Get to know us!

The Academy Of Animated Art
Will Help You Get A Job In Animated Films In Less Than A Year

Sounds like a big
promise right

That’s because we are confident we can get you there. How do we know? Because over the last few years, we have helped more than 200 students start their careers as artists on animated films. And the best part? They have been able to accomplish it in less than 10 hours per week. 

We know you have busy schedules and life commitments. That is why we designed a system that is laser-focused on giving you exactly what you need to get a job fast. 

Get started right now by learning

The 3 Expert Insider Secrets for a Successful Demo Reel!

Here’s a little secret about
our industry…

Film companies don’t care what software packages you know.

They have proprietary renderers and proprietary software and proprietary workflows that they need to teach all new hires so it doesn’t matter if you know VRay or Nuke or whatever.
What they look for are individuals that can demonstrate an ability to create a beautiful image that elicits an emotional reaction from the audience.

An artist that can generate a cohesive, well-composed image that shows an artistic eye.

This is what Academy Of Animated Art focuses on.

We’ve designed courses that will not only train you how to initially create a beautiful image, but also how to analyze that image and improve it through iterative steps to ultimately have a successful final product.

How did we begin?

The Academy Of Animated Art was co-founded by Jasmine Katatikarn and Michael Tanzillo. We were two senior light artists at Blue Sky Studios with a combined 20+ years of working on VFX and Animated Films (Ice Age Films, Rio, Ferdinand, Peanuts, etc…). We’ve been in this game for a long time and we know what it takes to get a job in this industry. 

The problem? We weren’t seeing the skills necessary from people applying for jobs. 

We would travel on recruiting trips to colleges and universities and students would continuously show us reels that didn’t have the type of work or quality of work to get a job. 

We set out to change that. We developed a full range of artist-focused 3D animation courses that are geared for everyone who wants to jumpstart their animation career. And we crafted it in a way that will allow you to master all the necessary skills in a fraction of the time and pennies on the dollar compared to traditional schools.

About us

About us

Our Superpower!

Do you want to know the thing that made us different and special?

Perhaps even our SUPERPOWER!

While it was great that we designed courses, that’s not actually the thing that made us special. 

It is our ability to connect with students and provide personalized feedback. We can provide honest, professional-level feedback on a daily basis. We can tell you exactly what you are doing wrong and, more importantly, what you should be doing to make an incredible demo reel. 

Why? Because we have been in the rooms when reels were reviewed. We know the things hiring managers are looking for. We have the insider information that is necessary for you to get a leg up on the competition and get you the job. 

We are The CO Founders
of Academy Of Animated Art

Jasmine - About Academy of Animated Art

Jasmine Katatikarn

Jasmine has over 20 years of industry experience in Feature Animation and VFX.  Most recently, 3D Tech Artist Manager at Amazon and CG Lead at Framestore. Previous to her role at Amazon and Framestore, she was a Senior Lighting Technical Director at Blue Sky Studios for over 10 years. Her lighting credits include Ferdinand, Peanuts, Rio 2, Epic, Ice Age: Continental Drift, Rio, Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs, Ghost Town, and The Nanny Diaries.

About Jasmine

When I graduated from College with an Economics degree from Vassar College, I felt a bit lost on what career path I wanted in life. I went to many finance related job interviews and quickly decided it was not the path for me. This is when I went back to what my original passion, the arts. Since I was young, I was taught I should not pursue anything artistic if I wanted a realistic career that did not involve struggling for money. I was always pushed to do something more practical instead, thus the economics degree. It was not until I was 21 years old that I decided to forget about “being practical” and do what would give me inspiration every day and I haven’t looked back since.

I started building a portfolio from scratch the summer after I graduated from college and, by some miracle, landed a job in package design at Godiva Chocolatier. During this time I was introduced to the world of 3D animation through an instructor that was teaching me basic 2D graphic skills. I was instantly intrigued by this new art medium that combined both aesthetic and technical skills. This is when I applied to graduate school at NYU for a Masters of Science in Digital Imaging and Design.

My first job in animation was working on 3D medical visualization. From that experience, I was able to propel myself into VFX and commercial projects at The Mill, Framestore, and RhinoFX for seven years before moving into feature animated film work at Blue Sky Studios. Along with working on animated films, I also had the pleasure of co-authoring a book entitled Lighting for Animation: The Art of Visual Storytelling.

I have never looked back and am so grateful I decided to follow my dreams and chase the “unpractical” career route. Not only am I not a starving artist, I am very financially successful but more importantly I am doing something that I love to do. I am living my own dream and I hope to bring the same to you!


About Academy of Animated Art - Michael

Michael Tanzillo

Mike is currently making pretty pictures for Adobe’s substance team. Previous to this role, Mike was a Senior Lighting TD at Blue Sky Studios for over 12 years. His lighting credits include Rio 2, Epic, Ice Age: Continental Drift, Rio, Scrat’s Continental Crack-up, Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs, Peanuts and Ferdinand.

About Michael

In 2004, I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. I had just finished college and had a degree in photography but felt completely lost because I still didn’t know what career I wanted. I was making ends meet by waiting tables and working any odd job I could get my hands on.

Then I watched Finding Nemo and my life changed forever.

More specifically I watched a behind the scenes that showed artists scuba diving off the coast of Australia to obtain reference for the look of the film. It showed how they altered the color of the water in certain scenes to specifically elicit an emotional reaction from the audience. I was blown away. I had no idea there were artists that did that kind of visual work on an animated film.

So I did a lot of research and discovered the role of Lighting Artist and I immediately knew this was the career for me. Unfortunately, I also discovered I was grossly under-qualified for such a position and, therefore, I decided to bite the bullet, head back to school, and work my butt off to gain the necessary knowledge to build a demo reel to apply for jobs with animation companies.

Now it is over a decade later and I am working on my 9th feature film as a Senior Lighting TD at Blue Sky Studios and it’s better than I could have imagined. This industry is the combination of artistic creativity and scientific exploration that I always dreamed it would be. It has allowed me the chance to work with some of the most creative and inspiring people I could ever imagine. It has allowed me to accomplish another life goal of becoming a published author when Jasmine and I released Lighting For Animation: The Art of Visual Storytelling. This industry has given me a career that I am proud of and now I can create a future for my family.


What’s next?

Are you excited to work with Jasmine and Mike?
Are you ready to work with professional artists to launch
your career as an artist on Animated Films?

Get started right now by learning!

The 3 Expert Insider Secrets for a Successful Demo Reel!


Online Courses & Mentorship
For 3D Artists.

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Three Expert Insider Secrets for a Successful Demo Reel.



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