Saturday, 31 December 2011

Bye to 2011 - hello to 2012

2011 was a busy and eventful year! I must admit to feeling drained, but elated at the same time.... At the beginning of 2011 I was a lecturer and personal tutor for animation and interactive media students - at the end of 2011 I have my own course to run and have become an Advanced Practitioner in teaching (we will have to see how that transpires in 2012 to know if it was a good decision to take this position on...). I also passed an MA in 2D Digital Animation (this is something I still struggle to believe myself). Not sure I can aim to do as much in the coming year.

I do have a huge concern about the future of the animation industry in this country and I think we need to be pro active in attempting to make the Government aware that it would be a traversty if some of our great animation studios move from this country because it is not viable to stay here anymore. Mark Field (MP) has discussed securing the future of animation in the UK on the Animation UK website and says: 
'...if we allow this industry to be eroded, we could face an exodus of opportunity from our shores. Skilled young talent may be driven abroad; we could lose the chance to exploit highly lucrative ancillary licensed products; we may see the leaching of expertise, creating a skills dearth in complementary industries such as post-production; and we risk undermining our cultural heritage. Indeed it is precisely because of the vast opportunities that flow from a thriving animation sector that other nations are so keen to attract the business.'
Animation UK campaigns for fairer trading conditions for UK animation producers, to help protect or increase the production and ownership of IP that is of such value to the UK. On their website there is a pro forma for a letter to send to a local MP and one of my New Year resolutions is to write one of these letters. We need to be pro active for the past, present and future students to ensure that an animation industry is maintained in the UK!

On a more personal note, one of my resolutions is to do an animation course at St Martins. I have thought about it for the past two years, so it is about time I actually did it! Originally when I applied to Hertfordshire University I wanted to top up my HND to a degree in order to improve my animation skills, but was persuaded to go direct to the MA and although I have learned so much about media and animation theory at Herts (huge thanks to Alan Peacock and Dr Ivan Phillips), and my animation skills are improving - all that I have learned about animation is self taught and I really feel the need to absorb some guidance on traditional animation as I have only ever really done digital 2D animation. 

Well, we have 4 hours left of 2011 - I have learned so much during this year and hope to continue to learn and impart what I learn and know to others more effectively. Au revoir 2011, I hope 2012 is even half as productive :).

Saturday, 3 December 2011

Creative yearnings...

After the full on August and part of September that I had working on my interactive animation - I have been creatively barren due to focusing on inspiring the students to be creative, which I hope to have been partially successful at - I cannot honestly say that 100% have the creative bug, but the ones that have are really buzzing and the others are at least working on it! It has been a very hectic term and it has absolutely flown by! I have lots of marking to do, reports have been written and I also recently applied for an additional post of Advanced Practitioner for our creative sector and amazingly I got the job, after a very nerve wracking interview - I must say, it has been a very busy and eventful year. Things will be even more hectic now, so I am looking forward to taking some time out over the Christmas break to get creative again!   

The only creative link that I have clung onto this term is my photography - I've been carrying my little Canon G12 everywhere with me. I took lots of photos at the Science Museum this week (I took the FdA degree students and the BTEC year 2's to the Science museum and the Natural History museum) - they were getting inspiration for an animation based upon Steampunk and I personally was inspired by so many objects up there - I should take time to go myself as it was rather rushed as I had to run from one museum to the other checking that everyone was ok and sketching for inspiration. I ended the afternoon by going to the Cafe with the FdA's and we sat on the observation gallery watching the skaters on the ice rink - I took some photos and the students did some movement sketches.... it was very festive :) - wished I could have stayed longer, but had to rush back to College for parents evening.