Welcome, I’m Tony Ascroft.
I’m 57 years old, I live in the Greater Toronto Area and I’ve been unemployed/underemployed for the past year.
I have a BSc from Brock University (Geology and Biology combined), I trained as an electro-mechanical/electronic technician with the Canadian Army for 6 years (honourable discharge), and I’m a self-taught artist and designer with over 15 years of experience as a CG Artist, Department Supervisor and Project Manager in the animation industry. Some of my career highlights include Supervising Production Manager on the PBS series ‘Super Why!, Modeling Supervisor on the TV shows ‘Sitting Ducks’ and ‘Monster by Mistake’, and Modeling Department Head for the IMAX 3D conversion of ‘Superman Returns’.
Click here to visit my web site.
In 2017, after six years away from the animation industry (I tried Real Estate for six years but just didn’t enjoy it) I upgraded my software skills to the latest versions of Maya, 3DSMax and Photoshop and taught myself some Nuke. Considering my experience and the fact that I wasn’t looking to jump back in at the top of the industry, I thought offers would be forthcoming. But that didn’t happen. No offers, heck almost no responses.
Hi visibility careers like animation, advertising, special FX etc. have a reputation of being a young persons career. They work you long, hard and fast and you do it to achieve notoriety and hopefully see your name at the top of the next blockbuster movie. But, when that doesn’t happen, and as you approach 40, you start to miss the time you could be spending with your kids, and you’re feeling more than a little burned out so you make a career change. At least that’s what I thought happened but now that I’m in the situation of not being in demand I think its more a case of ‘as long as you’re working you’re OK’ but if your contract ends and you need to find a new studio they look at you like ‘you’re just not young and hungry enough anymore’.
So, no job offers. Not one to give up easily, and after talking to friends and reading job reports, I decided that throwing away years of design skills would be silly. Not just because I love design but after so much time and effort to get skilled it’s not something you want to turn your back on. I also happen to be very organized and a quick study so I decided to learn coding. Coding along with design skills seems to be a career with a future. Fingers crossed.
I’ve always been an ‘idea guy’. What if we made this? Or, what if we created that? Or wouldn’t it be better if this worked like that? Of course, getting an idea to market is not easy (and sometimes impossible), but with the invention of the ‘app’ that may be changing. I have many ideas for apps and websites I’d like to create. I’m definitely enjoying the challenge of learning how to do it (writing code) and I find I’m wired in a way that receives satisfaction both from coming up with new app and web site ideas but also the challenge of writing the code and trouble shooting it until I get the result I’m looking for.
~ Tony, February 2018