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Cristina Zaharia is a BA (Hons) Computer Animation Art and Design student at Bournemouth University. Below she shares with us her experiences of working in collaboration with her peers and Marta Klara Sadowska, who is an artist in residence at the Sarabande Foundation established by Lee Alexander McQueen.

Ini lab is the first big project I ever worked on. It opened my eyes to so many new possibilities and I am grateful for how much I was able to learn from it. From the start, I was taken out of my comfort zone. I had to adapt quickly as we only had 10 weeks to complete this piece.

Working in a bigger team was new for me and not short of difficulties as we all needed to accommodate each other’s styles and ideas. This in turn opened our vision greatly and we were able to finalise a surrealist environment I never even imagined myself approaching. We were all inexperienced with working in VR or working with abstract art. Our supervisor, Oleg Fryazinov, along with the facilities provided by BU helped us immensely through a process which otherwise we wouldn’t have had the means to complete.

I was first assigned with pre-production and directing; reading through the client brief I hardly knew how to tackle these and how to guide my team. I had to change my roles back and forth throughout the project, trying to give out help wherever it was needed to speed up progression. Essentially, I got some experience working as a generalist and I was able to play around a bit and discover new skills and interests. 3D sculpting was still fresh in my mind from a previous unit, and I was able to fully cement my knowledge by taking on a good part of the asset modeling. I came to love texturing as well and all the problem solving it entailed – working with confusing UVs that I also learned to repair.

Extensive communication with our client was needed for a clearer view and workflow, but many changes were still made along the way so we all learned that we shouldn’t be precious with our art and just keep experimenting. Most importantly, we learned how to deal with these changes professionally.Determination and good communication saw the successful end of this academic assignment and we saw it come to life at the great exhibition held in London, which I was also lucky to attend. Seeing my work there felt so gratifying and I couldn’t be happier to have been a part of such an experience with wonderful people to help me grow along the way. I learned from the hardships and from our differences and I feel a more complete artist today.

 

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