We chatted to current BA (Hons) Animation student Hannah Watts, about their current project inspired by samurai armour and how they progressed from our Extended Diploma course...

What helped you decide to study at Leeds Arts University?

I was looking for a diverse course that enabled me to expand my knowledge of the animation industry. Giving me the flexibility to be able to use different mediums and explore the pre-production, production, and post-production roles within teams. Leeds Arts University encompassed this within their animation course which sealed the deal for me.

Image: Courtesy of Hannah Watts

What project are you currently working on and what’s involved? What have you learned?

Currently, I am working under the roles of background designer and producer on my final project of second year. I’m working collaboratively on an animated documentary, looking at the process of gusoku samurai armour which was inspired by an exhibition at Royal Armouries. From that, I learned what materials are used in creating samurai armour and the intricacy of the practice. For the animation style, we were inspired by Nagasawa Rosetsu, and Maruyama Okyo prints from the 1800s and Studio Ghibli’s ‘The Tale of Princess Kaguya’. A natural progression was to create a Japanese woodcut style digitally to form a major part of the backgrounds.

Image: Courtesy of Hannah Watts

How does Leeds Arts University help you develop your skills and creative practice?

The University has helped me develop my skills by giving me projects that stretch me. By exploring many new techniques and roles within the industry, expanding my creative practice across different briefs, insightful talks with visiting professionals and critical feedback from the tutors and peers, it has helped me look at my work in a different light and strengthened my skills.

Image: Courtesy of Hannah Watts

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

Prior to starting my undergraduate degree, I studied at Leeds Arts University on the Extended Diploma course. Here I explored practices from fine art to fashion, but I knew I was interested in film, animation and illustration. This supported my choice to specify my practice and concentrate on studying graphics in the second year. Originally, I wanted to advance into illustration but after an animation talk at college, I found it was something I wanted to explore more of, and it echoed back to my passion for the film and animation industry.

Image: Courtesy of Hannah Watts

Describe yourself in three words.

Open-minded, creative, determined.

@hannahflo_o / www.hannahfloj.wixsite.com/mysite