Programme: Animation - BA (Hons)

Year: 2016

Since graduating in 2016, Vera Babida has been shortlisted for several awards including a BAFTA 'New Talent' nomination and was selected as one of It’s Nice That’s 'The Graduates 2016'. She offers advice to new students and recent graduates, from getting yourself out there to making mistakes.

Tell us about your time at ECA

I chose to study Animation as I’ve always been fascinated by the idea of turning illustrations into moving images. What made those four years so special was the support of my peers; we were a very diverse bunch and were able to learn from one another. Some of us were very good storytellers, some of us were very good at stop-motion, some at art direction. Our year group managed to curate two of our own exhibitions, including our degree show, which we were immensely proud of.

As our year group was small, we received a lot of undivided attention from our tutors in comparison to other universities.

I have never met a more wonderful, passionate, talented, diverse, supportive group of peers and friends. They were so vital in helping me go through my third and final year, moral support is important, and it made me realise how much I love working with people.

The structure of my course has helped me become independent and self-sufficient as a creative individual. The tutors provided us with support when we needed it and told us that if we want something, we have to pursue it and make it happen.

Vera Babida's showreel

"Make mistakes and learn from them, and then make them again if you have to."

Vera Babida, 2016 Animation - BA

Tell us about your experiences since leaving

I miss University life and my peers, I’m sure everyone feels the same to a certain degree.

One of the most valuable things the course taught me was self-management, something you will need once you start working in the creative industries. Having a course structure and lectures that you are obligated to attend gives you structure, but once you leave university you will be planning your own timetable and tasks, and that requires a lot of self-motivation and management skills.

From my degree show work I was selected for It’s Nice That’s ‘The Graduate 2016’. This has definitely given me a boost in terms of employment and exposure. I’ve been lucky enough to receive a streamline of freelancing jobs for a year and it has been a very steep and exciting learning curve. I've also screened films in Scotland and international film festivals, and was a nominee at the BAFTA Scotland New Talent Award 2016.

After graduation I moved to Australia and began working in a branding agency called Love and Money Agency as an animator/illustrator/graphic designer. As each project has been so different it has been a very fun and challenging job. Outside of the agency I am currently working on my first children’s book and preparing for my role as speaker at this year's Node Fest, a relatively new animation festival in Melbourne.

Illustration in orange jacket
Image courtesy of Vera Babida
'A.' Illustration by Vera Babida
Image courtesy of Vera Babida - Still from 'There Again' Vera Babida's graduate film
Image courtesy of Vera Babida
Still from 'There Again' Vera Babida's graduate film

Alumni Wisdom

Advice to someone starting this year

  • Be yourself
  • Make mistakes and learn from them, and then make them again if you have to

Advice to new graduates

  • Know your worth; don’t be afraid of talking about your rate and client’s budget.
  • Set yourself tasks and get yourself out there, don’t sit and wait for people to come to you.
  • It’s a cliché, but don’t give up even if you have applied to a hundred places. You only need one person to notice you, so keep going.
  • Don’t be a d*ck!

Are you interested in studying Animation - BA (Hons) at Edinburgh College of Art?

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