Navigating and Building an Authentic Career

Navigating and Building an Authentic Career


WIA Members at the Creator level may apply to WIA Mentorship programs. Thank you for your support!

Navigating and Building an Authentic Career



  • Recent Graduates
  • Early Career Professionals
  • Big Dreamers


  • A safe place for interactive conversations to explore industry goals
  • A sounding board to test ideas
  • Tips and strategies to navigate the industry
  • Deep listening and emotional support
  • Focused goal setting sessions
  • 10 years of industry experience from an Artist’s perspective


  • Set recipes for how to navigate careers as everyone has their individual path
  • Focus on Storyboard/design skills


Navigating a highly competitive, ever-changing industry that is curated by your dreams can be overwhelming. In this circle, you’ll join Sammi as she guides you to find your way in the animation industry, honing your individual brand and professional presence on a national and international stage.

In this circle, you’ll be guided in;

  • Networking and building impactful relationships with industry
  • Clarifying your ‘why’ and goals
  • Curating a purposeful career
  • Dealing with rejection
  • Connecting to your craft
  • Developing your professional presence & the art of showing up
  • Understanding how to navigate the inner workings of job searching
  • Learning how to communicate your value to companies and projects
  • Trusting and expressing your unique voice
  • Building your confidence and your ability to think outside all the boxes

This circle is ideal for big dreamers, recent graduates stepping into the animation industry, and early career professionals with 1-2 years of experience. If you are resilient and aspire to make a colorful mark, this is the mentorship circle for you!

Qualification Criteria

Aspiring Professional (0 yrs of experience)
Entry Level (1-2 yrs of experience)

Day / Time

Times Per Month:  Twice 
Day / Time:  Friday 7 – 9 AM
Timezone: AEDT (Melbourne, Australia)

ADDITIONAL Application requirementS

Please submit the following:

  • Personal Statement explaining why this circle is right for you (make sure to include your goals and why you wish to be in this career)
  • Portfolio/ Reel

Circle Leader

Sammi Zaleski

Sammi Zaleski is an Illustrator, Character Designer, and Storyboard Artist based in Melbourne, Australia, with a hybrid career spanning ten years. She started out at fourteen by publishing her own illustrated books and was commissioned internationally on a range of projects across children’s book illustration, character design and storyboarding development for TV and feature film projects. She has worked in the Australian, European and Canadian film industries with WIA, Adobe, Atomic Cartoons, Adventurverse Studio, JAM Media, Cheeky Little Media and Studiocanal.

Sammi is passionate about creating impactful projects and mentoring emerging talent. She is highly skilled in concept art, illustration, storyboarding, career strategy, networking, and mentoring. As a lecturer in the area of production art with JMC Academy and Swinburne University in storyboarding, Sammi is experienced in developing and guiding students to reach their creative potential. She has undertaken training with Aardman Academy and has a Bachelor’s Degree in Animation from Griffith Film School. During her university studies, she attended Falmouth University in the UK.

She has the ability to step boldly outside her comfort zone, manage the unknown, adapt and innovate in an ever-changing industry.


Current Title: Illustrator, Character Designer & Storyboard Artist

Studio / Employer:  Freelance – Samantha Zaleski Illustration


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