Three notable alumni of SVA’s BFA Animation program convened for the panel discussion “Creating a Career in Animation” on Thursday, October 5, at New York Comic Con 2017. Rebecca Sugar (BFA 2009 Animation), creator of Cartoon Network’s Emmy-nominated series Steven Universe, Mike Roth (BFA 1999 Animation), co-executive producer of Cartoon Network’s Emmy-winning Artists Program, and Phil Rynda (BFA 2003 Animation), Nickelodeon’s vice president of artist development, spoke to an audience of roughly 500 about their experiences as students at SVA and how their education has shaped their careers, and offered tips on networking, finding mentors and promoting work. Angie Wojak (BFA 1990 Illustration), director of SVA Career Development, served as panel moderator.
All panelists stressed the importance of creating your own voice and storytelling expertise while developing technical abilities. Roth suggested that novice animators “stay flexible” and “don’t be rigid” regarding an approach or style, and said that his SVA education enabled him to be versatile in his work–a sentiment that Rynda echoed. “The versatility thing is really key. [SVA gave me] access to information about all parts of animation,” which has allowed him to be a liaison between creative and business teams in his current role. “[I’m] a translator at work. I can speak weirdo to people who don’t speak weirdo.” Sugar reminded everyone to be true to their own vision. “Don’t wait for permission to do what you want to do,” she said. Watch the panel in its entirety above.
For more on SVA at New York Comic Con 2017, click here.