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Showcase 2022 Student Spotlight: Mayke Vos

Student Spotlight featuring BA (Hons) Animation student, Mayke Vos

Mayke Vos Animation concept

Tell us about your final project:

My final project is a blend between rigging and asset creation for 2D puppet animation and visual development and it consists of multiple small projects with a few works in each one. I have a short animation of a dog, a complex rig, lighting studies from a fairy tale story and visual development pieces inspired by a museum visit.

What inspired your work?

The dog animation was inspired by my own dog, who was an odd creature. He did not like food and was scared of the noise from his squeaky toys. He passed away overnight without explanation and I wanted to create an animation of him. My other works are mostly inspired by history and ethnology. I love seeing buildings and items that were once used by people whose lives we can only imagine. I created a character wearing clothes that require assistance to get into, based on real garments from the 16th century. Did historical people get ticklish having someone dress them? I don’t know, but I could make a funny drawing about it.

Tell us about your creative process….

To be honest it’s quite chaotic, especially for visual development. I do not have a set process and tend to work in bursts. Sometimes I get an idea and work until it’s finished (usually late in the evening), other times I do a little bit every day. I tend to start all my works as small pencil sketches and take a photo of the ones I would like to continue working on digitally.

For my 2D animation, there’s a lot more planning involved because I know beforehand which assets I will need and how many I am creating. I can tell myself that I am rigging dog legs and tails today and heads and expressions tomorrow, but the process of creating visual development is a roulette wheel…

What has your time at NTU been like, and what skills have you developed?

My time at NTU has been altered due to covid, but I really enjoyed my second and third year. I developed a lot of software proficiency and all-round animation basics, as well as more specific skills in 2D rigging, environment design, composition and drawing for visual development. And obviously, I gained skills in working remotely, which I think will come in handy!

Have you collaborated with anyone during your time here….

Unfortunately, I spent my entire second year in lockdown, so I did the collaborative project from home. With a small group, we created an animated video for a real client. I suppose this was the most realistic work experience we could have during those times, with weekly teams calls, time zone differences and sending each other the right files. Everything worked out all right in the end, and I am glad

What live projects have you worked on and have you heard from anyone in the industry who inspired you?

The live project was the collaboration I just mentioned. Again, because of covid, I did not have the chance to meet many industry professionals in person. My tutor did talk about me to a CEO of a studio that uses the software I used in my third year, and I was very happy about that because networking is important.

What do you think of the school community?

I think the community of the animation course is great! Everyone from the first to third-year students gathers in Wavery to work on their projects, and you meet so many people you do not

necessarily share classes with. You can have a look at each other’s work, and because everyone has their own style and talents, people compliment and support the things about your style you might not have thought about. Everyone is very supportive of each other because we all deal with the same stress, inspiration and assignments.

What has been your most memorable moment at NTU?

I started using CelAction and Illustrator in January 2021 for a 6-week university learning block and managed to improve my work so much that I got a place on a specific CelAction rigging course that summer. Only 20 people were accepted and I was the only student who made it. Reaching the level needed to be among experienced industry professionals was the highest compliment possible.

What advice would you give to anyone thinking about studying your course at NTU?

Think about the direction you want to move in! I chose NTU because this animation course lets you pick the software and subjects you want. I knew from the start I wanted to do certain things and avoid others, so in the second and third year, I could spend almost all of my time on the things I chose. It was great to be able to improve the exact skills I wanted and to focus on creating a portfolio that would help me get a job in the field of my choice.

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