Meet Nicola Farquhar-Smith from SAE Perth!


3 Jul 2020

Nicola Farquhar Smith



Meet Nicola Farquhar-Smith from SAE Perth!

3 Jul 2020

Anime lover Nicola discovered that she can turn her passion into a career. Looking up to heads of studios, she has plans to open her own studio one day after working in the industry. 

- student edition -

NAME:  Nicola Farquhar-Smith


DISCIPLINE: Bachelor of Animation


What do you most enjoy about student life at SAE?

The fact that I can walk down a hallway and give someone a high five, a hug or stop for a chat. Sometimes it takes you a while to get to your destination as you get to know the people who are always on campus so well. This industry is a real community. 
I also love animating. I had never really animated anything before SAE and now I can’t see myself doing something else.

What are your plans for when you graduate? 

I want to firstly get a job but I would like to create my own studio one day, most likely in Perth. I want to create a studio for both 2D and 3D animation where anyone can suggest ideas.

Can you share an artist or professional in your discipline that inspires you?

Some of the smoothest 2D animations I have ever seen was done by the animators at Kyoto animation. They produce such high quality and stunning animations along with beautiful and powerful stories. They really inspire me to just keep working so that I can one day produce something as beautiful and touching as what they make.

Could you please tell us a little about your involvement with SAE campus life?

I have a partial scholarship and help out at almost every event that I possibly can. Helping out at the events is a lot of fun and I feel that I have also become more confident by doing these. I am a member of the student council and in trimester I held the position of secretary. I have also been lucky enough to be a student partner for the past two trimesters.

What do you enjoy most about your discipline?

The animating. I love both 2D and 3D animation, although during my time at SAE I think I will specialize in 2D. One day in the future I intend to also get back into 3D.

Nicola 3

What is your favourite software you use?

At the moment it is Adobe Animate though I would like to try some other 2D animation programs such as Toon Boom. 

What is your favourite hardware you use?

Intuos five wacom. I had never used a Wacom before going to SAE and now I cannot imagine animating without one.

What advice would you give to someone considering coming to SAE?

It’s a lot of work but it is also a lot of fun and very rewarding. If you really want to work in the industry and are willing to work hard you will love it.

What is Orientation and the first day of SAE like? 

I was nervous at first but then someone started to talk to me and then someone else just sat down next to us and joined in. None of us knew each other but we just started talking games and looking at each other’s sketchbooks. By the end of the day, I couldn’t wait for my first class.

Do you have any helpful tips to share with fellow students?

The people in the trimesters above you aren’t so scary and in a few quick trimesters, you will be in the same trimesters that they were in. Talk to everyone and anyone. Your lecturers are there to help you so ask them as many questions as you need to. Also, ask the students in the trimesters above you for help too. Everyone is incredibly nice and we are all there to help each other. You might even end up working with or for some of them one day. 

Nicola animation

What is the best fun fact about yourself?

I have been dancing since I was about five and my favourite style is Hip Hop. Also, I have a nonidentical twin sister who dances as well.

Who are 3 people you would invite to dinner, dead or alive?

If I could invite three people to dinner, I would probably invite Hiromu Arakawa, Kim Jung Gi and Akihiro Hino. Hiromu Arakawa is the author of Fullmetal Alchemist Manga. The manga was adapted into an anime called Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood which is my favourite anime of all time. It is the anime that showed me that animation can tell real and emotional stories. Kim Jung Gi is an incredible artist who draws everything from his mind. He draws all the time and draws whatever he wants. Finally, Akihiro Hino is the creator of one of my favourite game series Professor Layton. This game series has interesting and enjoyable stories as well as fun puzzle mechanics. These games introduced me to different genres of games.

These are all people that I find interesting and I love their work.


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