Which Animation Student Are You?

      48 Comments on Which Animation Student Are You?

Well, it has become evident to me that writing posts about storyboard labeling does not incite much dialogue in the comment department.

See? Told you it was boring stuff.

Good thing that’s over with.

So I shall move on to what I do best, though not often enough: sarcasm.

During my stint as an animation student and as an instructor, I came across many interesting characters. And some I came across more than once. Call it a ‘type’. Call it a fluke. Whatever.

This is not a complete list, but here’s a summary of some of the various types of colorful animation students I have seen over the years. If you are in animation school now, see if you recognize any of them.

See if you *are* one of them.

And if you’re a former student of mine and think I’m talking about you…don’t flatter yourself. Guaranteed there was more than one of you over the years.

But…yeah, I might be talking about you.Β  So enjoy the limelight!


Much like ‘the keener’ below, they are super excited to be there because they love animation so damn much. They know all the shows, movies and games and are always asking you if you’ve “seen this one…” (uh, no I haven’t). They paste up tons of posters and have the biggest toy collection of anyone else in class.

And they probably can’t draw.

They don’t quite know the difference between being a fan and doing the job. They soon find out that the job isn’t quite as fun as being a fan. They may quit the program. Or they stick it out and never do anything with their education.

And end up working in a comic book shop.


These people probably have a lot of talent. With the ego to match.

And are irritating as all hell.

They talk about their work much more than they actually do their work. They are the ones always questioning what the instructor is saying.

“Yeah but I read that…bla bla bla…”.

Eventually the rest of the class will roll their eyes and start sighing loudly when they open their mouths.

They will attempt a huge, overly ambitious final project against the advice of their instructors.

And probably not finish it.

They don’t last long in the industry because they are a pain in the ass and usually burn bridges. Fast.


This is usually a gal. They spend more time in every other classroom but their own.

Talking to guys.

They dress all cute and act a little too girly for an animation chick.

True animation chicks become ‘buddies’ with the guys while in school (and beyond). They don’t date them. If they’re spending more time finding a boyfriend than working on their assignments, they are doomed to failure.

P.S.: Plenty of time for that when you work in the industry ladies. Because let’s face it, we can only truly ‘date our own’.


This is the person who has read too many animation magazines about how much money the top artists make in the industry (or used to).

They may not even like cartoons that much.

They think they will become *very* wealthy by becoming an animator.



Yes, they like animation but they like video games more.

So all they draw is hot women with 12 inch waists and 56 inch chests.

And plaster these drawings on their blog, desk and walls.

They are also the only guys to stare at a female instructor’s chest while they are talking to them eye to eye.

Here’s a little tip guys: when you do the *eye dart* from our eyes to the boobs and back again…


And laugh at you to our friends.

At least have the restraint to wait until we are looking the other way so you don’t look like such a dork. I mean, the rest of the guys have figured that one out. Geez!


This is the guy (or gal) who is so damn excited to be there. They have dreamt of this and worked hard to get into the school and now here they are! They show up to every class and listen to everything the instructors have to say. They obsess over their assignments, hand them in on time and take in all the feedback.

If their talent does not match up to their enthusiasm, they could have a rude awakening and become disillusioned and terribly frustrated. It’s a shame, really.

If they are truly talented, they will succeed and work in the industry.

Within two years they will become bitter like the rest of us and fit right in.

They have officially ‘made it’. πŸ™‚

Read the Storyboard Blog by RSS Feed or by email for future posts with actual substance.

48 thoughts on “Which Animation Student Are You?

  1. Rafi

    ha ha very entertaining post – I recognise all these characters from my time at animation school! I’d like to think I fall under “the keener” – but I’ve yet to get bitter with the industry…hmm, makes sense because as an independent animator I have yet to ‘make it’! ;P

    great blog btw, your storyboarding tips and insights are invaluable!

  2. Karen J Lloyd Post author

    Hi and welcome Rafi!

    Oh, I’m sure you’re a keener. So many of us were keeners.

