BA (Hons) Animation student Madgie Hall Dougherty, gives us an insight into the industry experience they have had whilst studying at the University and the most valuable lessons that they have learnt...

What helped you decide to study at Leeds Arts University?

I was first drawn to Leeds Arts University due to the facilities it has to offer as well as the close knit, friendly learning environment. Although Leeds Arts University campus is fairly small comparatively to other universities in the city, the smaller scale allows students to collaborate across courses more effectively.

Image: Courtesy of Madgie Hall Dougherty.

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

I am interested in making experimental, textural animation so I have been encouraged to explore and experiment with materials; access to print and laser-cutting workshops have allowed me to explore avenues I wouldn’t have considered otherwise.

We have also been encouraged to work both independently and within groups to gain skills in each environment. Group work has improved my confidence and communication which are necessary in the animation industry. In addition, the research modules have granted me a stronger foundation to build on with my practical work.

Film: Showreel 2021 by Madgie Hall Dougherty.

Tell us about any industry work experience you’ve gained throughout your time studying BA (Hons) Animation.

We are encouraged to present ourselves professionally online and take on live briefs throughout our time here. I have previously created 2D digital emotes for a Twitch account, and used collage techniques to make an animated logo for the charity ‘Desta Ethiopia.’

I am currently in the process of creating a short animation for wellbeing co-operative, ‘Kocoon.’ This project will make use of inverted watercolour and fineliner. I have found it really fun to work within the guidance of a brief whilst also having the freedom to play with media and finding the most effective way of visually conveying the client’s message.

As well as freelance work, I have made several animated short films independently and in a group. In second year, myself and three other students created ‘Sumatra Indonesia’ a short documentary which has been accepted into three film festivals so far.

Film: ‘Sumatra Indonesia’ by Madgie Hall Dougherty, Jack Osmond, Harry Richards and Daisy Lewis.

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

I have mostly made use of the rostrums and DSLR cameras in the main studio as they have allowed me to work in a ‘straight-ahead’, spontaneous fashion and use wet paint textures in my animation. I also love working in the library and immersing myself in books about fine art and art history to inform my work. I am using the monoprinting resources in the print workshop currently, and the assistants are always around to help and offer great ideas but also let you get on with your own work.

Image: Courtesy of Madgie Hall Dougherty

What are the three most valuable things you’ve learned while studying at Leeds Arts University?

  • Being adaptable to change is a very valuable skill.
  • Texture and materials can really impact on an audience’s reception of an animation.
  • Hard work can involve playing, experimenting and creating things with friends!


Header Image: Courtesy of Madgie Hall Dougherty