There is not a day that goes by that I don't ask a fellow animator to look at my shot. You may have a really strong idea for a shot, but I guarantee you that someone else can bring an idea to the table that you didn't think of. This kind of collaboration only makes your animation stronger. Also when you are finishing a shot, and you've been working on it for weeks, it always helps to have a fresh pair of eyes look at it to see all those little things that need attention. Animation is a team sport - you are only as strong as the people around you.
I make it a point to go into dailies every morning, even when I'm not showing my work. You can learn a lot by watching other animators' work. Seventy animators will animate one character differently, so its important to hear what the director feels the character should be doing, so everyone can be on the same page. Also, an animator might add one gesture, one movement that ends up defining that character. This will give you ideas for your own shots.
After animating all day, I like to watch a movie or a television show that has inspiring acting. Rarely do I watch cartoons at night, but rather a great actor. Watching an actor's performance can give you ideas that may not have been added in animation yet. Rather then just watching cartoons, open up your library to movies, plays, even photos. All these can help you progress farther as an artist.
Guest blogger Aaron Hartline