Friday, 12 September 2014

Farewell to Poland

School expo at the beautiful Technical University Warsaw
We're leaving Poland today, it's time to go back to work in High Wycombe to get ready to welcome our new animation and visual effects students, who start with us in just ten days. It's been huge fun talking to students here about the opportunities available to study overseas. Poland has almost 100 secondary schools with a specialism in the visual arts - a benevolent legacy of the Communist era and something that is quite unknown in the UK, where the visual arts barely gets a mention at many secondary schools, and is almost never given the same classroom time as the sciences, languages and the humanities.

Jansuz spreads the word at the Zespol Panstwowych in Warsaw
We've been to visit schools in Bidgosz, Lodz and Warsaw, and I've been incredibly impressed by the high standard of work being done all over the country. One of the students at the Zespol Panstwowych art school in Warsaw complained that the students "only" got five hours of life drawing a week. Five hours a week! When I was at secondary school we had to beg the teachers to let us go to life drawing classes; and even then the prevailing view was that drawing was just a hobby, not to be taken seriously and nothing to compare with real subjects like Maths or Physics.

Hotel in Lodz

I was also surprised at how much beauty there is in a country which was ravaged by war from 1939-45 and then suffered 50 years of neglect (and worse) under Soviet rule. The old textile mill in Lodz, a rambling late 19th century industrial campus, has been transformed into a huge open air shopping centre and features a particularly stunning hotel (above).

Art school in Lodz

I met tons of students from Poland over the past week, and I would encourage everyone I met and talked to about animation and visual effects to stay in touch. You can reach me on the email address at the top of the blog, and I would be glad to answer questions and give advice on portfolios and how to apply to university - wherever you decide to study.

Art school in Bydgosz

Remember that animation and visual effects is a blend of art and technology. Develop your skills as a visual artist, but don't neglect your laptop. The future is digital - and you need both great artistic skills and good computer skills to succeed in this business.


For more on the experience of studying at Bucks New University, come and visit us at one of our Open Days,  take a virtual tour of one of our animation studios, check out what our students think of our course, and see why we're ranked in the top 12 creative universities in the UK. Find out why we're giving free laptops to all our students, and why we give all our students free access to videos at Also, see what financial assistance might be available to you. Learn which is better for animation, a PC or a Mac? Get hold of a copy of a map so you can find your way around campus, and learn about motion capture at Bucks. And find out about how our online video tutorials work.   

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