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Illustration and Animation Student Abi Sambells

Abi Sambells is in her final year studying Illustration and Animation BA (Hons) at Loughborough University.

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‘I always believed that I would become a textiles designer, so it was a shock for me that after my Art Foundation year, I ended up studying Illustration at Loughborough University. Looking back, it was the best decision I could have made. I was working to briefs and visually communicating my ideas and solving important design problems. It felt like my work had a purpose and had transformed from my A Levels, where my main focus was for it to ‘look good’, even if it didn’t make much sense at all.

However, it didn’t fully click into place until I began to explore animation in my spare time. I started in my first year by producing stop-motion pieces for both my uni work and as promotional pieces for my university halls, and then taught myself After Effects after our first Animation module in second year. Suddenly, I saw my work coming alive and having a purpose. I have since designed animations used by the Union and for expanding companies. It’s amazing to see your work being appreciated and commissioned by others. One of my dreams has always been for some of my work to appear on television, and through animation I’m hopeful that this will one day happen.’

‘I find that Pinterest is a great way of storing the designs and animations that influence me the most, as well as keeping up to date with Animation Studios such as Persistent Peril, Studio AKA, Mummu, Animade & Wonky Films. I also LOVE the work of Ariel Costa & Markus Magnusson who I discovered through the animation which has possibly been the most inspirational to me: “To This Day” – A spoken word poem performed by Shane Koyczan and animated by so many talented animators and motion designers. It’s a real must watch! It’s also inspired my current project, which is an animated story inspired by the spoken word of Liam Peoples, a finalist English Student, also from Loughborough University. I’ve used the project to really get into the mind of my main character, and feel his pain and longing to belong as he grows older, but I won’t give too much away before it’s finished!

Aside from that, I’m constantly working on improving my portfolio and showreel and gaining experience where I can. I don’t think I’ll ever stop learning, but I don’t want to. The most exciting part of what I do, is knowing that next time I will do it better.’

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