After working in the computer graphics field for many years without relevant qualifications, Andrew Robinson came to Worcester University as a mature student studying Creative Digital Media at BA level. In his time on that course he gained a reputation for producing highly polished commercial work, and graduated with a first class honours degree.
Choosing to continue his studies at Worcester University was, he says, a natural choice. “I had been consistently impressed with the staff and facilities at Worcester University, and the unique combination of a one-year Masters course with wide flexibility offered within the modules made the Creative Digital Media MA the ideal course for me.”
The flexibility of the course allowed Andrew to explore his growing interest in motion graphics and to set his own objective for the year: to move away from producing work that simply satisfies a commercial brief, and find his own ‘voice’. Working with students from other disciplines was a particularly inspiring part of the course for Andrew, “Discussing my practice with painters, film-makers and illustrators made it possible to step outside the ‘rules’ of my field and look at my work in a new light”.
In particular, the Ethical Practice and Digital Media Practice modules pushed Andrew to think more deeply and to take part in open-ended research for the first time. Andrew’s practice on the course explored the cross-fertilisation of motion graphics and animation techniques and culminated in the production of a 20-minute film that blends both fields and which has been exhibited internationally. This practice was founded on research into the semiotics of the ‘uncanny valley’ effect, a theme that Andrew hopes to continue to explore at PhD level in the future.
Reflecting on the course, Andrew says, “Looking back, I’m astonished at the difference one year has made to my creative output. Taking time to explore and push my practice into new areas has given me my own creative voice, and the confidence to think of myself as a creative filmmaker in my own right, rather than just a visual effects artist working on other people’s projects.”
After graduating, Andrew continues to work in the field of digital arts as a freelancer, but he now has an additional career, as he explains: “Sharing knowledge with other students on the course was a highly rewarding experience that I was really keen to continue. On the course, we were encouraged to think of our lecturers as colleagues rather than pedagogues, so finding work as a lecturer was something that I naturally aspired to, and I have been lucky enough to find part-time work at the University of Worcester’s Business School, where I now lecture to first year students in Creative Computing.”