over some of the types of question that you might get asked in job interviews, and what potential employer’s are looking for from your responses.

When it comes to job interviews, I would say that overall, I am fairly inexperienced. Despite having been through a handful of job interviews in my life, I feel like there is plenty for me to learn when it comes to interview techniques and specifics for the animation field. Therefore, it was not surprising that I found this week’s course material to be extremely helpful. I learned some handy tips and tricks that I will hopefully be able to put into use in the future, such as gaining a better understanding of what interviewers might be looking for from my responses, and ways in which I can better present myself to potential employers.

dt031127
(Dilbert Job Interview Comic, 2003)

The area that I would like to further explore this week in regards to hunting for jobs is that of networking. I felt that it was a good area to spend some more time looking into, as it is often regarded highly in the creative media industries, and it is also something I can use and practice straight away with my studies.

Darius Kazemi (2005) suggests, in his blog posts examining networking as it relates to the gaming industry, that it is of benefit to start networking with people in the industry as soon as you can when studying. Not only do students have more spare time to put into networking, but the fact that they are not looking for immediate work counts in their favour as well. This is due to the fact that the focus is more on forming friendships, instead of harassing people over potential job opportunities.

While industry events provide a great networking opportunity, they are not the only way to make quality connections with people.
Setting up a social networking presence, and being active in online communities that are relevant to your creative field, can also lead to the formation of strong industry connections. Many online art communities now run competitions, which can be a great way to get your work and name in front of a wider audience. It also provides the added incentive of potentially having your work seen by key industry figures. (Davenport, 2011)

comic_1305_network
(The Ladders Networking Comic, 2006)

Earlier in the year I was fortunate enough to attend the Gnomon Live event held in Melbourne (www.gnomonlive.com.au) where industry professionals, alongside Gnomon school staff and alumni, held a series of talks, live demo’s and presentations in the fields of animation, computer graphics and visual effects.

It was an amazing weekend and I learned a lot, but something that I found incredibly helpful, and relevant to this weeks topic, was that the event had built-in networking time at the end of each day. Where the opportunity was there to talk to not only the people who had given talks or demonstrations, but each other as well.

I was able to form some connections with a handful of peers at this event, who are studying animation at other schools, and am still in contact with them today. I look forward to being able to implement some new networking techniques into effect and expanding my circle of industry friends int he future, and to continue gaining experience using the interview techniques we learned in 0ur course work as well!

Next week in class we will look at the topic of inclusive design.

Cheers!

References

Dilbert Job Interview Comic [Image] (2003). Retrieved from http://dilbert.com/strip/2003-11-27

Davenport, D. (2011) How to Improve Your Chances of Getting a Job in the Creative Industries. Retrieved from http://www.theguardian.com/careers/careers-blog/improve-your-chances-creative-industries

Kazemi, D. (2005) Effective Networking in the Games Industry. Retrieved from http://tinysubversions.com/2005/10/effective-networking-in-the-games-industry-introduction/index.html

The Ladders Networking Comic [Image] (2006). Retrieved from http://www.theladders.com/career-advice/Comic/2008/2/TheLadders.comic+-+March+2,+2006

 

 

CIU111 – Copyright and Contracts

Welcome back! This week we are exploring the topic of Copyright & Contracts.

Despite the fact that I have not had a lot of experience dealing with copyright in the past, I have always felt that I had a decent level of understanding when it comes to the basics of both copyright, and contracts. However, upon reading this week’s lecture material, and attempting the contract based exercises in class, I quickly realised that my understanding of the concepts involved was pretty limited, and very little of it applied to my future work in the animation field.

(Common Sense Education, 2014)

The short video above explains the basics of copyright in an easy to understand manner. Also covering the 4 points of fair use, and some other handy tips about avoiding online copyright infringement, I found it explained these concepts in a very easy to understand manner. Great for a beginner like me!

