Illustration for an upcoming book by Von Glitschka. Stay tuned for more details...

Things that are very apparent to me now that I'm looking for work:
1. Should've learned Flash
2. Should've learned Maya
3. Should've worked at becoming a technical director
4. Should've worked at becoming a compositor
5. Should've worked at becoming a web developer

I've found plenty of job openings for the positions listed above. If you're wanting to do any of these particular jobs, then you're in luck because with each job search done on the umpteenth animation job search website (and otherwise), tons of companies are needing Flash animators, Maya animators, TD's, compositors and TONS of web design work. Not sure if the pay's going to be any good (for Flash, that is), but hey, the opportunities are there.

Things I have going for me:
1. 12 years experience
2. I love animating
3. I love drawing
4. I look at things differently

Things I have going against me:
1. I'd rather stay in Portland
2. I'm looking for freelance gigs
3. I'm a traditional animator -- can't do Flash

I've been asked if I can do Flash so many times it's not even funny. Looks like I need to start learnin'. I can do After Effects, but not to the extent that some companies are asking when it comes to A/E work. Usually they need some serious compositors, not just some dude who's done mostly animatics and moving storyboards. I know a few things in that program, but not all the bells and whistles that that program has to offer. I'd love to stay in Portland because we've slowly immersed ourselves into this community, and we've come to love this town more and more. I'd understand and respect the fact that if a great opportunity should happen upon us we'd have to move, but really, we'd love to stay if at all possible.

Things I'm working on:
1. Storyboard gig for a commercial
2. My portfolio website
3. Going to Ottawa
4. An art show
5. An overall optimistic attitude

So, all is not lost -- I'm happy to report that I'm currently working on storyboards for a commercial. This is great, since it'll keep me and my family here for, oh, lessee....another month. Now if I can only maintain this...

I've finally entered the 21st century and registered my domain name. Wardjenkins.com will be up and running soon. However, it's taken me a lot longer than expected. I'm trying to learn some basic Dreamweaver as I go along -- this along with doing storyboards and working on my portfolio and so on and so on....I'll probably have to employ a friend to help me with this endeavor. Yikes.

Because of my current situation, I've decided to go to the Ottawa International Animation Festival, even without any money. As some of you may know, I'm a big fan of festivals, especially OIAF. This'll be my fourth time going, but first time completely unemployed and looking for a job. It feels like this year I'll be a true, active participant in the game, whereas the other times I was merely a spectator. Participant meaning in the manner of landing a job -- on that Saturday there's Animators For Hire, a recuiting event that's always eluded me because, well, I was never looking for a job. Expect to see my bright and shiny face at this thing this year. Going to Ottawa will be a strain financially, but I've been able to enlist some help to at least get me there (thank you thank you thank you -- you know who you are). Now, all I have to do is find someone willing to split a hotel with me.

An art show? A solo show? You've got to be kiddin' me -- that's what I said to the guy who owns this cool little gallery here in Portland. I'll post more about it at a later date, once all the details are ironed out. But, yeah...crazy, isn't it? Can't believe it!

Funny how I haven't posted as much here as I thought once I was let go from my previous employer. I thought for sure I'll be boring the tears out of everyone by my incessant blog activity. But no, it's been relatively quiet around here, hasn't it? Priorities change when careers are on the line. Funny how that is. So, we'll see how it goes with Ottawa. I hope that something works out. I'm sure it will -- it always does, doesn't it? Especially when I have family and friends supporting us, giving us that extra push needed.

We'll see how it goes.


  1. Hey, Ward!

    Long time reader, first time commenter. (I think.)

    As an animator who joined the freelance community a year ago, I know how difficult it can be getting started. Fortunately, it gets better!

    Flash is pretty straight forward and easy enough to pick up. I have my lesson plans and scene files, if you're interested in them.


  2. Flash is SO not hard. I haven't done any of it in a while, but when we get together for our lunch (IF we do ;p), I'll bring my flash instruction notes, written by the great Adam Phillips (guy I learned from and creator of Bitey of Brackenwood).

  3. Dude. Your style is such a natural fit for Flash animation! You'd be doing the world a favor by putting some of that Wardomatic goodness out there. If learning Flash would also make you more hireable as a freelancer... I say do it!

  4. Ward,

    If I can learn Flash then you'll be able to no problemo.

    A good resource is http://www.lynda.com

    A good Flash developers community in PDX is: http://www.gotoandplay.net/

    Check out Robert Lewis out of PDX, his place does a lot of Flash Animation: http://www.fashionbuddha.com/


  5. Funny that Adam Phillips was mentioned here....I just recently discovered his work and praised him on my blog too, just today in fact!

    Check it out Ward...there's some stuff there that's 'traditionally animated' but drawn in Flash. Very inspiring!

    Glad to hear you're making it to Ottawa. :)

  6. I'm learning flash now- like you, no maya skills, meager after effects, but love,love to draw. flash is actually giving me a ton of freedom.
    Very best wishes on the job search!

