Well son, come and let me impart to you wisdom from my shallow pool of experience. I suppose my advice would be to figure out where you want to go in animation and start today in doing the things that’ll get you there. I began studying animation oblivious to how many facets there are to it. There’s character/environment design, modeling, rigging, texturing, lighting, character animation, special effects, traditional animation, storyboarding, etc. I was pretty overwhelmed by all of it when I started school, and I had no idea what I wanted to do, so I spent a lot of time kind of aimlessly wandering around different things. I tried my hand at modeling, rigging, and 3D character animation for a while because I was under the impression that I’d have a better chance at getting a job if that was my skill set. But, I hated it so much. It was seriously the butts. I wish I had realized earlier on that I needed to do something that I was both passionate about and adept at. As soon as I decided I wanted to be a storyboard artist, my education became more meaningful and my work ethic increased, because I realized it was what I really wanted to do, and it was something I could be good at. Once you know exactly where you want to go, and have a clear goal, its much easier to take steps towards that and learn the skills you need to. Start networking as soon as you can with people already in the industry. They’re super friendly and helpful, I promise, and with tumblr it’s way easy to get in contact and meet professionals who could help you out. Tumblr got me my job at Nickelodeon, so I can’t talk up networking enough (and the importance nowadays of having an online presence). Draw all the time. Draw from imagination but draw from life as well. The craziest, coolest, most amazing things are around you and you should stay in touch with them. Don’t neglect reality. An animation career probably seems like a life spent behind a glowing monitor, but animation gets all its inspiration from the real world, so live in it. Which kind of leads me to my next piece of advice. If you want to make cartoons someday then I say be a cartoon today. Be happy, charismatic, enthusiastic. Have adventures, explore, take risks, love a lot, learn a lot, make good friends, discover how to be a good person. Make your life a fun story. See things from a different perspective. Find the good everywhere. These are some things that have helped me as an artist, animator, and storyteller. Just work hard, be happy, you’ll do great. Anyways, thanks for reading this hodgepodge of advice.