login or join Streetgraphic!

Big in Barcelona

Few would disagree with the value of work placement for design students, but do all work placements deliver the experience necessary to help you climb up the design ladder? Streetgraphic talks to Duncan Campell a student at the University of Huddersfield studying VR and Animation, who is currently on placement in Barcelona working for www.enreposo.com

Who are you working for and what do they do?

I currently work 3 days a week for Enreposo Colectivo (an experimental animation collective run by the 2 men who developed and teach on the Animation Masters Degree here in Barcelona) making an animation about personal experiences during the Spanish Civil War. I spend my other 2 days sketching, drawing, taking photographs and making experimental animations based upon the city which I find awe-inspiring.



What is the studio like?

They work from the University and home. I work in the film Libraries in Barcelona which Carlos helped me get in and I work from home and various bars in and around Barcelona which give me a real inspiration.

How easy was it to find a placement abroad?

Well, my first advice would be to speak Spanish! I put in a lot of legwork tramping the streets to find not just any work placement but one that would suite my work and where I wanted my work to go. Infact my placement year is self-funded and I don’t get paid. I made a list of comic companies, TV stations, film houses and prestigious design studios, marked them on the map and flew out to make personal visits. I produced 24 postcard-sized stills from animations, an up to date CV including a Spanish version ensuring that all printed material pointed people to my online portfolio.


So how are you surviving financially?

 Still living off the student loan violating my savings account and through the help and support of my parents. If this support were not available I would have to take a part-time job, do less placement and almost bugger all personal work.

What advice could you give others looking for a placement abroad?

Do your research. Start by identifying the type of company and country you would like to be work in and start to compile a list of companies that fit the bill. Self-promotion is the name of the game. Get your portfolio printed and burn it to CD, and try to arrange meetings with companies you would like to work for.


How important was the website?

 Not as effective as you would think. People were too busy to bother with anything other than my walking in off the street and waving my work under their noses. It did draw a lot of positive feedback, however. People liked it but only one person accepted my email invitation to view it. It’s all about good networking and promotion. You can have the best-looking site in the world but you have got to drive people to it. Also many meetings were in rooms where there was no computer or the bandwidth was poor. My site is image heavy and perhaps slow to load. Make sure you carry your site around on CD and have a physical portfolio.

What benefits do you think the placement will bring you?

The experience from working with these guys is immeasurable, you’re working to tight deadlines and having to make real-time decisions. The main benefit is working on a commercial project that will be viewed mainstream. I am hoping this will add currency to my C.V.