  7. hey bro.
    three things:
    1} we are praying for you. i know how you feel.
    2} i need to skype call u soon man.
    3} say hello to andrea for me... postcards?

  8. I guess others have said it, but I will chime in too: If you understand the principles of animation and design, Flash is like picking up a new type of pencil. At its most basic it is simply a flip book program - there is a timeline and you draw on each frame and you play it back. It can get more complicated from there, but I would say it's definitely worth learning. I learned the basics of the program in a couple days.

    Have fun at Ottawa, wish I could make it this year. Also, for future reference, ComicCon is a great place for networking and showing off portfolios. (And to some degree APE [alternative press expo] in San Francisco, which is this fall.)

  9. So, my guess is that I should have no problem learning Flash, huh? I never had the patience to learn it back when I was directing. But you know, you guys are right -- I have no excuse for not diving into it now. Thanks for the words of encouragement, peeps. Always needed.

    Still working on getting a roommate at Ottawa. Any takers? I'll be there from Thursday to Sunday.

  10. Good luck with everything Ward! Freelancing can be tough at times, but for some of us it's the only way to go. Either way I know your talent will win out in the end any things will work out.

    All the best,

  11. If you don't want to waste to much time doing web design, you should check out this site: http://www.squarespace.com/

    Just watch the video and be amazed. Good luck!

  12. just wanted to let you guys know you are in my prayers! i am sure it's all going to work out great.

  13. I'm thinking good thoughts for you guys & your job search...


  14. Your snazzy illustration made me wanna lay around in a hammock smoking a pipe! Remember baby, Jackie Gleason said it best: "We have the capacity for infinite creativity...we partake of the power of the Spirit, the infinite Godhead that creates the cosmos."

  15. Hoping for the best for you and the family. About to join you in unemployed land!

  16. learning flash is easy...arse about with it for a while and it will come... same with the others... obvious problem is shelling out for the software.
    good luck

  17. Hey Ward, good luck with everything, I feel I can identify with you right now as I'm going through a lot of the same things and feelings. Although it's difficult, it's good to know you're not the only well-meaning person who's currently struggling. I don't know you, but you seem to be a very talented, standup and sincere person. Hang in there (easier said than done). If I see any opportunities out there that seem to suit you, I'll try to send them your way. Best of luck and take care!

  18. Duuuude... whens the show gonna be? Thats so cool!!
    Miss you buddy!! Its all not the same and stuff...


    PS- Flash not so hard... Even dummy like me can do! Sorta...

  19. LinkedIn friend,
    first time comment..

    Though I have a job now,
    I am searching new jobs, too.
    And I feel exact same.

    We have much commons.
    I am living in Portland, too.

    Good luck!

  20. Life sure has changed over the last eight years in the animation world.I know the deal.Im going through it to.
    Dont worry youll land on your feet.
    Good luck in ottawa.

  21. Hey Ward!

    I hope everything works out with your work.

    There are tons of online tutorials on the web to learn flash. No doubt I guy like yourself could learn flash in a day.

    Take care! -Heath

  22. Hey there Mr. O-Matic,

    Everything I came in here to say has already been thoroughly covered; mainly 'you will learn flash quickly' and 'praying for you' but I just wanted to chime in as another supporter.

    It's funny how as soon as I hit a wall I catch myself thinking "well, I guess this is where the blessings stop. I've had more than my share in this incredible life, but they finally ran out." Next thing I know I'm standing in a typhoon of God's bounty (in spite of who I am).

    I have zero doubt that your next chapter will be one of the best of your entire life.

  23. "3). I'm a traditional animator -- can't do Flash"

    YES , you can.

    Get familiar with Flash. Use it like a digital drawing board . It's just an animation disc and paper except it's accessed digitally through your Wacom tablet .

    Although , I guarantee you that you'll love TVP Animation if you try it compared to Flash.

    If vectors are needed for small file sizes in the final color images then use TVP Animation to rough and clean-up your animation, then vectorize the line drawing art and take it into Flash for coloring .

  24. Hey, just found your blog by chance, so I thought I'd drop in a few words of support :) First, your drawing style is great, well defined, and just perfect to be animated in Flash! I hope you'll get some good news in Ottawa...although, I'm afraid that "upgrading your computer skills" is a must! I've been a freelancer for 12 years now, I like it very much...it's not always easy,but I wouldn't have it any other way. Don't worry, artists learn fast, and you'd probably pick up Flash in a very short time...good luck with everything!:D
    I used to work for a studio called Funbag, Ottawa...I think they're not around any more.

  25. Thanks for the comment, Ward. I'm sure you'll pick up Flash in no time. Seems to me that program is absolutely necessary for 2D animators these days. Hope to see you in the near future. :)

    Oh, and nice patterns on that lounging guy.

  26. I just took 2 intensive Flash classes (a grand total of 7 non-consecutive days) and learned a lot. My instructor recommended this book (http://www.peachpit.com/store/product.aspx?isbn=032150898X) which was very straightforward and helpful!