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Claudia Melton

Graphic of a pink and purple oil lantern with the caption 'Light Your Way' above it

Our Illustration and Animation students were given a live brief by Allia Future Business Centre to capture the essence of their organisation and communicate it in short animations of less than two minutes. Claudia reports on how she tackled the brief, and what she gained from it both creatively and professionally.

“We have always summed up our work as supporting those that focus on people, planet or place.”

This was the main takeaway from our initial meeting with Allia Future Business Centre’s Laura Nicholls, as she delivered the brief of our first live BA Illustration and Animation project of the third year. This project was optional, but as I already knew I was interested in the world of commercial animation, I was incredibly eager to get started.

The brief was as follows: to produce a piece of short animation that concisely and succinctly communicates Allia Future Business Centre’s values, beliefs, and intentions. As for the style or medium of the animation, we were left entirely to play and experiment. This led to the class producing a wide array of animations, all stylistically and tonally different but communicating the same message.

Animation still showing a drop splashing into water with the caption "Little ideas can make big impact"

It was refreshing to work with a client who didn’t feel that commercial animations had to be boring and cliché; working on this project showed me how rewarding working to a brief can be, and that it isn’t as restrictive as it can be perceived. Even within my own development process I was led to produce widely different pieces of work to offer out to the client.

The project was short - six weeks from briefing to presentation - so this meant that we had to work quickly and efficiently in order to have the work ready on time. We were encouraged to ensure we were meeting our deadlines for this project, which helped me understand and adjust to the expectations of industry.

Animation still showing ripples round a drop of water with the caption "Little drops can make big ripples"

I think that the length of this project was perfect: it gave me a creative outlet that ran alongside my preparation for Final Major Project, which not only ran alongside but informed my ideas for my Final Major Project too. The simple, graphic style that I decided upon in the ident for Allia features again in my current project.

Within this live brief, we were encouraged to work as though we were pitching to and working with a client in industry. This involved producing concept pitch documents that were professional and communicative, as well as communicating regularly with the client and being responsive to tweaks and criticisms. This was extremely useful in understanding the way that industry works, and the way that we will be expected to work in the future if joining that industry.

Animation still showing a planet with the caption "It's a brighter future"

At the end of the six weeks, I had produced a short piece of animation by myself that I felt very proud of, and was then selected by Allia to be used by them with their clients. As they had given me the opportunity to play and be creative within the brief, I ended up drawing inspiration from a book quote I had previously read and relating it as a wider idea to the company - "what is a drop in the ocean; what is the ocean but a multitude of drops?". This led me to thinking about how small drops can make 'large ripples' – and how small ideas can create a large impact, much like Allia Future Business Centre’s ethos.

Find out more about our BA (Hons) Illustration and Animation course

Images: Top of page - A piece of work produced by Claudia in the concept development stage of the project – producing lots of small, quick ideas before presenting to client;  Others - Stills from Claudia's final short "Little Ideas, Big Impact".