Hi spoopyybaka, don’t get discouraged! This could be a very exciting time in animation. Even the people in charge of the largest movie studios and tv networks don’t really know how things are going to change, and they are changing. There are new venues and platforms opening up for animation all the time, and some of those things require hand-drawn technique. Gravity Falls follows the default workflow of having the story and layout handled in the US and outsourcing the actual animation to Asia. The reasons for doing it that way are economic, but I’m not sure that’s an idea that has been re-examined lately. I feel that it doesn’t have to be done that way. Like I said, things are changing really fast so there’s every reason to be hopeful. In answer to your question, of course there is a chance of getting to work on cool projects. My friend Alex Hirsch studied animation at CalArts and after working for a couple of years in the industry, created Gravity Falls and pitched it to Disney TV. He made his own future. If you keep at it and the work is good, there will be an audience.
I actually have to do hand-drawn animation. I can’t help it. It’s just who I am. So, if someone wants to pay me for it, yay! But if not, I’ll do it anyway. It’s my art, and nobody can stop you doing your art! It’s true, hand-drawn is not the default technique for most animation in the US anymore, especially in feature films, but there is still hand-drawn work out there, in commercials and television, and yes, the occasional theatrical project. They are important skills to learn for any animator. Right now I make a living doing CG animation, which is fine, and I definitely recommend acquiring those CG skills as an animator (which is really just learning a couple of software packages) to make you more employable. But character animation is character animation and the list of differences in animation technique between CG and hand-drawn is remarkably small. At the heart of it you are still communicating character and story through sequential pictures. People who scoff don’t know what they’re talking about.
Hand-drawn animation will always be my art. I find the experience of creating it and watching it magical, when compared with a digitally simulated world where there is no surprise that everything moves. But a drawing that springs to life? That’s magic!