Alumni Spotlight: Illustration and Animation

One of the School of Art, Architecture and Design's newest programs, the Bachelor of Design (Illustration and Animation) is your ticket into an exciting career pathway. The only degree of its kind in Australia, this unique program equips graduates with high-level skills in technical drawing, digital animation, graphic design, visual effects, and software development to prepare them for a career in the creative industries.

We asked three alumni of the Illustration and Animation program, from its earliest iteration to now, what they loved about their course of study and how it equipped them to get to where they are now.

Chris Edser, 2016

Chris Edser, Dropbear rides west

Chris Edser

Illustrator and Animator

Bachelor of Visual Communications (Illustration), 2002

 

what was the best part of your degree at UniSA?

The other students I got to know. They were a fantastic influence on me. Many of whom I still work with or are big fans of their work.

 

what is one valuable thing you gained from your degree?

Learning that education isn't just finishing a qualification and that you can continue learning and improving from experience for your whole life. 

 

describe one of your most memorable university projects:

Secretly sound recording my lecturers and then making stop-motion animated pieces using the funniest samples. I was quite worried they might find it invasive and mean, but they enjoyed it a great deal and used it as an example of the project to future students.

 

describe one of your most memorable professional projects:

This is difficult to choose, but I really remember fondly creating a series of animated pieces for Nike Basketball. It seemed like a successful culmination of experience learned, animating basketball moments in lots of personal work and smaller professional projects. I completed it while travelling in the USA and visiting Portland, where the Nike HQ is based, but was able to work remotely with some of my favourite animators, designers and friends in Adelaide and Melbourne. I love working with a small team like this and learn a lot from working with others. I've been fortunate enough to be able to include people I like and respect in projects I do, which hopefully benefits everyone and the industry here in Australia.

 

something interesting you’re currently working on:

I'm currently working on interactive animation for the National Sports Museum at the MCG in Melbourne that will be re-opened in early 2020.

 

Website / Instagram / Twitter / Vimeo / Facebook

Lisa Vertudaches

Freelance animator

Bachelor of Visual Communication (Illustration), 2012

Graduate Diploma of Art and Design, 2013

 

what was the best part of your degree at UniSA?

Getting to know all the friendly tutors, and having their support during my study.

 

what is one valuable thing you gained from your degree?

Learning to manage multiple projects all at once. As a freelancer now, I often have multiple projects on the go, and it’s not unlike studying at university, having many assignments and projects to complete over the same time frame. It really helped me work on my time management skills.

 

describe one of your most memorable university projects:

During my post-graduate diploma, I was hired by my mentor Chris Edser as a ‘clean up artist’ on a music video where I worked alongside other animators and learned from them, and saw their processes. I was required to neaten up the animators work, by creating smooth lines and colouring the shots. I worked hard in this role, and soon got to animate background characters, and eventually had a few entire shots to animate myself. I still work with Chris Edser to this day, and consider him a close friend and colleague. 

 

describe one of your most memorable professional projects:

Since 2014, I have been working with Hallmark eCards, creating funny, cute and sometimes absurd little animations for various holidays. I have built a wonderful relationship with the team in LA, and love being able to work remotely from Adelaide.

 

something interesting you’re currently working on:

I’m currently building animated sticker packs for iOS. I’m making a bread themed one now, but have avocadopotato & work out themed packs already available in the App Store!

 

Website / Instagram / Facebook

Lisa Vertudaches

Lisa Vertudaches, Numbeanie character designs for 3P learning

Sarah Boese

Sarah Boese, Pandora's Box mural, Box Factory Community Centre, 2018

Sarah Boese, Hope Street Mural, Berri, 2018

Sarah Boese

Visual Communication (Illustration), 2013

Freelance illustrator and mural artist

 

what was the best part of your degree at UniSA?

I particularly enjoyed third year as I enjoyed being able to focus on building up my portfolio and getting valuable guidance through that process. It really helped me to think about what kind of work I enjoyed the most and to appreciate the concept of quality over quantity. 

 

what is one valuable thing you gained from your degree?

The most valuable things I gained during my degree includes the ability to take feedback and effectively apply it to my work; learning to be flexible and to manage time while working on a number of different projects, as I often I have so much going on at once and it can sometimes feel like one big juggling act; and lastly, gaining an understanding of design principles, as it really shifted the way I approach my work. 

 

describe one of your most memorable university projects:

My most memorable project would probably be the third year narrative project. It was the one I was most proud of at the time, it offered a lot of creative freedom and it was a great opportunity to test my focus on a long term project. I feel it gave me the skills and confidence that got me into illustrating children’s books.  

 

describe one of your most memorable professional projects:

Public murals are my favourite projects to work on. The one that stands out the most is the Pandora’s Box mural for the Box Factory Community Centre, completed 2018. Probably because it was so involved and the brief had a particularly strong focus on community engagement, and included conducting aerosol painting workshops and idea generation with the public. It was a lot of work and the process from concept development, approval through to completion was a long process but I am still satisfied with the final artwork and what it represents. Overall it was a memorable and interesting learning experience. 

 

something interesting you’re currently working on:

I have a few small projects I’m working on at the moment, including some more mural artwork for train-line signal boxes, a temporary interactive vinyl installation for a children’s festival where people can get their photo taken to look like they are a part of the artwork and an illustration project for some branded merchandise. Other than that I’m in the process of applying for some large mural projects but will have to wait and see what happens.

Website / Instagram