WHAT IS THE ANIMATION CREATIVE LEAGUE?
Studio animators have a distinct advantage over independent animators when it comes to networking. The studio workplace provides many opportunities to interact with other creative artists of different disciplines. However an independent artist often works alone and doesn’t have the opportunity to share ideas, collaborate and learn from the people around him.
The Los Angeles Animation Creative League was formed to address that problem.
The Animation Creative League Clubhouse
We have no formal structure, just regularly scheduled meetings and a Facebook mailing list. The events are held in a member’s home who has a projection video system and large living room. We keep the meetings small- no more than 20 people. This way it encourages interaction among members, not just the passive viewing of an audience. We do not charge admission and refreshments are pot luck, provided by the members themselves. Our meetings consist of quick introductions, a screening or guest speaker, then we retire to the kitchen for refreshments and informal discussions. The mood is informal and everyone is encouraged to participate.
Our programs are not just limited to the subject of animation. In fact, the focus is usually on allied fields. Too often animators think of themselves as “animators” rather than “artists” and “film makers”. For this reason, our programs in the past have focused on acting, dance, music, writing, illustration, cartooning, and live action film. We encourage our members to see animation as part of a bigger creative world, not a world unto itself. Our members include musicians, live action filmmakers, designers, technicians, fine artists, students and creative individuals of all types. This diversity gives us our strength.
Attendance at Creative League meetings is by invitation only. Space is limited, so as a courtesy to the rest of the members of our group, do not request a confirmation if you do not plan to attend, and let us know immediately if your plans change so we can offer your space to another member.
If you are interested in participating in this group, please contact the group administrator, Taber Dunipace at…
…and join our Facebook page.
You can also click to read about some of our Past Events.
START YOUR OWN LOCAL CREATIVE LEAGUE
The Los Angeles Animation Creative League does not have to be the only chapter of our group. Using the internet as a means of communication, there is no reason why there couldn’t be an informal network of chapters in other cities and countries. All it takes is a meeting room, a program director and advertising targeted at creative people in your own area. The Los Angeles chapter of the Animation Creative League is happy to share its Facebook page with over 5000 members all over the world with other groups of individuals who want to do the same thing.
We have learned several things from putting on events over the past couple of years. Here are a few tips that might help you get your own group started…
- Keep it small… It’s natural to want to grow the group as big as possible as fast as possible, but a large size introduces complications that you might not be willing to deal with on a volunteer basis. Having to rent meeting rooms, pay for printing and mailings, and the sheer time involved in organizing large scale events can put a real damper on your activities. Better to stay small and build a tight group of quality individuals who are enthusiastic and eager to participate.
- Share and share alike… The only thing you absolutely need is a meeting room and a way to view video. Everything else is optional. When you gain a little momentum, guest speakers will seek you out and members will want to bring refreshments and help out with setting up and cleaning up after. If no one volunteers to provide things, just do without. Don’t spend your own money.
- Build a simple communications network… We have one place where people can go to find out dates and times of events- our Facebook page. Everyone knows to check there, and the events are announced the same way each time, with a Facebook invite going out to the entire group that includes a pitch to interest people in the program and info on how to RSVP. Behind the scenes, the volunteer in charge of publicity contacts each person and gets an email address and phone number for our list. All direct communications are done privately by email. Be aware that most people who RSVP for events on Facebook don’t really intend to attend. I don’t know why this is the case, but it is.
- Be open to all, but be selective too… Give everyone an opportunity to participate, but be mindful of people who are disruptive or dominate the discussions. Feel free to cheerfully eliminate people who don’t fit in with the group. This is very difficult to do, but it is vital, because an unpopular personality can drive members away and you’ll end up with just the unpopular personality. Thankfully, troublemakers are rare and usually make themselves known pretty quickly. Just don’t send out RSVPs to them after their first event. Be polite but firm.
- Do not host open events… Always require people to RSVP and follow up with them by email, sending reminders and directions to the location of the event. We do not publicly publish the location so people have to RSVP. We have found that people take open events for granted. Requiring them to correspond by email keeps them connected.
- Take advantage of local groups and organizations as a source of members… Promote your group to local educators and professionals. Offer it as a networking opportunity to meet other creative people. Enlist others to help spread the word and form alliances.
- Post follow ups… We try to encourage members to post about events after they take place, and we post a summation on the Facebook page. The best motivator to get people to attend the next meeting is to let them know all the fun they missed at the last one.
- Persevere… At first, the meetings may only attract a few people. But if you consistently do programs on a monthly basis, the momemntum will build and people will invite their friends. Also, your group may have an impact in places you aren’t even aware of. The internet plugs you in to the whole world. Someone you have never met may be benefitting in some way from what you do. All you really have to do is “just do it”.
If you would like to create a local chapter of The Animation Creative League contact Stephen Worth at firstname.lastname@example.org and he will post a call for local members on our Creative League Facebook page. If you receive interest, get in touch with the responders and organize a planning meeting. When your group is established, we will make you an admin on our Facebook page, so you can promote your chapter. When you have an event to announce, look at the format of the calendar events and write up a description that follows our format. Make sure to include your city in the title of the event up front so people can spot the location easily. As our network grows, we will probably create a private email list for the coordinators of each group so we can compare notes and exchange programs.
Build your own local creative community. It’s well worth the effort.