I am so impressed by what I've seen of the animation community so far. There's a wonderful "atmosphere of admiration" - artists working alongside each other, all striving to improve wherever they're at and encouraging one another in the process, and communally looking to respected artists for inspiration, education, and innovation.
Whether it's for a famous dead artist, an obscure illustrator, or the top contemporary names in animation, there's a pervasive sense of respect for the artists who have worked hard to produce great stuff. People in the industry seem to know the artists by name, even when their work is part of a film made by hundreds, and they recognize them for their unique style, ability, and contributions. Though it's the drawings that we interact with and admire, the work is never detached from the individual who created it.
What's great is that the admiration is all-inclusive, it's not about who is "the best." The more great artists the better! Different artists work in different media (animation, comics, illustration, fine art) with different styles and different strengths, and each one can be appreciated for their unique strengths and contributions. Each discovery of a new artist is another reason to get excited!! The only limiting factor of course, is the size of your bookshelf (and budget).
So far people also seem very willing to help and to share expertise. Perhaps they realize (as I've been coming to realize), that "self-taught artist" is something of a myth, and they're eager to pass on help, knowing the abundance of help they must have received to get where they are today.
I'm sure there's a dark side to the animation world (as in all human interaction), but I like what I've seen so far!