Karolina Ficek // Alumni Q&A
What have you been up to since graduating from the program?
After graduating I did a lot of sleeping. Then after that I did a bit of soul searching. It wasn't until maybe halfway through my 4th year that I had started to get interested in the world of motion design. It was only outside of school that I started to build my motion skills thanks to a mentorship, some supportive friends, and a whole lot of youtube tutorials. I had a pretty fraught first year filled with a lot of doubts and uncertainty about what I wanted to do, but after hard work and some luck I got my first full time gig at Sandbox Inc. in the fall of 2018 and have been working there since.
What does a typical work day look like for you?
I work from 9:30AM to 6PM and everything in between changes depending on the type of project I'm working on that given day. I'm on a 2 person animation team and that means I get to wear a lot of different hats, with my tasks being any of the many stages of animating, like storyboarding, designing styleframes and assets, and compositing. The design styles of the projects I get to work on also vary, with some animations being collage-based, focused on characters, or more "motion graphics-y," which has been a great fit for me because I like to get my hands on something new pretty often.
What stands out in your mind as a highlight of your time here at Sheridan?
This isn't one specific moment that stands out as a highlight, but as a whole, for me the most valuable part of my time at Sheridan was being able to be surrounded by so many creatives and having that community. I got to learn a lot from my peers and built some friendships that helped me grow both as an artist and as a person. Also it helps when some of those connections have helped me professionally and expanded my network, but I feel lucky that I got to meet the people that I did and be a part of that even if it was for just a bit.
What advice would you give to someone who is looking to pursue an education and career in illustration?
I've found that having several areas of interest can be a great asset and in the beginning, it's a great chance to try out different things and see what works for you. There are so many potential career paths for an illustrator and there a lot of creatives that don't work exclusively in one area of illustration. Going into the program I thought that when I graduating I'd be strictly working with book illustration, but now I'm enjoying motion design, which at the time, I didn't even know was a career option. The industry shifts around over time as well and adaptability is an asset.