Art Jobs At Disney

Artist Jobs At Disney

looking for an Art Job at Disney
Disney Castle

From the first Steamboat Willie short film to the recent release of the major motion picture Frozen 2, Walt Disney Animation Studios is considered the pantheon for animated cartoons in the motion picture industry. As a result, there is a natural attraction for aspiring artists, animators, and cartoonists who have a desire to work in the motion picture industry. Good News! If you are sincere about your goal and are willing to learn your craft, there is a pathway for those who desire to bring the Disney Magic to life. 

Where do you go to college to be a Disney animator?

Gone are the days of keeping a sketch pad for when inspiration strikes and a sample portfolio case of your drawings. Today’s animation needs to be college-educated and technologically savvy. To apply for an opening, you must be able to confirm that you have the knowledge, experience, and skills for which the company is looking. This information is listed with each job opening. According to the company website, for animators, WDAS is looking for the completion of a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Animation or related field and/or equivalent work experience. The company is willing to consider a wide range of experience, but you should have at least two solid years of computer animation experience with Maya Computer Animation & Modeling Software or similar computer animation and modeling programs. 

The best place to develop these skills and learn the technology is an accredited college or university. Many colleges and universities have animation and film making courses as a part of their curriculum. However, there are those programs that the animation film industry considers a cut above. A shortlist of the top Animation Schools includes (but are not limited to):  California Institute of the Arts, School of Film/Video, Ringling College of Art and Design, Savannah College of Art and Design, Rhode Island School of Design, School of Visual Arts, New York, University of Southern California, University of California, Los Angeles and Carnegie Mellon University. Admission into a well-respected program like one of these is an advantage when looking to make connections and learn about opportunities. Professors and placement professionals will already have contacts with alumni working in the field. 

How do you become a Disney cartoonist?

Like every studio, Walt Disney Animation Studios is always looking to hire fresh talent. The company has a history of helping future generations of animators other artists to develop their skills. Disney has several in house programs to work with. The studio has a Talent Development Program for graduating seniors. For underclassmen, you can apply for the Art & Production Summer Internship Program, the International Art & Production Summer Internship Program, or the Technology Internship Program. To apply for all programs, you will have to fill submit an online application to create a user profile. The best overall starting place is the official WDAS website at Click on the “Careers” tab to create a profile and confirm the official WDAS application deadlines. In order to build your profile, you must upload your resume and your demo reel/website, and be prepared to tell Disney about yourself and why they should hire you.

There is a hierarchy to the way Disney animates. It is to manufacture animated product what Henry Ford’s assembly line was to manufacturing cars. Various aspects of each film or television program is divided up by a specific activity.  A quick browse through salaried position WDAS is seeking includes the following job titles: CG Animator, EFX Artist, Modeler, Digital Character Modeler, Character TD, Character Pipeline TD, Crowd FX Artist, Talent Development, CG Animator and Visual Development Artist, just to list some of the opportunities. Anyone interested in a job with the company should know a quick description of the job, how it’s functions and the way it works as a part of the collaborative process. 

How much do Disney animators make per hour?

Like most industries, Compensation for animators varies based on experience and skill.  Disney has an agreement with the Animators Guild, which sets a minimum wage requirement for a specified duration. As of July 2014, the minimum wage for a Disney animator is $39.93 an hour or $1,597.04 weekly for the first six months of employment. For the next six months to a year, the minimum hourly pay rate is $40.84 or $1,633.48 weekly. During the first year, the minimum annual salary is $83,993.52. After one year, the animator achieves Journey status, which leads to a pay rate of $42.36 an hour or $1,694.36 a week. The annual salary for a Journey animator is $88,106.72 a year. An in-betweener earns an hourly rate of $28.74 or $1,149.40 for the first six months with the studio, and $29.57 an hour or $1,182.60 a week for the next six months. The minimum annual salary for an in-betweener during the first year is $60,632. Once the in-betweener reaches journey status, the minimum salary is $30.65 an hour, $1,225.84 a week or $63,743.68 annually. Since these numbers are just the minimum, animators are free to negotiate higher wages directly with Disney.

Before you think of this as a king’s ransom, consider the fact that you will be working and living in Southern California, one of the world’s most expensive places to live. As the second-largest city in the United States, Los Angeles attracts job seekers from both across the country and around the globe. Since So-Cal is the epicenter of the multibillion-dollar entertainment industry, there is an abundance of demand to live in Los Angeles. the Los Angeles and Orange County areas are magnets for many aspiring animators as well as actors, directors, technicians, and screenwriters. When the demand for items like housing, transportation, and food is high, prices naturally rise. As a result, everything is quite expensive.

What’s it like to work at Disney? 

 The official tagline for Disneyland is “The Happiest Place On Earth.” To read reviews on such varied sites as Glass Door and Quora, you can find a wide range of opinions to both support and deny this claim. Many who made posts talked about ‘a family feeling’ or ‘a Disney spirit’ between the employees. Some talked about long days and hours when on deadline. Others were delighted to be a part of the industry, and work with one of the leading providers of animation in the world. Many summed it up by reminding readers that Show Business is a business and you will be expected to work hard on the projects to which you are assigned and deliver the desired results.  Any fantasy of a dreamy utopia of creative expression and expressing your inner muse with various pieces of sketch work will soon be short-lived. 

Interested in Artist Jobs at Disney? Prepare to learn your craft,  get to work, pay some dues and do your job like a professional.