Junior vs Senior Artists (With Video)

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Blog post
10 min read

What does it mean to be a junior or a senior artist in a studio.

Learn about the differences between a junior and a senior artists working for an animation, vfx, video game studios.

How would you know who's a junior?

A junior to means someone who is new in a studio no matter how much experience you possibly have, someone it's just started they have to try it out.

You're untried,  your skill levels are untried, they don't know how you interact with people versus a senior.

If I was at a studio for five years and I move on to a different studio, am resetting my status and going to back into a junior position?

Yes that's often the situation, you are coming in as a new employee and they don't know how could you work with other people, and actually what are your abilities.

Let's say I am a VANAS alumni, I'm 22 years old no experience other than school and I studied you know a 3d animation I have my credential from the school and I applied for it a job post and says we're looking for junior animators.

That would be your first job you're coming out of school you're always going to be a junior.

Yeah because they don't know me, they know that I have no experience. They would say, if he has nothing but that amazing school and a portoflio.  That way they would see my quality of work sating this is what I know and what I can do.

How would I be considered to be a senior artist?

A senior is it's not determined by your age, it's determined by your abilities. Often it's going to be that you have the ability to train other people, that you have the ability to supervise a team of employees under you often doing the exact same job you're doing.

Now can I be a senior without really training anybody else? Can my work be considered to be you know this guy's awesome, but he's not only training anybody?

My experience is, training is part of the job.  In your experience?,  I know some seniors that they say, listen I'm not a manager I want to be sitting here using computer and doing my work. That's all my focus. Producing my amazing artwork.

But you're supervising the team and you're going to get people that are going to need help occasionally. You're not sitting there day every day eight hours a day training, I just mean that you're looking at that work and if they don't know a particular skill you might sit there for half an hour explaining it. Or you might call someone over to help out.

Will years of work experience make me a Senior Arist?

Let me flip this situation here,  let's say that I've been in the industry for 15 years, in which I would be consider as someone with experience. Will that many years, would that make me an amazing person?

Is this canditate a senior artist because he's been 15 years working at a studio?

In my opinion no, you could have worked 20-30 years and never make it to a senior position.  It's the quality of work you do, your attitude and again, are you in charge of a team? Some people don't want to be in charge. There's nothing wrong with that.

How do I transition from a Junior to a Senior Artist?

Focus on quality.

You have to improve your social skills, you're working with a group of people in a studio.  You really want to know how to get along with them, how to treat them, how to talk to them. They're almost like family.

Focus on the quality of your work, keep on learning new things. Keep on going deeper into details.

Seniors are consistent and can actually dig deeper into their artwork to improve it. Make better decisions and define better strategies.

The senior person would be the one that whatever he's producing, he/she is really involving a lot of people into that work seeking for input on how to improve.

You often are going to have to request the senior position.  Transition out of a junior to be a senior, I want to be in charge of a character, a sequence, etc. They often not going to offer it to you, you're going step up you tell them you can handle it, you can do it, you can make it happen.