Saturday, December 18, 2010

The Big Wrap Up!

As of Friday, December 17, 2011 at 12pm(after a nice 3 hour session of lifedrawing) I’m a CalArts’ Character Animation graduate! I can hardly believe that the date actually came. This past semester rocketed by and suddenly I’m dazed, but done. Talking with friends we got onto the topic of “No more…”---like “No more attendance rules.” “No more required classes.” “No more grades!?!?”, “No more night classes. My nights are suddenly going to be fairly open--which means I need a hobby outside animating, stat! haha” and it was bizarre waking up this morning and realizing what’s no longer going to be apart of my usual routine. Which is fairly scary to think about, however that's overpowered by how thrilled I am about what’s awaiting me in 2011---I’m looking forward to a nice chunk of downtime, but in January I get to jump back to animating full-time and I’m beyond jazzed about the upcoming workload.

CalArts has definitely become a second home to me, and I couldn’t have asked for a better 3.5 years here. From crazy scavenger hunts that ran until 1 in the morning, the inside jokes("TIMING!", "Tiny hands!"), to the super stressful final weekend before that year’s film was due, to the absolutely amazing summer at Pixar, to all the extremely exciting recent events over the past couple of weeks. Memorable is a very small word to say the least. The people I’ve met are quite the spectrum of characters, and on the whole, they’re all outstanding guys/gals. Wouldn’t have learned so much without my classmates or faculty being there by my side through both the good and rough times. I wouldn’t trade my experience for anything and feel very fortunate to be apart of the department. It’s crazy to think about how much I’ve come, not just within my time at the school, but really in the past 6 years (7 in March.)--- since deciding that being a veterinarian was no longer my dream job, but animation was(though drawing was always my favorite pastime since about preschool). Touring CalArts for the very first time 6 years ago during my high school’s spring break sealed the deal, and now here I am with a BFA and hopefully a very long career in the animation industry!
(This is from my first year camp-out for cubes(2007!)! Aww! Such a long time ago. Lookit our wittle freshmen faces! Back in my day, no tents. haha)

I’m really going to miss all my classmates (under and upperclassmen!), I know I’m going to feel the distance the second I start hearing about class sign-ups, and that first week of classes. Always fun times. I wish everyone the very best of luck on their films and this upcoming second semester! I’m looking forward to Open Show already. And yes, I’ll be visiting as often as possible. Also, I will be attending my actual graduation ceremony in May so I do get to walk with my fellow fourth years who are about to head out into the world and kick some butt. :)

As for what awaits me now that school has ended--I have some very exciting news. In January, I’ll be joining the animation department at DreamWorks in Glendale! Starting to pack up my cube/apartment and will be making the big move after spending Christmas with my family. Excited doesn’t really begin to sum up how I feel!

So a tremendous thank you to everyone who has helped me over the years---all my family, and friends(new and old). And a thank you to everyone who follows this blog and has supported me since I started this shortly after my acceptance to CalArts. I think I might be ending this particular blog since its focus is on CalArts, but I’ll switch over to a new one that I’ll update with all kinds of daily life tidbits---like my misadventures when I try to use my Garmin to find a nearby u-haul store, or how I almost ran into a sliding glass door tonight while checking on laundry! The sort of stuff not covered in a classroom. haha. Entertaining drawings will be involved though, otherwise I'd just have to join Twitter....okay, well, over and out!

(How the department looked yesterday, post-Holiday department party.Woo! Fourth floor!)

P.S. Here's my final assignment for Fourth Year Animation Class(not sure why the audio's all weird, might try uploading it again later. Playback seems to be acting up). Had almost too much fun working on this--especially on the tied-up guy.

P.S.S. Doodled this while waiting for files to transfer. My own lil "Monstrous Nightmare" getting into the spirit of things.


Anonymous said...

you're a mean one, mr. grinchy bird!

Kari said...

Wow congratulations Jen! I'm so excited for you. Graduating seems so far away from now for me, but I know the next 3.5 years will just fly by. It was nice having you as at TA in 2d Animation. I wish you luck, and hopefully will see you sometime in the future! :)

Gabriel Lin said...

congrats on the graduation and dreamworks job! Best of luck and hope to see you around :)

amelia said...

Congratulations Jen! Good luck out there in the "real world," I know you'll rock at DW. Keep us updated, and see ya when you visit school!
(Whatever will we do without you in Morgan's class???!!!)

Owen Williams said...

Huge congratulations for Dreamworks and graduating, I've followed your blog for some time so it's great to see you reap the rewards of alot of hard work. All the best :)

Anonymous said...

I can't believe my tiny hand invention got a shout out on Jen Harlow's blog, I am so giddy with excitement and the fame that follows such a prestigious shout out :-). dare i say a drawing of jen with tiny hands to come :-). hope you got all situated in your new place away from the cal arts. and again Jen Congrats!!!! no one works harder and deserved it more. Keep it real Jen, don't be afraid to come and visit. ps, want to animate on my three small films lol.

The Ivanator said...

congrats!!! I bet it feels awesome to be done. I hope I'll see you around and best of luck with your future. Thanks for all the advice and your kindness. CONGRATS on DWA as well!

Jamie said...

congratualtions on graduating and the exciting job ahead. thank you for the very detailed post about grad, as well. as another student in her last semester, it's good to read that other people have felt what i am feeling now. great to see hard work pay off in the end. best of luck in the future!

Mila @Doctoral Programs said...

Congratulations on your graduation in Character Animation. I would like to hear more about how your animating career went after graduation with your opportunity at DreamWorks. That is a major studio obviously, congratulations on your success. The animation is your video clip is definitely television worthy, maybe perfect for late night.