Hi! I’m Zoe Walker and I am halfway through my second year of The Art of Computer Animation at Escape Studios. I spent the majority of my first year studying from home, but now that the COVID restrictions have eased, I am enjoying returning to the campus to study whilst still living in Essex and commuting.

How my studies inspires my career choices

My first year at university consisted of introductions to industry software, developing soft skills and learning the basics of each discipline. This was extremely helpful for someone wanting more time to explore different options as it allowed me to start my second year confident that I had chosen the right course for me.

I then studied both creature and character animation as the first two modules of my second year, and I’m excited to start working on my specialism in the upcoming term. There are so many choices such as rigging, character design, sound and lighting, and 2D animation, but the ones I am most interested in are 3D character and creature animation. Again, having the opportunity to test my skills in these areas before needing to decide was so beneficial!

My plans for the future...

As important as it can be to have an idea of where I want to be a few years after I graduate, I honestly do not have a particular image in mind. I’m someone who likes to keep their options open and see what happens in the future so that I can adapt and choose the route that works best for me at the time. As long as I’m pursuing my passion for animation in some way, I’ll be happy!

However, I do have a ‘career bucket list’. I have always been a huge fan of Disney and the idea that my name could be in the credits of a Disney film one day is so exciting! I was never too bothered about seeing the credits before I started my degree but now, as an aspiring creature or character Animator, I sit through until the very end of every movie I enjoy just to see who worked on what. It's also motivating to see other alumni (aka Escapees) featuring in the credits too!

Additionally, I love the idea of owning my own business or working as a freelance Animator. It would be fun to travel whilst working on different projects and learn from other digital artists around the world. For those that are interested in going down that route, there is also the option to do an additional year at Escape Studios to get a Master’s degree. As you can see, there really is no limit to the opportunities an Animation degree at Escape Studios can offer!

It can be a bit daunting going to university not knowing exactly what you want to do afterwards, but the tutors at Escape Studios have been extremely supportive in helping me explore my options.

By Zoe Walker, second-year Animation student