Read all about Chloe’s journey into motion
The question ‘what do you want to be when you grow up?’ has had many answers over the years. In primary school it was a zookeeper, only so I could look after tapirs. In secondary school, that changed into becoming a primary school teacher, and if you asked me halfway through sixth form, I would have admitted that I had no idea.
Year 13 arrived and everything became about personal statements, discussing universities and going to open days – but I just didn’t feel ready. I knew that whichever course I chose would kickstart my career as a young adult, but what did I want to do? My best subjects were Art and English, but I didn’t really want to be an ‘artist’ and, whilst I enjoyed literature and creative writing, I didn’t really see at the time how I could take those any further apart from by teaching it. There was an overwhelming pressure to choose a single subject and start my life’s trajectory down a set and unchangeable path.
However, when I read a prospectus from the University of Gloucestershire, I realised that Animation was an available subject option. Most of my hobbies included some element of digital creativity and video (like video games, watching animated shows and editing videos with my friends) but it had never crossed my mind that it was something I could pursue as a professional career. This degree combined all my favourite subjects and personal interests into one – animation is all about creating worlds, telling stories and designing characters. Beyond this, it would also give me the opportunity to pick up more technological skills and learn digital software for design and video.
I loved what I was studying and so I was able to keep working hard and give it my all to create work that I was proud of. University helped me to develop all the core skills I would need for working in the creative industry, from software proficiency to gaining experience in project and team management. In my final year, my lecturer shared a local internship opportunity with me, but I was nervous when I applied for the role because I honestly didn’t really know what Motion Designer entailed.
Three years later I’m still working for Silver and pleased to say I confidently know what a Motion Designer is. The amazing creativity at Silver continues to inspire me, and I am always encouraged to take on new challenges and given countless opportunities to grow and mature as a person and as a creative. I’ve recently taken on the additional responsibility of Motion Team Coordinator, which is allowing me to better my understanding of commercial decision making and project management, whilst supporting other members in Team Motion to help us all work efficiently and create the best work that we can for our clients!
Even though it’s not feeding tapirs, I’m sure if I went back and told my younger self that one day, I’d be making videos, illustrating and designing characters and telling stories as a job, I think small Chloe would still be pretty excited about that!
Something that continues to be an issue is the thoroughly discouraging idea that certain subjects are more respectable than others. I was always given the impression that art was ‘not useful’ and therefore could only result in a flimsy, poorly paying career. We should be telling the younger generation that despite what they might hear, creative people are successful people!
I also suffered from terrible anxiety at the end of sixth form, which really affected my confidence and ability to carry on with my daily tasks without feeling incredibly overwhelmed. I was so afraid of change that going to university was the last thing I wanted to do at the time! My decision to take a gap year was critical, and something my school also didn’t encourage. There’s no timescale for education, every day is a chance to learn so don’t rush into something because you feel it’s the proper route – university isn’t going anywhere! It’s important to slow down and take the time to work on your wellbeing and find joy in what your journey has in store for you.
Some tips from Chloe…
Create space for pockets of time where you can volunteer your skills to help promote a local business or non-profit, take part in competitions, sign up to summer courses or take on some small-scale freelance projects on the side.
When you sit down at an interview, you’ll already have some strong examples of projects where you were given a task, understood the brief and created some awesome work, which really shines out to potential employers.