My name is Zoe and I have just finished my first year studying BA (Hons) The Art of Computer Animation at Escape Studios. Before starting my degree last September, I had absolutely no experience with Animation, VFX, or Game Art, other than the odd bit of video editing I did in my Creative Digital Media course at Sixth Form. To be honest, I didn’t even truly know what I wanted to do until I discovered Escape Studios at a university fair in London! So, as you can imagine, it was extremely daunting throwing myself in the deep end amongst both students and industry professionals that seemed to know exactly what they were doing, but I can assure you that deciding to study at Escape Studios was one of the best decisions I have ever made.

Choosing my Sixth Form subjects

All throughout high school, I felt quite out of place as all my friends had planned out their entire careers and knew exactly what path they wanted to take to get there. I have always been quite an indecisive and hesitant person in general, which made considering possible careers when entering Sixth Form seem like the hardest thing ever. I had particular hobbies and interests such as Psychology, Media, and Art (particularly drawing and making digital prints), however I felt like I hadn’t found a specific role that seemed right for me.

I chose to study creative digital media amongst a couple of other subjects to keep my options open, and after less than a year I was sure I wanted to excel in the media industry. I started applying to apprenticeships and looking for part-time jobs that I could perhaps make full-time after I had completed my studies, but I still never found my dream career.

Discovering Animation

I know it may seem like I am exaggerating this story, but when I went to a university fair in London with my school year and saw the stand that belonged to Escape Studios, I thought ‘why have I never considered being an Animator?!’ Even as a child, I had to have a pen and paper with me at all times so I could draw characters from my favourite films and even create my own. My obsession with film and TV had grown immensely since studying digital media in Sixth Form and I was so excited when I started looking into the possible opportunities that doing a degree in Animation could give me.

The option to study Animation or VFX had never been advertised to me in school, and since I’m not naturally a very tech-savvy person, I think I was put off after assuming I wouldn’t be able to get my head around all the technical aspects of 3D Art. I knew I would regret not registering my interest in Escape Studios and visiting the campus to learn more and I’m so glad that I pushed myself to research the industry in more detail.

Applying to Escape Studios during Covid-19

After looking into several other universities that offered similar courses and attending creative workshops and interviews for a couple of them, I just had to put Escape Studios as my first choice! As mentioned previously, I was originally leaning more towards working or doing an apprenticeship especially when Covid-19 hit, however I felt so excited and welcomed whenever I saw anything related to Escape Studios that I was determined to push myself and learn how to animate.

The application process to Escape Studios, as with other universities was nerve-wracking. I was so nervous that since I had next to no experience in 3D art or anything similar, there was no way I would get into my first choice. Nonetheless, I brought along some work from my media course as well as some of my art to the Creative Workshop and hoped that along with my ability to work well in groups, this would be enough to get me in. And to my surprise, on results day, I woke up to an email congratulating me on my offer!

My first year

Ever since then I have been working really hard to demonstrate that when starting from the bottom, the only way is up. I have faced so many challenges in my first year at university, especially with having to work mostly online, but I have already learnt so much and I’m so proud of what I have achieved so far.

To anyone considering studying at Escape Studios despite having little to no experience in the subject you’re hoping to study (like me) – I say just go for it! There is absolutely nothing wrong with not knowing how to do something, so as long as you ask questions, stay motivated, and believe in yourself, there’s nothing stopping you from expanding your limits of creativity and excelling in the digital media industry. Everyone has to start somewhere!

-By Zoe Walker (1st year Animation student at Escape Studios)