Throughout my time at university, I was given plenty of opportunities to develop a range of skills alongside one another without the pressure to pick a specific path. This was definitely one of my favourite aspects of the course, which enabled me to get a sense of where my strengths lie while encouraging me to explore areas that I may not have considered previously.
I’d never lived by the sea before coming to Portsmouth, so that was a really refreshing change, and getting to know people in a new place is always daunting, but I guess it’s useful to remember that everyone is in the same situation, and most people are always happy to make new friends and share connections. Even later on into your degree, there's always the chance to get to know someone new: all you need to do is be brave and of course, be friendly!
After completing my A-Levels, I knew that I wanted to explore the creative sector in a bit more depth, so I decided to do an art foundation at Leeds Arts University. It was such a useful stepping stone that allowed me to feel more prepared and confident in my transition into higher education while still allowing me time to figure out which area I wanted to focus on before committing to a degree. Even from the little experience I’d gained at that point, I soon realised that the aspect of art which really stood out to me was animation; but what attracted me to the University of Portsmouth, in particular, was the BA (Hons) Animation course’s mix of collaborative and solo projects along with the wide range of disciplines that are covered.
In my final film, Nothing Special, we follow a character on an everyday journey as they learn to stop and notice the world around them. In doing so, they can find a small pocket of happiness in the beauty of the mundane.
For the project, I used the Grease Pencil tool in Blender to create the character and their world.
Throughout each stage, my main goal was to complete work to a standard that I could safely say that I’d put my all into; so when I was invited to work alongside the rest of the team to finalise the completed identity, I was not only delighted that I could continue to work on a project that I was really passionate about, but for me, there’s no better feeling than knowing that your hard work has finally paid off.
I loved working alongside people from a variety of backgrounds and disciplines, and their varying approaches allowed me to view the project in a completely different light, one which was new and exciting. It was also an entirely creative space which meant that everyone was able to add their own unique spin to the development of the idea. The experience has taught me many valuable lessons but above all else, it has taught me to be confident in presenting my ideas, and I now recognise how rewarding broadening my creative gaze can be.
During my final year, I participated in a competition set up by the University’s faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries on the Graduate Show brand identity won. The whole process was an incredible learning experience. It took a little while for the team and I to perfect the designs that we were working on, but through a collaborative effort, we were able to create something that we were all proud of.
Looking forward, I hope to broaden my existing portfolio by enhancing the skills that I’m keen to push further whilst establishing my strengths both in my personal and professional life. I’m excited to use my creative expertise in new environments, and I’m keen to continue to learn and grow within the industry.
I’ve really enjoyed my time at the University of Portsmouth. Aside from the friendliness of fellow students, and the fantastic memories I’ve made, I’m also especially grateful for the openness displayed by the lectures on my course in their efforts to support us, especially in this last year. Creating a space for open discussions surrounding mental wellbeing and friendly check-ins were very much appreciated by myself and my fellow classmates, and I've helped developed a mindset I’ll take with me beyond my studies.