Interview with Ella Dobson

In this interview, Ella Dobson shares her journey as designer, her love for motion design and that pulling an all nighter every once in a while ain't so bad.

Do you mind telling us a little about what you’re currently doing?

I’m currently freelancing in LA but I'm about to move to NYC in August. 

What was your first creative memory?

Hmm hard to know. I use to want Bratz dolls, not to play with but to draw. I also spent way too much time on primary school title pages and covering my books.

Do you mind telling us about the project you won a Gold Pin for?

When I was on my Uni exchange in Vermont I interned at a production company and met this artist they worked with, Micah Freeman. He had an upcoming album release and once I was back at AUT I reached out to see if he wouldn’t mind me doing an animated music video teaser for one of his songs. 

What was the most important thing you learnt on your exchange to Vermont?

Probably learning I wanted to do something in animation. I took a few motion papers as they weren’t offered in NZ - ended up loving it and wanting to continue it back home. Interning as a Motion Designer at a Vermont production company was also a massive learning curve, a lot of trial and error but I learnt a lot working on live projects.

What was the most important thing you learnt at university?

Probably learning what I didn’t want to do. I moved around from advertising to UX/UI design to now motion design. 

Are you glad you took UX/UI even though you haven’t continued in that area. Do you find the skills you learnt crossing into motion design?

Yeah I’m glad I took it, I also had a great lecturer who had a range of design skills/knowledge not limited to just UX/UI design. A lot of the design principles like space, balance, composition etc, cross into motion design.

If you could go back to when you were starting uni, what advice would you give yourself?

Probably to go with your gut feeling and to not be afraid of failing. 

How has an apparent failure set you up for later success?

My final Uni project was meant to be UX/UI based, as that was my major, but I was really keen to do an animation. I made the project fit the brief as best I could, which left me with not a fab grade, but a best award instead! 

What is bad advice you hear people giving design students?

You’re told to manage your time better and to not pull crazy all nighters a week before the project’s due, but you realize once you’re in the industry it's not that different.