A transformative experience as a child set Tom on a path toward a career in animation. Within a week of graduating he had a full-time animation job.
The main skills I gained from this program were the ability to push myself, think critically and be totally unbiased when it came to my own work. These skills are invaluable now that I am in the industry.
When I was young, the first animated movie I saw was Hercules, and I think that’s what started my love for illustration and animation. There was something spellbinding about how these drawings came to life and the audience could feel the emotion in the characters during their journey. Over the years I watched more and more animated films that explored a variety of complex ideas and concepts, and I decided it was what I wanted to pursue.
RMIT was always my first choice when it came to anything in the art and design field. I did a Bachelor of Design (Games) and it confirmed what I thought: the faculty are extremely professional and will go out of their way to make sure you understand the material. They pushed me harder than I thought possible, and their dedication to encouraging growth in my illustration and animation abilities was astounding.
We were also given the opportunity to meet industry veterans, at local studios here in Melbourne. It was a huge eye-opener to see how the industry works in the real world, and also how much hard work it takes to be successful. This became an incentive for me to work even harder – postgraduate study is an amazing way to push yourself out of your comfort zone.
Even when you leave RMIT you don’t feel like you’ve really left – the connections you make can honestly last a lifetime. I’m still in contact with some of my lecturers and fellow graduates, and we talk about work and share potential job opportunities with each other.
As soon as I graduated, one of my mentors told me about a job opening and just like that, I was working as a full-time animator by the end of the week. I couldn’t have asked for a better way to start my career.