Felice Sciaraffia says he is “a geek, and proud of it”.
“When it comes to animation, I am really such a geek. I’m a fan of all kinds of animation – movies, TV series, The Cartoon Network, everything.”
And soon, he’ll be a highly-qualified geek, with a Master of Digital Arts from the ANU School of Art.
Felice left his home country of Chile to come to ANU, in order to rekindle his creativity, which he first expressed as a child.
“My grandmother used to turn on the TV and ask me to draw the characters I saw as a way of keeping me occupied. She gave me pencils and paper and I started drawing. Then, when I was about nine, I started selling those drawings to my classmates – and even a teacher!
“Then in my last year at school, I actually won the national manga contest in Chile, against adult professionals working with software I didn’t even know existed. I was just a child, and I remember the judge interviewing me in front of all the digital professionals who didn’t win, and asking me about how I created my projects and I just said, ‘Watercolours’.
“I learned then that what matters is not what you use to create your work, but what you’re trying to tell. What I was doing was not flashy, but it was poetic.”
Felice says he then lost touch with his artistic side and “the things that mattered most to me” while studying design and working in management and making animations for corporate clients. “I felt a void inside of me,” he says.
Deciding he needed a change, he researched the work of the teachers at the ANU School of Art and “fell in love with the place.”
“It’s such an artistic environment. Creativity plays a vital role here, where design and art are married together, with the same source, the same roots.
“And the teachers are so supportive, sometimes staying even until late in the night to help us. It feels like personalised service.”
In his first semester, Felice created a series of nine humorous 2D and 3D animated short films compiled together in one story, about a cat’s nine lives. Next semester he’s planning a digital comic book.
“My teachers are very supportive but they said at first my project was too ambitious. But I said, I want to do this because this is my one chance to be creative! It’s my chance to feel free again.”
To see more of Felice's work, visit www.felices.me
Felice has since graduated from the university.