There seems to be three major camps of animation artists. One camp's long-term goal is to create, sell and produce their own television series or feature film. Another camp's long-term goal is to create their own studio business. The third camp consists of people who are happy simply excelling as workers for hire.
No matter what camp you fit into, most animation artists that have worked as off-site freelancers get a a taste of freedom that is similar to what it must feel like to be your own boss. You get to setup with your workday your own way. You can take a double lunch or catch a movie in the middle of the day and have the option to resume work again at night.
Animation artists, by the nature of our careers, sometimes work alone for hours or days at a time to complete a job. It's not surprising that many of us dream of opening our own studio where we could live and work in the ultimate example of independence.
Paul Fierlinger sums up the allure of owning your own studios: " I don't have to spend any time working with people I don't like; the commute to work is easy; it's easy to work anywhere from an hour to sixteen hours a day; the pay is anything buy regular; industry news and trends pass me by and I live in fear of where the next job is coming from instead of having to live in fear or when I'll get sacked."
Some create their own studio business more our of necessity than from passion. Large studios tend to hire a lot of artists fresh out of school. They seek out this inexperienced youthful labor because they can pay less and expect more time and loyalty in return. Some companies believe that it's easier to train young workers who are free of the bad habits that years of experience can sometimes bring.
Older workers will likely have family commitments, which pull them away from working late nights or taking on extra work for the weekend. Those who are forty years old and older either gravitate toward studio supervisor jobs or risk competing against an ever-growing crop of recent graduates for some of the same jobs.
To stay competitive, the older people in the workforce must often lower their hourly rates, despite the wealth of experience they inherently bring to each project. It's easy to see why some older animation artists feel that going into business for themselves would be the best way to continue a career in the industry