Aman Sandhu believes that landing the perfect job is a combination of hard work, passion, timing and luck; something which has led him to his dream job as a Computer Graphic Lead Artist at Mechanic Animation Studio in Wellington.
After six years as a music producer, singer/songwriter and composer in India, Aman decided to change tack and move towards a career in 3D animation, choosing New Zealand as the place to further his studies.
“Coming to New Zealand was an obvious choice for me,” says Aman. “With the release of movies like Lord of the Rings and King Kong, and the pull of studios like Weta Digital; I believed that New Zealand was the place where I could learn the craft I love, and eventually reach my goal of working on blockbuster movies.”
A reputation for experienced lecturers and internationally recognised alumni drew Aman to the Whanganui School of Design at UCOL, where he enrolled in the Certificate in Art and Design.
“As I already held a Diploma in Design and 3d Animation from India, the Certificate of Art and Design was great to not only reinforce my existing skills, but to understand the culture, education system, different methods used by teachers. I learnt a lot about the social culture and living in New Zealand during my first year of study, and found a new home away from home in Whanganui.”
The next step for Aman was the Bachelor of Computer Graphic Design, where hard work, supportive lecturers and a solid work ethic ensured that he was ready for industry.
“My lecturers encouraged me to follow my passion for 3D animation from the first year of my degree, and mentored me along the way.”
After student life, Aman found his dream job as one of the Computer Graphic Lead Artists at Mechanic Animation Studio in Wellington, formerly known as Karactaz Animation Studio.
“I've been working here for the past three years and recently I was the Lead CG artist for look development for characters and environments on one of our movie projects. I love the momentum of the 3D industry, with new technology pushing the limits, giving us as artists the opportunity to learn new things daily.”
Aman believes that aspiring students should be very clear about the goals they want achieve professionally.
“Prepare for the industry from the very first year of your degree programme, be respectful to your lecturers and peers because you never know whom you'll end up working with or which lecturer might recommend you for that dream job.
“I have learnt that one of the key factors in finding a good job and keeping it, is to remember that that how you interact with your colleagues is more important than your skills. There is no future for big egos in the creative industry.”
Aman says that nothing beats discipline, consistency and hard work, and recommends that students focus completely on their studies to reap the benefits in the future.
“I had a very clear career goal in mind, and my lecturers at UCOL supported me every step of the way. Now I am working on different projects and using design to solve problems as a job, which keeps me coming back for more.”