When it comes to copyright in the animation industry, one thing to be aware of is who actually owns the copyright for a piece of work. If an animator creates a piece of work in their own time, then they own the copyright to that work.
“Corporate authorship” is one of the main exceptions to this. Corporate authorship occurs when the animator creates their work while under contract for someone else. The most common example of this is work created for a studio. When this is the case you are often compensated for your work in other ways, such as being paid a salary. (Kenny, 2011)

484743_orig
(Ted Goff Copyright Cartoon, 2003)

The other side of copyright law that it is important to be aware of involves plagiarism and using other people’s work. Essentially, any time that someone uses work that is not their own as part of their work, written permission must be given by the copyright owner to legally be able to use the work. On top of that, content creators that you might outsource parts of your project to such as audio design, acting performances, photography, costume design, and almost any other artistically created content, need to be fairly compensated to legally use their work. (acmi, n.d.)I have found further researching this weeks topic to be quite interesting. I now realise how important it is to be aware of the issues surrounding copyright and compensation in fields of work involving the arts.
Moving forward, this knowledge will help me to not only make sure that I am fairly compensated for my work, or the use of my work, but also to make sure artists whose work I reference in my own, or artists I collaborate with, are compensated fairly as well!

Thanks for reading!

References

acmi Generator, (n.d.). Copyright Law and Ethics. Retrieved from http://generator.acmi.net.au/resources/legal-and-ethical-issues

Common Sense Education, (2014, September 5). Copyright and Fair Use Animation. [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=suMza6Q8J08

Ted Goff Copyright Cartoon [Image] (2013). Retrieved from http://www.nuttyhistory.com/uploads/1/2/1/5/12150034/484743_orig.gif

Kenny, C. (2011). Animators and the Law – Copyright. Retrieved from http://animationanomaly.com/2011/07/05/animators-and-the-law-copyright/

Ruth, G. (2015). Exposure vs. Exploitation. Retrieved from http://muddycolors.blogspot.com.au/2015/11/working-art-part-1-exposure-vs.html

CIU111 – Your Income & Your Art

Hello and welcome to my blog! Over the first half of this school trimester, I will be writing a reflective journal for the subject CIU111 – Overview of Industry. In it, I will be further exploring and commenting on the topics covered in class each week, while examining how they will potentially effect my future as an animation professional.

Our class this week focused on a number of potential types and sources of income stream available to people working in different areas of the new media and creative industries, while also examining the various positives and negatives of the careers paths in our different fields.

While it is not an area that I have put much time into researching or thinking about so far in my studies, beyond a surface level at least, I found it very helpful to explore the potential job paths in the animation industry, such as studio work, freelance, crowdfunding and running your own business, and look into them in some more detail.

ilm_02-a823191be7a8
(Studio Workers at Industrial Light and Magic, n.d.)

During my research one of the things that has become apparent, is the way in which a lot of people’s careers transition through different sources of income in the animation industry. The project-driven nature of the animation industry means that, even at a lot of the larger companies, team sizes can grow and decline in line with the work load at a given time. This means that animators often have to turn to other sources of income, such as starting a business or freelancing in order to make ends meet. (Williams, 2014)

These alternatives to full-time studio employment can require the use of a number of skills not directly related to animation in order for your solo work to be an effective source of income. Bookkeeping, contract negotiations, copyrights, time management and building a solid client base, are all skill areas that can negatively effect the success of your creative ventures if not managed well. (Sanders, 2015)

Further reading on the topic for this week has led me to consider my potential career paths for the future. With there being a strong likelihood of having to work with a number of income sources, and varying levels of job stability, I will have to consider expanding my knowledge base to include some of these non-creative skills to help my journey moving forward.

Next week we will be diving further into the topic of copyright and contracts. Thanks for reading!

500px-thats_all_folks-svg
(That’s All Folks, n.d.)

References

Studio Workers at Industrial Light and Magic [Image] (n.d.) Retrieved from http://static.dolimg.com/lucas/divisions/ilm_02-a823191be7a8.jpg

Sanders, A. (2015) Freelance Animation Work Contracts, Copyright & Benefits. Retrieved from http://animation.about.com/od/careertips/a/freelanceprocon.htm

That’s All Folks [Image] (n.d.). Retrieved from https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/e/ea/Thats_all_folks.svg/500px-Thats_all_folks.svg.png

Williams, A. (2014) How to survive as a freelance animator. Retrieved from http://www.animationapprentice.org/blog/how-survive-freelance-animator.html