My name is Andy McCubbin, I currently work in a Floatation Therapy Spa and I took the Ladders course in Adobe After Effects to help give me the skills I needed to start a career in animation.
So, when did your interest in Animation flourish? Did it start at school, was it just a hobby or maybe both?
I’ve always loved animation but I’m not very good at drawing, so I didn’t think I’d be able to do anything in that industry. In about 2007 my band needed a music video, so I tried using PowerPoint and Moviemaker to create a video. It worked quite well and since then I’ve made quite a few music videos, shorts and adverts using this technique. To do it professionally though I needed to look at more powerful and creative programs, which is where the Ladders course comes in.
How did you find out about Ladders? Did it come at an appropriate time in your career?
I’m part of a page on Facebook called aNEmates and saw it advertised on there. It did come at an appropriate time as I hadn’t had the chance to do much creatively for a while due to moving and living situations. I wasn’t hesitant at all, because if I had been, I might have seen it was aimed at 18-25-year olds and being 34 at the time I might have just passed it by. After speaking to a member of the ladders team, he assured me it wouldn’t be a problem.
What was the Ladders experience like for you overall?
The Ladders experience was fantastic. All the staff were welcoming, friendly, knowledgeable and willing to do everything in their power to help. If there was anything I was unsure about someone was always there to answer any queries I had.
What was it like working with Chloe Rodham (mentor) alongside other special guests who you met along the way?
Working with Chloe Rodham was very enlightening. She is an incredible animator and her passion for the industry comes across whenever she talks about the subject matter. She was able to answer any question I had with confidence and also offered creative insight that opened up other possibilities to improve my work. Some of her suggestions led me to look into other aspects of the animating process I hadn’t thought about before. She suggested programming a colour change and showed me several ways to incorporate it into the project and since then I have used the technique on several occasions. I couldn’t speak highly enough of Chloe and having spoken to some of her other students outside of the course, it seems the feelings are mutual!
Now tell us about your current occupation/study – how has the Ladders experience influenced your career choices?
I am still working at the spa at this current moment in time. Due to the nature of the business, I am able to work on projects occasionally while the client is in the tank. The Ladders course has given me the confidence and belief that I can create a successful career as a freelance animator once I am able to dedicate more time to projects.
What are your current hopes and aspirations moving forward?
Since the course, I have moved to a new house again and have a baby on the way so unfortunately my plans have been put on the back burner. My girlfriend has suggested becoming a stay at home Dad for a few months when she returns to nursing after her maternity to try and kick start my career as a freelance animator. It won’t be easy but I have the passion and drive to make it a success.
Would you recommend Ladders to others and if so, why?
I would 100% recommend Ladders to anyone. The tools and skills I received studying on the course have given me the confidence to make this a reality and embark on a creative career. The support after the course has also been exemplary. I have been contacted several times by members of their staff and been to several meetings where they have continued to offer support and advice. If anything, they have shown me that it’s never too late and if you have the passion, you can achieve whatever you put your mind to.
Check out Andy’s socials here…