RMIT’s technique-focused approach to animation and storytelling has turned Kiki Yan’s budding design skills into a promising career path.
After studying a Diploma at RMIT, Kiki attended Open Day to find out her options for what could be next for her after the diploma.
“I accidentally went to have a look at the animation school" explains Kiki, regarding an unplanned visit to Building 7 on Open Day. It was an accident that led her to study a Bachelor of Design (Animation and Interactive Media) and fulfil a life-long interest of becoming an animator.
"I was so impressed with the work I saw in the Animation School. I realised that animation is not only about the cartoons but also a variety of different styles. You can use animation to express yourself and to show abstract things that are in your mind, and you can do motion graphics and 3D modelling. After I saw all of the beautiful and amazing works, I knew this was the major I wanted to study for the next three years.”
Kiki saw an online interview with an RMIT animation student and was impressed with their post-graduate success. “She jumped into a really good animation company in New Zealand, and became a part of making The Hobbit. I was like, ‘Oh, so good! Maybe I should try this?’”
Kiki loved design and animation when she was growing up in China. “I was always drawing little cartoon characters for my sister or my friends. That was my first time starting to design small stuff.
“I really love Marvel Studios, and I loved Disney cartoons as well when I was a kid. When I watch those films and cartoons, I feel lots of energy and want to be a good person. That is what most impresses me about animation.”
Learning from RMIT’s teachers has improved Kiki’s work and ideas-generation dramatically. “I am very happy to be an animation student at RMIT University because our teachers are really professional. They are the top teachers in the animation industry. All my teachers have over 10 years of teaching experience, so they really know what students want. They not only teach us skills but also train us to have a good eye about aesthetics.
“One of my teachers is really patient and tells us again and again how to make a story, shows us how to think and she doesn't let us get stuck in the classroom. She inspires us."
Kiki is impressed by RMIT’s focus on what a career in the animation industry can look like. “In our major, we not only learn about how to make the animations, but we also learn everything about the industry. In the first year we learned how to write a script, how to make a good story, how to impress people, how to surprise people and how to use just two minutes or three minutes to express a whole story.”
Kiki has found many friends at RMIT through study groups and joining clubs for things she likes doing. “I really love street dance and hip-hop, and I saw lots of cool people dancing on the spot. They told us about the RMIT street dance club, and I joined them. Also, I joined the Chinese scholar society. I made lots of friends in that club and they introduced me to a part-time job as well!”
She was also encouraged to visit the National Gallery of Victoria during a class on art history. It’s now one of her favourite places to get inspired.
“They always have really good exhibitions to introduce global artists. In a first year art history subject we were looking at an artwork and I wanted to see the real work, so my friends and I went to the NGV. We were super surprised because it’s totally different from the one we'd seen in the lecture room. Getting to see all the drawings and get a feel for the artist, that was so amazing.”
With the end of her degree in sight, Kiki is excited to put the skills she’s learning into practice. “After graduation, I want to be an animation film producer and keep jumping into the animation industry and doing my best.”
Acknowledgement of country
RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nations on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business.