The graduate from the Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries was initially attracted by the animation degree at our University covered a wide range of subjects. She was also impressed by the alumni’s work and that convinced her Portsmouth was the right place to find herself as an artist. She describes the course as one for self-discovery because you are provided with the necessary tools and opportunities, but you can only achieve your best by putting yourself first and creating unique and personal work.
Mariana feels that the lecturers were the most valuable resource for her and owes her artistic development to being surrounded by experienced and passionate professionals. The connections she made, thanks to industry talks and collaborative projects, from her course led to her first real industry experience as part of animation projects for the BBC. She takes pride in that achievement, but also appreciates the invaluable lessons about teamwork that she gained.
In University, Mariana learned the importance of research, feedback and communication, and this is why she still keeps links to staff and fellow alumni, coming to them for advice and constructive criticism. Being part of group pitches and projects allowed her to take on greater challenges and push her ideas to the next level, ultimately building a portfolio which helped her land a job.
She is currently working as an Animator for Millstream Productions where she is in charge of the entire pipeline, going from conceptualising and communicating with the client, to post-production and feedback. Despite most of the briefs being corporate or commercial, she often takes some artistic freedom and responds to the client with different ideas, offering them something they did not even know they wanted.
In the future, Mariana would like to study a Master’s degree somewhere abroad with a strong animation community, her ultimate goal being to specialise in visual development art. For the time being, she is exploring her options and pushing her personal work further, which you can see either on her website or Instagram page.
Being featured in a newspaper from my region was a great honour for me. It meant that, even though I live and work abroad, I have had an impact on the people from my home town and that they want to make my presence felt there. In Portugal, animation is not seen as a viable career, so the fact that I left the country to study and work in this field is seen as an act of passion and courage. I hope that my story encourages more people to embrace artistic careers and make Portugal a good place for artists to live and work.