I studied at Escape Studios (Maya Core and Visual Effects) in 2008, rather than a career change, my partner and I were escaping a massive house renovation, so we decided to take a fun break and study VFX as we've always wanted to!
I had studied languages (Arabic and Japanese) but my background was as a graphic designer, I always thought 3D was just an extension of graphics, but I came to learn that it really is in its own world.
I loved the time at Escape as it was so immersive, the students were so diverse and friendly, the local food (Shepherd’s Bush) was so good, and the support was great and the passion was so evident in the teaching.
We even had some brilliant trips to production houses and even a motion capture facility in Pinewood Studios. I'd say it was the most mind-expanding time of my life so far!
I carried on as a graphic designer after my course, as house stuff got in the way for a few years and clients wanted me back, but I'm planning to lighten the workload and get back into VFX. I work mainly for ethical groups and campaigns and it would be awesome to be able to contribute the magic of VFX and 3D to groups that can't normally afford it, and where it could be so persuasive.
All my stuff on Flickr, including my Escape coursework, is under a Creative Commons licence by default as it's something I believe is a good thing, and I guess this is how NASA found it when they were looking for something to illustrate their story about the proposed new X-Ray telescopes, (Station Explorer for X-ray Timing and Navigation Technology, (SEXTANT)). It made me super proud to see it up there!
It still gives me a glow when people see the projects I did at Escape and are utterly convinced they are real. It's like magic!