Maria Rodriguez’s Animated Shillington Student Portfolio

Maria Rodriguez aka Andunie Motion was already an animator, but studied part-time at Shillington to create an amazing portfolio and build her personal brand. Since graduating, it’s her goal to freelance at the biggest studios around the world.

When we saw how Maria transformed her Shillington student work into a mesmerising animated video, we knew we had to share her story on the blog! Read on to learn more about her creative journey.

Tell us about your creative journey. What were you up to before Shillington?

My degree is in Multimedia Engineering, which is a weird combination of coding and animation. I finished it six years ago in Colombia, where I am from, and remember clearly when I discovered the motion graphics world by watching an amazing video. It was in that moment when I realized I wanted to be a motion graphics artist. After that my career in animation started. I worked in few companies in Colombia and found an amazing opportunity here in Melbourne after migrating.

By the time I started in Shillington I was working on a Video Production Company as an animator and from time to time I got the chance to create style frames, but I wasn’t feeling that my finished work was as great as the work on Vimeo or those cool animation websites.

What’s been keeping you busy since graduation in December? What’s on the horizon?

Well, actually after I finished the course I took a 1-month break from studying and working at the same time, so I could start the year fresh and new. Now I’m dedicating all my after hours to organize and upload my portfolio to social media so I can get new followers and as much attention as I can out there.

This year I want to use all the knowledge that I got from Shillington, and create a new habit of draw and design stuff every single day. I’m pursuing the goal of creating an amazing portfolio and grow my personal brand Andunie Motion, so I can get freelance jobs as a motion designer in the biggest studios around the world.

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Why did you choose Shillington?

Before coming to Australia I was so confused about what to do with my professional life, and it was then when I found a Shillington ad on a creative blog. I reviewed the Shillington website and I knew that was what I needed to do, it was simply perfect!

I didn’t want to pay another whole degree and spend five more years of my life. Plus Shillington’s graduate portfolios looked so professional. So I decided to start this adventure called Melbourne.

It was really hard at the beginning, it took me three years to sort out my visa problems and save the enough money to do the course. In that period of time, I had to work in so many things plus being away from my family, but I had this goal which kept me motivated. At the end, it was the best decision I have ever made and I’m so looking forward to seeing what comes next.

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How did Shillington help and inspire your motion design skills?

I’m the kind of person who is checking Pinterest, Behance and creative blogs all the time. However, I felt so frustrated about how cool everything looked and I couldn’t understand how the artists achieved that result. After few months of the course I started appreciating all the pieces from a different angle, I understood that there was a whole creative process before opening any software and I think that is what changed my mind. Now when I watch a motion graphics piece, I can see how every single shot is beautifully composited, how all the design principles are there and I try to apply the same to my work.  

What were your Shillington teachers and fellow students like?

I was lucky to be a student of Spencer and Sarah, both were such an inspiring and lovely people throughout the whole course.

If I had a tough day at work, I arrived at the class and saw them so inspired and with such a strong energy that made me push myself every single night.

It was the time to learn from them so I focused on taking the most advantage I could from all the classes.

My classmates on the other side were really nice and special. They all come from different backgrounds and it felt so good to be surrounded by people with the same ambitions and passions. We all had a great time during the classes giving feedback and supporting to each other, especially when we were preparing our portfolios, what a challenging period was that! 

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What was your favourite student brief?

This may surprise you, but it was the handmade brief. I have never been away from the computer to design anything, so the whole process was new and exciting. The idea was to design a movie poster or book cover without digital resources. I chose ‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland’ cause I knew I could get such a colorful and fun result from it and thought about using the Quilling technique, which consists of rolling paper strips and glue them on a surface.

I did all the proper research and mood boards about what colours and fonts were usually used and also all the elements around the story. Then I moved to the sketching stage and drew a couple of type packages until I had a strong idea of what I wanted. The rest of the process was turning on the music and start rolling and rolling tons of paper strips, it took me two weekends to complete it. But when I saw it finished I couldn’t believe how beautiful it looked, I was afraid it didn’t turn out ok cause I have never implemented that technique on such a big size.

The second part of the brief was to design the actual front and back cover after a photo-shoot of the handmade piece. I feel really proud of the end result.

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Why do you love being a designer?

I think there is so much stuff out there, that being a designer helps you to appreciate the world in a different way, like identify and enjoy a nice colour palette.

I love how we also have the chance to not only express ourselves but to help others to do the same, translate ideas and thoughts into reality.

When I design a print or digital piece and the client gets so excited about the result, is when everything pays off, the happiness and proudness you feel inside is beyond description.

Any tips for a new Shillington student?

Yes! Dedicate as much time as you can to the course! I know it sounds a bit too much, but sacrifice your social life for a while, it’s going to be okay and it will represent a big difference on your final portfolio. If you are studying the full or part time course, enjoy that short period of time because you will miss it. Draw as many sketches as you can on each brief, watch daily design blogs, open an account on Pinterest and commit yourself to pin at least 15 images a day, believe me, this is your time to push yourself and get as creative as you can.

Where can we follow more of your work?

Check out my website! You can also follow my daily process on Instagram (@ilweandunie) and my projects on Behance. I just started with this one so please be patient, there is going to be lots of things in there soon. 

Oh, and if you open or have a Pinterest account you can also follow me. I collect stuff every single day 🙂

Huge thanks to Maria for sharing her Shillington story! Want to create an awesome portfolio too? Study graphic design 3 months full-time or 9 months part-time at Shillington in New York, London, Manchester, Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane –> www.shillingtoneducation.com