The other animator (Nathan) and I went to one of the local high schools twice this week for their career fair. 4 class periods with 4 presentations a period can really wear one out. We started off each presentation asking who was really interested in animation. Very few were interested in it as a field so we just did our spiel. By the 3rd or 4th presenation we had it down cold to the point it felt like we were playing a scene onstage together...which I guess pretty much we were.
We started off saying who were were, where we worked, where we went to school, what we studied. I talked about Classical Animation...how it works...the advantages and the disadvantages of it. I flipped them some animation, (always impressive.) I then kicked it over to Nathan who talked about the advantages and disadvantages of 3D animation. He showed them a scene from Snoopy vs the Red Baron as it was in progress and then how it finally appeared.
It was actually quite a bit of fun...but just...wearying.
Every so often there would be a kid who *really* was interested. If there WERE we told them to talk to us after the presentation, we did our spiel and then we focused on the kid that was keen on it. The first day there really was only one or two kids. The second day there were 6 or 7 kids...all of whom expressed a deep interest in animation. They brought sketchbooks, they were loaded with questions and pretty much begged us for help. We looked at their stuff...I gave them drawing pointers...
The #1 thing I told them artistically (since I grew oh so weary of manga/anime style, (yes, that's a lovely androgynous elf boy with a really big sword,)) was to just LEARN to DRAW. Get books on anatomy. Draw everywhere. Study perspective. Just LEARN to DRAW and your style follows! We told them to email us and we would help them! They promised they would.
The thing is...I would have KILLED for someone like me when I was in high school so anyone who is interested or needs some help I'll bend over backwards...but I won't do the work for them. They have to EMAIL me...they have to do what I TELL them to do!
But...being a mentor is awfully rewarding and fun.