Hello, I’m Steve Young, I am 31 years old, I did a degree in Digital Animation at South Essex College and this my story.
Digital Animation was definitely what I decided that I wanted to go in the direction of. I was trying to decide between model-making, drawing and media and I wanted something that fused all three. The degree hit all of those criteria so I just went with it. I thought ‘let’s try this, go for it.’ It sounded very creative so I was excited to start the course.
I found the first year quite a challenge just to get back into the routine of education because I was a mature student, so that was interesting. But I found out quite quickly that the degree is what you make it to be totally honest. I found I could put my best into my work and absolutely live my art as best as I could and I got positive grades from that, It was a great experience.
When I finished my degree I heard about a post for a teaching position, so I applied to be an associate lecturer at South Essex College and thankfully I got the job. I wanted to bring to the role what I always wanted at College.
I have other jobs outside the College. I was working for the Backstage Centre in Purfleet which was a wonderful experience and they are linked with the Bob and Tamar Manoukian Production Workshop where I spent a lot of my time over the summers doing behind the scenes for the Royal Opera.
That has been absolutely incredible because I love to make models so we have been building and dismantling sets and sending them to location and I got quite positive feedback. I got chatting with the head of the painting department who put me in touch with the props department who are located in the centre of London so I went to work there during the summer of 2016.
That has been through doing my degree at the College because in the first year we got to meet the Backstage Centre staff and had a look around and I thought ‘This is an opportunity for students to be creative and to get a foot in the door of the media industry.’
Outside College I am working on a stop motion animation, and I also do war games miniature sculpting, maquettes, characters and commissions for people that all model-orientated but I also do illustrations.
There are a lot of different colleges and options out there but South Essex College has got great staff and people who specialise in their field. For example if you get a tutor who specialises in illustration they will get all pumped up and excited about it. I think it is good to be a generalist but at the same time I prefer it when someone specialises in their field and loves what they do. That’s where I get my love for teaching and showing people what I do.