Illustration with Animation

We are immensely proud of the way our BA (Hons) Illustration with Animation students have coped since March this year and of the ways in which they have overcome the numerous challenges, to achieve a diverse range of high-quality and very interesting outcomes – as well as some of the highest unit grades ever awarded on the course. Covid-19 has unavoidably limited studio-based practice and specialist workshop access for some key aspects of output, particularly animation, however, our students have shown considerable resilience by developing innovative working methods to explore ideas in the form of new project proposals and adapting ideas to available resources. In some cases, this has led students to challenge their practice more rigorously and successfully than ever.

The final year on the BA (Hons) Illustration with Animation course develops through a self-negotiated learning agreement alongside contextual studies and professional practice. This alignment of theory, practice, and understanding of audience establishes a methodological approach underpinned with research and the establishment of a defined practitioner identity. The desire to explore expanded views of what the study of illustration and animation can be is core to the ethos of the course and evident in the outcomes of the final year students.

This shift to the real world where technology, workshop facilities, and the limitations of materials are recognised is normally a step that comes after graduation, but for this year’s cohort, it came abruptly in March in the middle of the final unit. Whilst a shock to us all, the initial frustration and disappointment for what we had lost was then replaced by invention, new perspectives, and a period of immersion in concentrated personal practice that was for many a revelation. 

We also fully recognise that for some students this has been immensely challenging and that specific ambitions for the end of final year show have yet to be realised. We are already looking at ways of supporting these students as the university emerges from lockdown in the coming months and will be helping them achieve these outcomes in time for our planned physical degree shows at Manchester School of Art.

IWA team.

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