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Meet the Graduate Makers 2021 – Tanje Kelesh, BA Animation

A blog series on some of our 2021 graduate Makers & Creators, meet graduate Tanje. Tanje moved from Cyprus to study BA (Hons) Animation. Tanje’s specialism is 3D design with skills in Maya, ZBrush, Substance Painter and Adobe CC. She has a specific interest in the appreciation of shape, texture and colour. These interests have allowed Tanje to create detailed stylised models.

Why does creativity matter to you? 

Creativity matters to me because it is an escape route from the stress and anxiety of the world.

Creativity shapes everything around us, it is more than just pretty pictures. It comes in different forms and avenues; as well as entertaining, creativity can also teach and help people. 

Who inspires you in your practice?

I wouldn’t say I have one specific person that inspires my practice, I have always loved the mix of realism and stylisation as well as the mixture of creepy and cute characters.

I was initially inspired by Tim Burton’s movies and characters and wanted to get into stop motion, now my designs are inspired by nature and my surroundings. 

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What is the one thing you’d wish you’d known when you started your degree?

I wish I knew there were more avenues and job opportunities within the animation industry, than just being an animator.

I started university wanting to be a stop motion animator, as I experimented new techniques and mediums I realised that modelling and texturing in 3D/CGI was what I was enjoying the most.

I learnt that I like to create characters and their worlds rather than bringing them to life through animation. There is more to the animation industry than just animating. 

How did your practice evolve during the pandemic?

I became more focused on my work as it was an escape from the pandemic reality. I invested my time into looking at different tutorials and learning new skills in software that I haven’t had the chance to explore in its full-depth.

With being at home and temporary limited access to campus, I had to be way more organised and structured to complete my work on time and schedule my time on campus to use the resources.

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Being away form the campus also meant that I had to develop more troubleshooting and problem solving skills. I was also more in contact with my peers due to collaboration projects as well as helping and giving feedback to one another. 

Why should people visit the Graduate Showcase website? 

I think people should visit the Graduate Showcase to celebrate the achievements and the work that was produced in these difficult times. We have shown great resilience and creativity. We would like people to recognise our strength and talent. 

The floor is yours, do you have a message for the course team?

I would like to say thank you for all the encouragement and support they have given me over these 3 years, but especially throughout this pandemic.

I am so grateful that I had tutors that believed in me and my work when I did not have the strength to. I would also like to thank them for pushing me to my limits and guiding me to achieve my best. Thank you!

Photography by BA Photography graduate and Lecturer, Denisa Ilie