    Hmm, maybe the way to stay unbitter is to start off as an independent? Paycheck anxiety might be a little higher though.

    Keep at it! I’m sure bitter is just around the corner. πŸ˜€

    (thanks for the compliment too)

  3. Will

    Excellent and entertaining post, as always! I’ve seen so many of the students you described, but it was just in art school, not specific to animation.

    Which student were you? πŸ™‚

  4. Karen J Lloyd Post author

    Thanks Will. πŸ™‚

    Oh, I was a Keener. But it was more of a ‘decide & do it’ thing for me as opposed to the big, long dream. I was there to learn the skills and get the heck out so I could work. (But I had a *blast* in school).

    There’s probably lots of Keeners in the biz cause they’re the ones that actually end up working.

    It’s good to be a Keener…just not an annoying Keener.

    And it was about two years to bitter. πŸ˜‰
    (and a lot of these types frequent all sorts of art schools…you got that right!)

  5. D!

    That is absolutely brilliant. I’ve been in class with, worked with or taught all of them. Got to admit that I was a wannabe Keener, but more likely a Know-it-All.

    Admitting it is half the battle though, right? A famous animator said that to me once. We’re best friends, you know.

  6. Karen J Lloyd Post author

    Thanks D! and welcome!

    It takes a big man to admit he’s the Know-it-All.

    And since you *are* admitting it, I doubt you’re the annoying kind…because they are usually unaware that they are, in fact, a Know-it-All. πŸ™‚

    You probably have lots more Keener in you since you’re working and teaching.
    Have you hit bitter? πŸ˜€


  7. Pete

    Lol yeah I’m afraid I’ve got a touch of know it all in me, but I’d like to think I’ve got some keener in me to!

  8. D!

    Ha! Well I got out of the game of production work early. I was defn on my way. 80 hour weeks on salary has a tendency to do that to you. I’d go back, just not right now. I really do like teaching. Gives me time to work on my own stuff. And that’s why I got into this field in the first place.

    Love the blog, btw.

  9. Karen J Lloyd Post author

    @ D! – Yup, the crazy schedules of production work and the sometimes insane *creative* demands of the ‘suits’ can drive an artist to bitter pretty quick. But what ya gonna do? πŸ˜‰

    Kudos for saving yourself early! I really loved teaching too, that’s why I’m continuing it here.

    @ Pete – Like I said to D!, if you can admit you’re a Know-it-All you can’t be *only* a Know-it-All. Heck, I’m sure I had my Know-it-All moments (and probably still do… *looks sheepish*)

    @ Alex – Hey and thanks for dropping by! Thanks a bunch. I think you’re right. There was usually a Know-it-All in *any* class I’ve ever taken…and in the workforce. They’re everywhere! πŸ™‚


  10. Friar

    Yessss!!! 56 inch breasts! That’s my kind of Geek.


    But NO….I don’t spend my time drawing pictures like this. And if I did, I certainly wouldn’t DARE post them at work

    You gotta admit, at least when the Gaming Geeks draw Superheroines, they make them look like grown women.

    Unlike the “Hentai” stuff. Never could understand the appeal putting 14-year old faces on 24-year-old bodies. (…creeps me out).
    Aside from that, I really don’t have any animation experience (except as a kid, I used to made 10-second cartoons out of flip-books).

  11. Karen J Lloyd Post author

    @ Friar – I don’t know…maybe some drawings like that could liven up the ‘ol widget factory.

    Yeah, there can be something ‘ick-o-phile’ about that young face/hot body stuff.

    And flip-books are the best way to start to learn animation! πŸ™‚

  12. Friar


    Heh. I still have my old note-pad flipbooks somewhere. It used to be a big deal, when I’d save my pennies, and go to the store, and buy a thick note pad. And I’d only use the edge of the sheets!

    Have you ever seen the cartoon ‘Moral Orel”?

    (It’s HILARIOUS…a spoof on the old Davey and Goliath series).

    The end of the show closes with Orel moving around clay figurings and taking snapshots. The kid is making a cartoon, which is kind of funny when you think of it….a cartoon MAKING a cartoon!

