Jolanta Jasiulionyte - otherwise known as JJ - graduated from BA Hons CG Arts & Animation in July 2012 with a first class degree. Little wonder. From the moment JJ arrived with us from Lithuania, she made it her mission to squeeze as much from her undergraduate experience at UCA Rochester as humanly possible. On most days, Jolanta was in the CGAA baseroom before the course staff, juggling her always ambitious projects with freelance commissions and her role as a UCA ambassador.
JJ's creative work is distinguished by its individuality and art style, born always from her expressive and exuberant drawing. JJ's year one with CGAA culminated in her otherworldly Life Cycle of Slime Mold, which she followed at the conclusion of year 2 with her animated short, Ivan the Bird. Ivan is an exemplar of JJ's idiosyncratic and richly-textured world-making, her titular character as burnished and fantastical. The Baltic Pixie was JJ's cgi finale - an original character design seeking to realise, capture and communicate the capricious nature of a Lithuanian enchanter...
The Life Cycle of Slime Mold (End of Year 1)
Ivan The Bird (End of Year 2)
The Baltic Pixie (End of Year 3)
Following a very successful stint at New Designers 2012 and a trip to Los Angeles as a Siggraph Volunteer, JJ interned at The Marketing Store. In light of her successes, I asked Jolanta to share her top tips with us on the subject of getting the very most out of CG Arts & Animation, to which she replied...
1) Earn a skill > Do all your homework.
This is probably my most important bit of advice: real skill WILL take you somewhere. I strongly recommend not missing a single class or assignment. More than this – seek out and organise extra hours, DVDs, classes, and sign up for extra sessions etc. The intensity of constant work will guarantee you ARE becoming a pro 3D Artist! Earn it!
2) Become a problem solver > Reach out of your comfort zone.
Being a problem solver is dealing with seemingly unmanageable tasks in a calm manner: working step by step until the task is accomplished. – taking little bites. I guess what it also means is every single new project should seem like a genuine challenge – and be treated so.
3) Meeting People > Get involved in 'stuff'.
These count as important: pub time with your friends, getting involved in some monthly meet-up groups such as Bring your Animation, ACM Chapters, linked-in, twitter etc. . Simply put, meeting people is important. It might not sound fair - but it is common - that the chance to get involved in something very exciting will come to you because of who you know and who knows you.
4) Flexibility > Observe and adapt.
This one is quite abstract; it means follow your intuition, respond to a situation appropriately, learn what has to be what in which situation, be willing to change.
5) Inspiration > What goes in comes out.
Fill any gaps for yourself. This is different for everyone, but yes, it’s important. For me, it’s people, new places and beautiful artworks. Go find it!