We recently spoke to final year BA (Hons) Animation student Faye Craig about how they love the "positive and encouraging spaces" at the University and course specific facilities, and gave some essential tips to new students...

What helped you decide to study at Leeds Arts University?

Definitely the equipment. Out of all of the universities I visited during my undergraduate application process, Leeds Arts University provided the highest quality of resources. The most influential room for me was the Wacom Cintiq room. I saw a photo of it online and instantly said yes. Cintiq’s are almost completely essential in the animation industry so to see an entire room with more than six was a dream come true to me. I also really respect the multifunctional workshops that are used by students from courses across the University. Having access to such a variety of workshops is so welcoming to letting creativity flow!

Image: Courtesy of Faye Craig

If you had to give a fresher three pieces of advice for studying at Leeds Arts University, what would they be?

  • Don’t forget your card - jumping over the barriers is extremely frowned upon (although reception will let you in).
  • Stay open minded - don’t just stick to your department, you can find a lot of inspiration from others.
  • If you are easily distracted like me, go to the library - for some reason, its atmosphere makes you work super hard.

Film: Courtesy of Faye Craig

Tell us which facilities and resources you use the most, and how they help develop your practice.

I currently live in the ceramics studio, which is quite funny because I’m an animation student and usually we just work in dark black holes with our light boxes and Wacom tablets. I’ve recently gotten into set/prop design and working in the ceramics studio has been amazing for boosting motivation in that interest. I’m usually surrounded by fine art students (naturally), so it’s super interesting observing how other people work. I also think that the ceramics tutor Yvonne is the most amazing person in the world. She is probably the kindest person you will ever meet in your life, which in turn is also very inspiring because it’s really lovely to work in positive and encouraging spaces.

Image: Courtesy of Faye Craig

What was your route to university – what did you study before starting university? Did you always have in interest in BA (Hons) Animation?

I studied Visual Arts and Design at The BRIT School in South London. I was there basically my entire teenage life from 14-18 years old so I had quite the creative journey whilst I studied there. However, as cliché as it might sound, I’ve actually always wanted to be an animator. I was a massive fan of Cartoon Network, with the likes of shows such as: The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy, Chowder, Ed Add N Eddy but also your modern classics like SpongeBob SquarePants, Wallace & Gromit, Scooby Doo and The Simpsons. My entire life was saturated with animation. My favourite movie from when I was 7 till this day is Kiki’s Delivery Service by Studio Ghibli. My dream was to be a part of the teams that were making these stories happen, and doing a BA in animation was the beginning of that pursuit.

Image: Courtesy of Faye Craig

What do you like about living in Leeds?

So, I’m from East London, and personally, when I was originally looking for a University to study at, a lot of areas around the UK felt very distant to where I grew up. Leeds was like a home away from home for me. It has a lot of energy and diversity which is something that keeps me sane. I’m also a big fan of all the independent places and restaurants like Belgrave Music Hall & Canteen, Waterlane Boathouse, Hyde Park Book Club, Nation of Shopkeepers, Leeds Corn Exchange, BAKERY 164 !!! - I could go on for a while… It’s a very unique area that I’m really happy I've had the chance to live in.

@fayeascraig / Vimeo / fayeascraig@gmail.com

Header Image: Courtesy of Faye Craig