  13. Karen J Lloyd Post author

    @ Friar – The name’s not familiar but I think I’ve seen something like that. There’s also a great Ren & Stimpy cartoon (when it was good) of them making a cartoon.

    We watched it while in school and it was spot on. I’ll have to try to find it on YouTube. πŸ™‚

  14. Dan Szilagyi

    Hey karen,

    Haha i can picture some of those people you mentioned at our time in school.
    I’m not quite sure where i fit in, i’ll admit and say i’ve changed quite a bit since that time and i have way more knowledge now.

    But yeah i’m sure you remember a certain student in a class who had those “hentai” pictures all over his desk and wall….those famous up the skirt shots.
    Not to mention the other guy who had a little too much kiddy stuff all over his desk ( japanese themed kid stuff like hello kitty and so on)
    good times!


  15. Karen J Lloyd Post author

    A *guy* had Hello Kitty stuff all over his desk? Eww.
    I *knew* there was reason I usually stayed up at my desk.

    Sights like that would’ve been way too disturbing. :O

    And this isn’t a complete list. I may have to do a follow up at some point. πŸ˜‰

  16. Chris.K

    Hmm, i remember spending a lot of time not quite in other classrooms, but other desks than my own in class. guess that made me a guy version of ‘the flirt’? =P (hey I was looking at the art~!) balancing that social fun part with getting down to work can be a challenge at times i think

    Though, I’d like to think i had a few ‘keener’ tendencies…just a few..

  17. Kelly


    I got a kick out of the labelling stuff. I just don’t usually have anything to say, but I’m reading. I love the window on your world.

    On this one… oh, yes, all of these were in art school. It’s been a long time, but the flashbacks I just had were intense.

    I started to think about it and then I realized that in every industry I’ve worked in, these folks were present. Restaurants? Check. Real estate? Check. Finiancial services? Oh my yes. Design? Of course!

    So unfortunately, though they grow older, and leave animation, they don’t grow up, and they do find other fields to torture.

    Do a lot of know-it-all animators end up as mediocre financial advisors, ya think? πŸ™‚



  18. Karen J Lloyd Post author

    @ Chris – Ah yes, the male flirt. Close cousin to the female breed. Yeah…art…I believe you!

    Fun and productivity *can* be a challenge. Thanks for coming by. πŸ™‚

    @Kelly – Hey, thanks for dropping by! OMG they’re *everywhere* aren’t they? I had no idea in my little art school bubble.
    “other fields to torture”…Ha!

    Maybe the Know-it-all animators lacking the talent end up there. Oh dear. Now they are bitter financial advisors. πŸ™‚

  19. Dan S

    Yes there was a certain guy in class 59 as it were that i recall had plenty of anime “little girls” all over his desk, rather creepy i found but i suppose someone besides the japanese have to like it as well πŸ™‚
    Possible other things to add to the list would be the ” i’ve been drawing since i was born yet still isn’t nearly as good as someone who only started to draw a few years ago” type person, who really burns my chops because 9/10 times they aren’t nearly as good as lots of other people yet claim they have drawn for so long.
    can’t forgot to add the ” creepy weird goth/emo/wannabe art and animation” person who seems to think that if they draw “weird” stuff somehow that translates into it being good.

    just some thoughts, i love the list though its a hoot!


  20. Friar


    Hah! There you go…

    Tortured Intellectuals…finding “other fields to Torture”.

    I love art, but I think I would have made a lousy Art Student.

  21. Kelly


    Hard to tell them apart right now. My guess is all financial advisors are slightly bitter at the moment….


    You would have been an awesome art student. You’re a closet tortured intellectual and you know it. πŸ™‚

    The brainiest ones were so very cool to hang out with, if they weren’t Know It Alls. You could have been the one who explained Floyd to us. There has to be one sober dude in the crowd who can say, yeah, but it’s crap! (Sometimes the simplest explanation is best.) You’d have been that guy.



