AIE Alumni Industry Insight: Tina Tsou
After being a graphic designer for several years, Tina Tsou had a change of heart and decided that she really wanted to work in the film industry. To shift her path into animation from graphic design, she attended the Academy of Interactive Entertainment to achieve her industry dreams, and graduated from the 3D Animation & VFX for Film program at the Seattle campus in 2014. A few years later after graduating, she would eventually break into the industry at Moving-Picture Company, where she worked on her first film: The Nutcracker and the Four Realms, as an Animator. She is still currently with MPC working on their next and upcoming film.
Tell us about your experience at AIE. Which program were you enrolled in?
Tina: Animation for VFX. I had been a graphic designer for a number of years, and I was looking for a career change. AIE was my first foray into 3D, and from there I gravitated towards animation.
What is your current role and what do you like most about your job?
Tina: I'm currently an animator at MPC in Montreal. The best part is being able to animate as a job and work on movies with people from around the world. It's been fantastic. Also, meeting former online classmates and instructors and getting to work with them has been a bonus.
Montreal is great, too. I don't even mind the winters (that much).
What would be your advice to those just starting their industry career?
Tina: Never stop learning. Take more classes, read, learn new tools, work on personal projects. Also, network and show your work. Go to conferences, career fairs, portfolio reviews, talk to recruiters and ask questions. Show your work to people in the industry and get feedback.
If you are in Seattle, take advantage of your proximity to Vancouver, BC. I used to go up there regularly for VFX/animation conferences and career fairs. I highly recommend it. Take your reel, and get feedback on your work. Follow companies and recruiters on LinkedIn, and keep an eye out for networking and recruiting events. Good luck!
What were some of your favorite projects to work on in the industry? Any fond or funny memories you’d like to share?
Tina: I just want to be animating cool things and living in a cool place wherever that may be.
Two years ago, I would not have imagined I'd be doing what I'm doing and living where I am now.