Been out of DA for a long time. And also left the group in it's own disrepair. Though I have learned quite a lot about myself and what it takes to be in the animation industry. You could say I made this group with little to knowledge of it than what I do know now. It's a community of very supportive and encouraging artists. Very good artists! But they won't be shy to tell you what things you need to work on to improve your craft. I know I got things to work on.
But that's the whole point of this group. I see so many people wanting to use this group to show off their work, and I gotta say, a lot of folks need help improving. I see a lot of art that looks flat and uninspiring. That may sound mean, but that's something I was told when I went to CTNX. (they put it in a nice way though, and I took their critique to heart
) But I myself feel so inadequate in giving that same kind of help. It's daunting. That's why I picked co-founders and contributors. People who I see that look like they know a lot more than I do about cartoon character design. But we all got our own business to take care of. Time that we don't have.
I thought a lot about leaving the group myself. Just too much to manage. But people keep asking why they don't get accepted to the group, why their work gets denied, or saying that they're leaving. That's all fine. All I gotta say is, you don't need this group. In fact, you don't need DA. Networking and sharing your work on more popular social media platforms help. Going to CTNX, Comic Con, or other artist-centric expos help. Connecting with artists that inspire you, who work in the industry, and offer their knowledge helps. Reading up on artistic improvement, taking online classes, or going to art school. Just do it! Go out there and learn! Don't be afraid of critique, if you know how to take it and take it from people who know how to give it.
I brought my work to Daniel Arriaga, character designer on Pixar's Coco, and he gave me pointers. I talked to Blue Sky, Disney, and other artists who do the things I want to do. If you have the means to do so, go to CTNX in Burbank, CA. Get a basic attendee pass, bring your best work, and expect to be given critique on what you need to improve on. Have an appetite to learn.
That being said, a lot of you folks who come around now and then, I hope you read this and I hope you have the courage to step into learning about yourself to see if you have what it takes to get into the animation industry. I didn't need this group to tell me that, and neither do you. Go out there and draw!