It has begun...
Things are getting done! I like this. I have at least looked into a few small animation companies (according to a basic search) to acquire a taste what the industry is doing nowadays. As predicted, some companies focus on being CGI creators (Sprite Animation http://www.spriteanimation.com/works/# ) while others do like everything (Jk Studios http://www.jkstudios.tv ). What particularly inspired me from Jk Studios is the motion graphic and collage animation they did. I definitely want to try my hand with motion graphics and do more practice work with collage animation (see my latest attempt here: https://vimeo.com/194460645). I may try to make a lyric video and a music video using collage animation. We'll see! One day, I aspire to be like Studio Sio ( http://www.studiosoi.de/#/work/ ) and have an animation go up on a cartoon, but that's a dream for another day!
I will continue to search for other small animation companies to acquire some information from them. Let me know if you follow any cool experimental animators!
I also did look at a couple things that I should consider in expenses for my budget. One of the variable expenditures are film festivals! There are a ton out there. Some are free. Some aren't. I don't know if I will be able to submit anything as a student ( I am taking a few animation courses this semester ), but I will definitely strive to have something to submit as a student in my final year!