  22. Karen J Lloyd Post author

    You guys rock for coming to my little comment section. πŸ™‚
    Gotta go sailing today but will be back later!
    (@Friar – Kelly is right…heehee)

  23. Andrew Park

    Hey Karen!
    I’ve been tuning into your blog lately, it’s been a lot of fun, especially this last little stroll down memory lane “which animator are you?” ahhhhh the days of VFS. There is something uncanny about how people can fall into a type.
    I’m enjoying all the sarcasm…..yup, just soaking it all in. Anyway, love the blog, keep it up and drop me a line so we can catch up.

  24. Karen J Lloyd Post author

    Hey Andrew (Keener alert!) πŸ™‚

    Thanks a bunch. Glad you’re here and are enjoying the sarcasm (lots more where that came from). Hope you enjoyed your walk down memory lane.

    I’ll have to get in touch soon. Hope all is cool (and bitter) on your end. πŸ˜‰

  25. Karen J Lloyd Post author

    @ Dan – ‘the ” creepy weird goth/emo/wannabe art and animation” person’…ooo that’s a *good* one! Yessiree.

    @ Friar – *singing* you’re-a-clo-set tor-tured intel-lec-tu-al! Neh-neh.

    @ Kelly – damn fine call there. πŸ˜‰

  26. t.sterling

    It took me a little while, but I read your post on Jaden’s blog and came over for more. I must say that I’m not an animation student but highly interested in working in relation to the field and have been to enough art classes to know these types of people. Most of the time I’m the super quiet guy that turns into a bit of a class clown at the end, but neither of those are described in your list. So I think I’d be a cross between the Keener and I’m quick to say “I don’t know what I don’t know” …and I never heard of the term “keener” before.

    Anyway, you have so much information here I’ll need a few days to read everything. Thanks for suppying it all though, I shall be sponge-like here.

  27. Karen J Lloyd Post author

    @ Friar – Are too.

    @ T – Well thanks a bunch for dropping by!
    As you can see from some of these comments, you don’t *have* to be an animation student to run into these people apparently.
    And like I said, it’s not a complete list. πŸ˜‰
    Nice to have you here (some funny stuff on your blog too!)

  28. Kelly


    Why does the phrase “takes one to know one” seem so fitting?

    CTSI. Closet Tortured Intellectual Syndrome. No known cure, but blogging may mask some symptoms.

    When prescribing blogging, beware: side effects on Renaissance Men include believing they are just Regular Joes…

    Nah nah nah nah, nobody can resist reading a post response…



  29. Dominic Strongspear

    You forgot the “Why-Are-You-Even-Here?” student:
    the student who, even after great expense (probably not their own expense) to attend the institution, refuses to work.
    I had a student tell me he wasn’t going to do an assignment and had only done the preliminary work because we “made him do it”.
    Yup, that’s what you are paying me for.

  30. Karen J Lloyd Post author

    Hey Dominic and welcome.
    Oh. My. God. Yes!!

    I’ve had my share of those too and they truly boggle the mind more than any other. It’s like they’re being forced to be there by their parents while they’d rather be an accountant or something.

    “But I don’t *want* to be an artist! Waa!”

    I agree that NONE of these people are probably paying for it themselves.
    I really have to do a follow up on this post…:)

  31. Franko

    Hi Karen

    I’m an Australian animation student. One of my teachers (the cheeky droll one) has sent me over to your blog to look at this post.

    I was working on my latest Glen Keene, Miyazaki, Bill Plympton fusion epic, but I thought I could take a few minutes of my allocated sleep time to roll my tired eyes down your page. Not even enough energy for eye darts.

    Very amusing (said in a dry, wind blowing through a cemetery, tone). Your comments are OK but I read on another animation blog that animation students are all over nannied, milk fed timid creatures. So that would make your list redundant.

    Anyway I have to get back to animating. I can’t hang around here chatting. I’ve got this massively awesome final project to complete.

  32. Franko

    Hi Karen

    It was an attempt at sarcasm. Harking to the top of your post. And only a student on the other side of the world would proabaly dare try it.

