Animation in Minneapolis

5 Things I’ve Learned as an Animation & Design Intern

Working as an intern for CRASH+SUES was a fantastic and all-inclusive experience. CRASH + SUES has a longtime reputation as a post-house. What many people don’t know, however, is that they also do live-action production, animation, website design, branding and packaging. Part of a new genre of agencies, CRASH + SUES makes stories come to life through all kinds of mediums for all kinds of clients.


As a recent graduate of the University of Minnesota’s Graphic Design program, I was excited to test the waters in a number of areas rather than jump into a specialty. Getting the opportunity to work at a place like CRASH could not have been more perfect. My internship was very flexible and diverse—I was their animation intern, design intern and production assistant. Although there were a lot of different elements to the position, I was able to boil down what I’ve learned into 5 main tips that I think transcend most internships, especially in the creative industry.



Though this may seem like a no-brainer, being prepared and proactive are two of the most valuable skills I took away from my time working as a production assistant. Being on time isn’t enough. Being early is expected. It’s important to stay focused and to be aware of everything that is happening on set in order to jump in and assist at a moment’s notice…often without being asked. Time and money is limited on most shoots, so it’s important to respond quickly to issues that arise. The same can be said for being a design and animation intern. I cannot stress enough how necessary it is to play a proactive role in a company. My philosophy has been to find an answer or possible solution before the question is even asked.



Being open-minded to new experiences is a must when you’re an intern of many trades. Flexibility is one of the most valued traits found in a team member. Whether you’re asked to help carry gear, make a lunch run or return props, you’ve got to take it as an opportunity to learn something new. There were times I was asked to do the unexpected when on a shoot such as assemble furniture or even act as an extra. Being willing to be that “go to person” helped me develop a reputation as someone who could be counted on.



When I first started, I was highly encouraged to ask questions. Though I’m not really a shy gal, I didn’t want to give the impression that I was too lazy to troubleshoot problems myself. As suggested by a co-worker, I gave any problem I had the 30 minute rule. If I hadn’t found the answer after 30 minutes of trying, then I decided it was high time to ask for help. Luckily, CRASH + SUES offers great mentorship. They were there to answer my questions and help me grow as an intern.



This one may be one of the most important things I learned as a post-graduate. For me, homework and working a part-time job drained a lot of passion out of what used to be a big hobby of mine. I stopped following artists who inspired me and stopped drawing every day. My focus turned more towards getting the A, rather than growing as an artist. In school and the workplace, the most successful designers, illustrators and animators are the ones who spend most of their time being inspired by others who succeed them in skill and technique. My best work always comes from the times I spend the most researching and following other artists. Their styles and techniques challenge my own and inspire me to improve.



As I mentioned before, when I was in school I was so busy just focusing on getting work done, that I neglected to spend adequate time pursuing my own personal artistic passions. As an artist, this is the fastest way to grow. It can be hard at times and occasionally you may be struck with an artist’s block, but the best way to overcome those plateaus is by learning and trying new things. Once you’re in the work force, it’s equally important to spend time outside of work creating things you love. From outside projects, you get the opportunity to seek out your personal style and discover what you enjoy doing the most. As you grow in your career, knowing what you like and dislike can make a world of difference in the path you take. Not to mention, doing what you love is one of the things that makes life so worthwhile.


Share you insights below in the comments section!


CRASH+SUES provides strategic storytelling and video services to ad agencies, businesses and film companies seeking to create meaningful connections with their customers and employees. We’re masters of ideation, design, live action video production, animation and color, delivering compelling content that engages, entertains and educates. Call us what you want – a hybrid agency, a creative boutique, a production studio, digital daredevils, or… just call us. We’ll help you cut through the noise. Visit CRASH+SUES




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