We spoke to BA (Hons) Animation student, Ally Horton, on studying at Leeds Arts University, why she loves Leeds and their plans for after graduating...

Why did you choose Leeds Arts University?

I loved living in a city as I came from London, and Leeds was the perfect place. It has a great student-y vibe, and the University is such a welcoming and nourishing environment for creativity. I love that I get to mesh with so many different people from all over the world, who study a range of arty subjects. The University stood out to me when I was looking around as it was an arts-only institution, which meant my work would be focused and I would be well-respected in my practice.

What made you select BA (Hons) Animation?

I come from a very arty family, and have always been around all kinds of arty inspiration, including animated films. When I was 14, I fell in love with the craft, and when visiting a UCAS fair I realised that Animation was perfect for me, as I could combine my love of concept art and character design with my love of animated film. I also loved the look of the course at Leeds Arts University because I would be able to expand my practice in any direction I wanted, instead of being led down a very tight, regimented path of growth.

What do you really enjoy about your course and the University?

The course allows me to be free and open in my practice, meaning I can develop my ideas organically. The course still pushes me though, which means I am always trying out new ideas and pushing myself out of my comfort zone. It's lovely to be surrounded by individuals who are so unique in their work, as I'm always being inspired by my peers. I love how welcoming the University is - I have been able to embrace my identity and express myself very freely, knowing I am surrounded by similar-minded people.

What do you plan to do after university?

I'd like to stay in Leeds as it's such a fantastic city. In the short-term, I'll probably get a part- or full-time job to support myself financially, working on my own projects on the side, until I am able to find a job - freelance or not - within my area of interest. I will also hopefully continue to get commission work, which would help my work get out there a little more. To be honest, as long as I am able to draw and create, with a roof over my head, I'll be happy!

What makes Leeds a good place to study?

It's such a student friendly city, which means there's so much going on. I love attending kilo sales and vintage sales, going to creative meetups, finding little gems that are tucked away in corners of the city. It's also fairly cheap, which means that I'm not too limited by a student budget, and if you know where to look, you can really make the pennies go a long way. It's such a diverse city too - the town is very commercial, Headingley feels like a cute English village, Hyde Park is chock full of students. There's so much going on that even three years feels like not enough time to discover it all.