    What I meant to say was, “Yup, nail on the head observations, right there.”

    Great post.

    Sorry, you are not redundant. On the contrary, from what I read, you are essential.

    The link to the epic will be up in 2028. πŸ™‚

    All I’ve really got is about 53 seconds of mediocre, half-baked animation as I come to terms with how difficult and exciting the craft is.

    Warm regards from sub-tropical Queensland.

    Thanks for your blog, it’s favourited in the ‘essential for animation’ folder.

  33. Karen J Lloyd Post author

    Thanks *so* much for coming back and confirming you aren’t a jackass Franko. πŸ™‚

    I wasn’t *quite* sure if you were speaking tongue-in-cheek or were just a defensive guy with no sense of humor. Whew! Now I know you’re one of the cool ones…just like all the other folks who are kind enough to leave a comment here. Yay!

    Mind you, I had thought I got my first ‘hater’ and had officially made it in the blogging world! (You’re no one till someone hates you, apparently).

    Thanks for those kind words and I do hope you come back. Love me some Aussies! Warm regards from chilly, rainy Vancouver. πŸ™‚

  34. Franko

    Hey Karen

    It’s 3 am. I’ve been so right-brained by a whole assortment of posts on your blog, I’m going to be zombie for school tomorrow.. er later on, erk! (but not late). Excellent reading. Crikey, I’m a keener.

    I think yesterday I was possessed by β€œBowler Hat Guy” or β€œAnton Ego”. I heard their voices egging me on as I typed. I really do like those characters. I bet storyboarding for villains is more fun than boring PG rated heroes? That’s a hope and a question at the same time.

    I’m sending some Aussies over via my teach’s blog.

    As my Sicilian mother-in-law says, β€œKeep warm always.”

  35. Karen J Lloyd Post author

    Hi again Franko,

    Thanks for the link! Hope you got a good night’s sleep last night…you Keener, you.

    And yes, bad guys are always fun to board (and animate I’d presume).

  36. Samantha

    I found this to be funny since i can look around my animation class and label each person here with your stereotypes…But I consider myself to be a nerd with social skills…computers wasn’t something i always thought i’d be doing but i’m good at it so why not embrase it…

  37. Phil Willis

    Ooh – is there a cross between fanboy and know-it-all?

    Maybe “The Academic” – where they’ve seen all the stuff and read all the stuff and know all the stuff – but can’t DO the stuff.

    That would be me.


    By the way, don’t you think the lighting in Kurosawa’s 1953 classic Rashomon is the best example of …


  38. Karen J Lloyd Post author

    Hi Phil,

    Oh, I think there are *lots* of cross-overs. Heck there’s even more types.

    Again, a true know-it-all doesn’t know they’re a know-it-all, so you can’t be that bad.

    Sometimes staying a fan isn’t all bad. Once bitterness kicks in, your fandom can die down some.

    And uh, yeah…sure…of *course* the lighting in that thing was…uh…wow….yeah…cool… πŸ˜‰

  39. Ivan

    this post made me dig deep to my deepest soul. i’d like to think i’m “the flirt” type. i’m probably closest to “mr. know-it-all” type, though i’m a lot less loud and obnoxious–30% less know-it-all.

    if anything, it’s the “attempting huge, overambitious project” part that gives me the willies.

    ….and the “talk about the work more than do the work.”

    am i cursed?

  40. Angela

    I hope when I get into school I will be a keener, because the other options sound gawd-awful. (Thanks for the heads up though!)

    Great post and lovely blog!

  41. Karen J Lloyd Post author

    Hi Angela!

    I admit I kind of went for more of the negative types on this post. (I mean, let’s face it…it’s more entertaining.) I still want to do a follow up because there are more!

    But I’m sure you’re a keener. The fact that you’re here kind of proves it. Some of those other types wouldn’t be searching out practical information on the net. They’d be watching silly stuff on YouTube.

    Mark my words, you WILL come across these types when you get to school. Feel free to report back when you do! πŸ™‚

  42. Pingback: Hello world! | Nic Animation

Comments are closed.