Animating Talent

Retro Woman Screaming Love Comic Illustration

I stumbled across an old Fast Company article about a high school animation teacher named Dave Master.  When it Comes to Growing Talent, Dave is the Master profiles a passionate leader with a remarkable track record for developing animation talent.  At the time of the article, Disney alone employed more than 50 of Dave’s students from the small low income Rowland High.

The animation industry like many others struggles to find quality talent.  So, how was Dave able to create a hot bed for animators from the unlikely Rowland High?  If this were a made for TV movie, you would see how Dave (cue the music) inspired disadvantaged students to achieve more than they thought possible.  However, while you should not discount Dave’s passion and ability to inspire student, there are other key pieces that have made him so successful.

1. Put in the Work

In Dave’s words, his students “..put in the pencil mileage and got the right level of proficiency”

2. Learn Through Action

“Students learned to make animated films by making animated films”

3. Mentors

“You have real people teaching you.  And those people aren’t just teaching you technical skills, they’re socializing you in to an environment”

4. Evaluations

“Reviews should move people forward” he says.  “That’s why senior artists look at people’s work. These are animators with great skill, people who’ve been around. They can identify problems or indicate when it’s time to raise the bar”

I found the last quote from Dave simple, but provocative.  Talking about an animation studio, he says, “It’s very clear who can do the job and who can’t. We know whether the people who work here meet the needs of our organization. That’s something all companies should reflect on.”

Do you have a clear sense for whether your employees meet the needs of your organization?

As always, I would love to hear your feedback.

Don’t forget to check out for the coolest Talent Management tool on the planet.

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