SARAH ELLIOTTTECHNICAL ARTIST
I was on a very different career path when I left high school but by a twist of fate I ended up studying a Diploma of Animation at SAE online and then loved it so much I studied the Bachelor of Animation at Melbourne the next year.
I graduated as valedictorian of my class in 2018 and started off my career as a technical artist in the graduate program at Mighty Kingdom in Adelaide.
What inspired you to enter into the career you’re in?
It wasn’t until I had left highschool that I even realised that animation was something that you could study. I have always loved drawing and animation and when I started at SAE I originally thought that I’d like to follow an artistic discipline like modelling or animation. But the more technical work I did the more I realised I just adored rigging and the more I looked into it, the more inspired I got to become a rigger!
What are your fondest memories of your time at SAE?
The community you build up at SAE is great, you make great friends while you’re studying and build a network that can help with finding work, learning and improving skills, and just enjoy similar interests. Some of my fondest memories weren’t even on campus, I got to attend animation exhibitions and screenings with professionals from the industry and friends who were also interested in animation production.
Graduating valedictorian of my class was also a pretty great moment too!
Are you able to shed some light on how studying at SAE lead you to where you are now?
Until I started at SAE I never really realised that animation was a ‘thing’ you could study and do for a job in Australia. My course at SAE gave me a little taste of everything and then gave me the opportunity to follow the areas that interested me. In my case that area was rigging and my second year of study consisted of me chasing every opportunity to rig anything I could get my hands on and my teachers going out of their way to help me do so.
What are your career highlights?
As I have only recently graduated and started work, my whole career has been a highlight! Moving interstate for work was a big highlight, people move all over the world for work so I’m excited to see where the future takes me.
Another highlight would be getting the opportunity to learn Python on the job and apply that learning to my workflow.
What projects are you working on at the moment?
I’m working on an upcoming mobile game at the moment at Mighty Kingdom, rigging characters and writing tools to help the pipeline.
I also work on my own creative projects in my spare time that are more for fun than anything else, I’m illustrating some children’s’ comics at the moment that let me do something more visual than my usual work.
What advice would you give to students aspiring to become successful in their field?
Don’t pass up a chance to learn, whether you are at uni, thinking about studying or graduated and working, being willing to and wanting to learn is so important!
Try different things too, I was adamant I didn’t want to touch anything technical or do any programming but it’s what I love to do now and I’d never have discovered this passion if not for giving new things a go.
And most importantly, have fun! We choose creative careers because we love what we do. If deadlines and uni gets you down, stop to remind yourself of why you chose to study your particular discipline.