It takes more than just a vivid imagination, the love of cartooning, and a wild desire to work in the entertainment field to do well at an animation job. If you're looking for a career in creating film, cartoon, television, internet, or marketing animations, you'll need extensive training in technique, the use of complex software, and a native ability to work well with others under extreme deadline pressure.
While they may have unique skills and niche roles on a project, animators do not work in a vacuum. They must have strong interpersonal communication skills to understand the client's goals as well as to participate in a coordinated effort to see the project through. Team play, strong record-keeping, process tracking, and project documentation skills are of paramount importance.
In the gaming as well as in the cartoon animation field, animators are in constant communication with programmers, illustrators, designers, and storyboard artists. They may also be called upon to coordinate their work with writers, voice-over actors, sound technicians, and musical score composers. They must remain open to feedback and professional criticism as well as become responsible for delivering their work on schedule.
Your creativity, of course, is essential. While most people can learn to manipulate 3D images using state-of-the-art software, only artists are capable of contributing color theory, perspective, shading acumen, and intuitive motion to their animations. If you're considering animation school, it's wise to find a program that devotes time to workplace skill development and project management techniques as well as software training.