Freelance Animator, VR Artist and Immersive Creator Rosie Summers graduated in 2018 from BA (Hons) Animation, having previously studied the Foundation Diploma in Art and Design. We caught up with Rosie to find out more about how her time studying at Leeds Arts University and what she is doing now.

What did you enjoy about your time at Leeds Arts University and how did the course help you in starting out professionally?

What I enjoyed whilst studying at Leeds Arts University, is finding my professional practise. The all-rounded nature of the course allowed me to experiment with a variety of animation, before realising that 3D animation was my path and the medium I most loved using to tell my stories. The course also has fantastic connections to industry, through visiting speakers, trips and the amazing tutors!

Image: Courtesy of Rosie Summers.

I loved the emphasis on collaboration and enjoyed collaborating on projects with my animation cohort, which is a true reflection of the industry itself. Being able to work as a team is a vital element for any animator, whether in games or film. But what really made my time studying, were the tutors. They are fantastic and really go out their way for you to nurture your development as a practitioner. Their endless enthusiasm for animation, the subject they love, is so inspiring. It feels great to be a part of Leeds Arts University, it feels more like a creative community than a university, so nice and close-knit.

What did you do after leaving University?

Seeing as I was freelancing throughout my third year of university, the transition into the world of work was a very gradual blend for me. I already had a few projects on the go, I was attending a lot of events as a speaker and as a live painting virtual reality artist/VR host but I still yearned for that industry experience, without it I felt a bit lost.

I had my heart set on working at a VR company and was lucky enough to get a job as a 3D animator at a XR games studio just a few months after graduating. The first week on the job was such a learning curve, it was amazing! I learnt so much about pipelines, working effectively as a team of developers and artists, project management, and the games animation workflow as a whole! It made me realise how important industry experience really is.

Image: Courtesy of Rosie Summers.

Do you have any tips or advice for current students or recent graduates wanting to work in your field?

If you want to work in games animation, then get concentrating on creating fantastic character sequences. Work on some animation states and blend them together inside a games engine. If you are feeling adventurous, then make your character move with a controller, always find new and exciting ways to bring characters to life. If you are aiming for the smaller studios then rigging, skinning, modelling and game engine skills make you very desirable. In terms of getting into the industry itself my best tips would be to; Get some experience!

If you are a hardworking and organised individual, then go out and get some industry experience whilst studying. Push your comfort zone! Especially where confidence is concerned. Show and tell people what you do and form contacts with professionals. Having people notice you is great but remembering you is even greater. Through the course you are encouraged to reach out to industry people and when you pluck up the courage to do so, you will realise that everyone’s experience into the industry is completely different. Everybody is unique. Listen to yourself, find your own path at your own time, work hard doing what you love, and you will go far!

Image: Courtesy of Rosie Summers.

Finally, are there any future ambitions or projects in the pipeline you can tell us about?

Unfortunately, I can’t disclose my current work projects! But I am still enjoying creating VR artwork live at events and in my spare time at home, as well as doing other event work with a VR arts collective and with Leeds Film. My ambition is to just keep progressing as a 3D games animator! I’m really excited for my future in the industry.

@rosesummervr