“As soon as I saw some examples of students’ work, I knew this course was what I wanted to do. It was the first time I’d seen a degree that allowed such an interdisciplinary approach to art and design, and it was perfect for me.”
Hi Chloe. Please tell us a bit about your work and your influences
“I am predominantly an illustrator and animator, but also enjoy painting portraits and making comics, working both digitally and on paper.
“Anime and manga are huge influences in my work. I have been a fan of anime/Japanese animation ever since my brothers first introduced me to Pokémon and Studio Ghibli when I was a small child. I then got into reading manga and comics as a teen, as well as watching a wider variety of anime. Although my specific tastes have changed over the years, anime and manga continue to influence my work; with most of my knowledge about making comics being what I’ve picked up while reading manga.
“A lot of the work I make revolves around storytelling – whether it takes the form of a comic, an animation, or an illustration. I remember when I was six or seven years old, I used to come up with ghost stories and tell them to my friends at school. I eventually got into a bit of trouble because I gave one of my classmates nightmares, so my spooky storytelling had to stop. But I think that it was during this time that I developed a passion for telling stories; weaving tales that could entertain (and sometimes scare) an audience. I guess I never really stopped doing that, I just changed my method of communication.
“My final university project, The Bus to the Afterlife, is a story that’s been rattling around in my brain for the last few years, and I am so pleased that I finally have the opportunity to tell it. It started as a silly little scribble in a notebook about the grim reaper as a bus driver, but now takes the form of an animated short film exploring mental health in relation to death. I hope that the people who see it enjoy it, and that it makes them feel something.”
How have you found your course and time at Brighton?
“Studying at Brighton these last few years has been a wild ride! I started my degree in 2019, so I had about six months of the normal university experience before Covid hit. I know a lot of people found it difficult to adapt to learning remotely, but I actually enjoyed the freedom of online learning – especially as I’d previously had an hour-long commute to get to my classes. The pandemic stopped my university experience from being the typical one, but it didn’t stop me from making the most of it. I’ve learnt so many new skills during my time on this course, including things I didn’t think I would ever find myself doing (learning how to 3D model blew my mind a bit).”
How did you choose your course – why did you choose to study Design for Digital Media?
“It was purely by chance that I even found out about the Design for Digital Media degree.
I knew I wanted to do some kind of art degree but wasn’t sure exactly what I wanted to specialise in, so I had planned to apply for a few different courses at Brighton once my A Levels were done. I came along to an exhibition at Brighton and found myself speaking to one of the art lecturers about how I was struggling to choose which degree to go for, and he cut me off saying “If you don’t know what you want to do, don’t just pick a random degree. Go away, do a foundation year, and see how you feel.” And that’s exactly what I did. It was while on this foundation year that I got invited by my tutor to go to a talk from, and I quote, “someone who runs a thing at Brighton”, so I went along just to satisfy my curiosity of what this “thing” might be.
“It turned out to be a talk from a guy called Paul, who ran the Design for Digital Media degree at the time. As soon as he showed some examples of students work, I knew it was what I wanted to do. It was the first time I’d seen a degree that allowed such an interdisciplinary approach to art and design, and it was perfect for me. By the time he’d finished his talk, I’d already started researching the course on my phone.”
What are your plans after graduation?
“My plan for after graduation, honestly, is to catch up on some sleep. These last three years have been good, but they’ve been hard work, and I’m looking forward to finally having some down time. Then, once I’ve recovered, I hope to find a job where I can continue to be creative.”