The University of Newcastle, Australia

Bachelor of Visual Communication Design student Reid McManus always knew he wanted to pursue a career in design.

"From the start I knew I wanted to do this degree at Newcastle because they offered animation as an elective," he said.

The broad range of core and elective courses available gave Reid a sense of confidence that he’d be graduating with a diverse skillset, and also meant he was able pursue his passion for animation design.

"That way I could have the skills in both design and animation, so if I didn’t like animation I could try something else.”

One of Reid’s projects, Food for Fraught, has attracted global attention after being screened at a total of five animation festivals in 2018, stretching from Melbourne to Croatia and the Czech Republic.

"It's a sense of validation that my skill level is good enough to get noticed. It also makes me realise what other competition is out there and getting closer to the actual ideal of being an animator.”

Food For Fraught from Red Menace on Vimeo.

A typical day sees Reid working away in The Plasmatic Research Laboratory, the animation lab in the Design department. Here, he and his peers are able to gain hands-on experience and learn a wide range of graphic design techniques, building a portfolio in the process.

"All of the animations I’ve created have now become a show reel," Reid explains.

"I've gone on to an internship and from there they’ve offered me jobs, so that’s nice," he said.

When asked what advice he’d give to his younger self going into the degree, Reid explains that while he was always critical of design work, it took time and dedication to get his work to a level that he was proud of.

"My advice would be just to make stuff, even if it’s not good, just keep making stuff. Because the more you make, the better you get," he said.

"That way, it’ll start to become more of a reality rather than just a dream."

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Reid McManus

Reid McManus

UON animation student is making a mark on the world stage.

From the start I knew I wanted to do this degree at Newcastle because they offered animation as an elective