Ravensbourne Students

On the 13th and 14th of June, Ravensbourne held their annual broadcast, fashion and design event. We went along to meet some of the students showcasing their work at the Motion Graphics degree show to ask them some questions about their work, the college and their aspirations. Scroll down to see their profiles and interviews.

Bence Bilekov Showreel 2012

Ryan Dzierzek Showreel 2012

Charlotte Barber Showreel 2012

Natalie Suthons Showreel 2012

Mateusz Napieralski Showreel 2012

Jan Barcikowski Showreel 2012



Bence Bilekov

Website bence.bilekov.net, awake-london.com

Course Motion Graphics

Background Interests include Motion Graphics, Web Design, Print Design, App Design

What now? Bence would ultimately like to move on to a Creative Director role, he enjoys the planning and seeing projects through from start to finish.

We caught up with Bence to ask him a few questions about his time at Ravensbourne, and his plans after he graduates.

Could you tell us a bit about your background in design?

I have done the motion graphics course at Ravensbourne where I was introduced to different areas of design so I consider myself to be an all rounder. I do motion graphics, web design, traditional print based design and app design as well. The course taught me more about the whole design and the thought behind it, which I can then apply to any area.

Do you think that the work you have done is transferable to the design industry?

I think my work is transferable to the design industry because most of my work is really commercially based. We did loads of advertising projects, branding and those skills can be used.

Looking at yourself professionally, how do you see yourself in the future?

Well I would like to be a creative director because I like seeing things from their initial ideas to their development stage. I don't like to do one bit, I like seeing the development of the project.

What do you think of the open plan learning environment at Ravensbourne?

I think the open plan building is beneficial for us as it encourages collaboration and it's a much better environment to be in, its more inspiring than just being in a room and I like seeing all the people running around and we can find each other much easier and we can collaborate across disciplines.

Do you feel that you have the right skills to be confident in getting a job?

The support they (Ravensbourne) give us is really commercially driven,  in terms of freelancing and getting your CV ready. The little things they all help us with is good and they have a really good industry connection.


Bence's work shows that he has a broad range of skills and enjoys designing for marketing campaigns and multimedia platforms.

His personal projects include several branding projects, and visualises campaigns over a wide range of platforms, which shows he is a very competent designer with a solid platform to go on from.

His showreel is basic but effective in showing that this is what he does best. It shows the real-world applications of his designs and that he thinks of different angles to approach an audience. He says his ambition is to become a creative director, which he seems to be well suited for, but perhaps he needs to concentrate on the path he will need to take in order to gain that role within an organisation.

Charlotte Barber

Website vimeo.com/user1004287

Course Motion Graphics

Background Fine Art, Photography

What now? Charlotte has aspirations of being a Creative Director in advertising, but in the short term is looking to continue to practise her handmade style and expand her skills in a studio setup.

Tell us a bit about your background in design

I always was creative in school, then I did A-Levels in Fine Art, Drama and Photography. Then I did an art foundation course and really wanted to get into Graphic Design but it was a bit too rigid for me, my work always had the element of wanting to move and just wanted some extra motion to it so motion graphic was perfect because I could incorporate Graphic Design with production to make it more exciting. It just opened up so many more avenues that Graphics Design wouldn't on it's own.

Is the Motion Graphics course why you came to Ravensbourne?

Yes, I did my Art Foundation here and I was really inspired by the work from the other Motion Graphics people before me. I thought this would be a great channel because Ravensbourne is very much about the Industry and contacts and getting your work out there to get a job, which is what you want at the end of the day.

Could you tell us about your strongest piece of work, or the one you most enjoyed?

All of my work had the element of hand generation, making things with my hands so I think the one I most enjoyed was the one where I suffered through the most. It was a hand-drawn frame by frame piece and I got through 400 sheets of tracing paper and there was lots of scanning individual shots to put it together but I enjoyed the pain - as a designer you enjoy your craft and you get into it, I submersed myself in my work and I loved it, it was good.

Do you think that the work that you have done is transferable to the Industry, and getting a job?

At first I thought that with my style being so playful and fun I thought it may be transferable to Childrens Television but the direction that childrens TV is going, it's not the right avenue to go through. My work could be transferred to multimedia campaigns, especially through advertising which is something a want to more get into so I think my work would really fit in with the creative ideas. You see all of the wacky ideas on TV - that's what I want to do so through Ravensbourne I can really showcase my ideas.

It's important to have a direction and a path in mind. In a years time where do you see yourself professionally?

I think next year I will be trying to get out there and getting work experience, doing internships, getting out there and trying to get where I feel I fit. I think in 5 years time I definitely want to be a creative director in advertising but for now I think it will be a kind of journey to see where, with my work and my style that I can progress. I just need to find my niche and I think that I've got some really strong work that can take me there

We love the open plan at Ravensbourne, do you think that this learning environment has benefited your work in any way?

The whole idea of the open plan thing at Ravensbourne is to encourage collaboration between different courses so the new building has tried to encourage Sound Design people to help us with our motion work, Graphic Design to help us strengthen our work and just every course to collaborate. That has worked in some parts but I think that it's just going to develop naturally through the new people that come here because I think that some of us here are used to the old way of working in the old building, being quite fragmented but I think that it's great that we've got the freedom. Even when you walk through you can see other people's classes going on, you could stand at the back and try and get involved, it's brilliant I love it.

Do you think that Ravensbourne has given you the right set of skills so that you feel confident?

I think that especially with the degree show there's a lot of focus on how we can use our work to get a job. With a lot of other colleges and universities I find that it seems a bit airy fairy "I do my art because it makes me feel great" instead of "I do my art because it can get me a job and I can live. I think that Ravensbourne can give you the skills so you can understand how you can use your creative technique to apply it in the industry.

All the briefs we get are set are as if they were set by a client. We will get a strict brief, one that says we want this, this and this and that is what you have to do as if it was a real client so instead of saying "be free, make something with paper today", we're making stuff that will be applied.


Charlotte seems quite motivated and realistic in her goals. She knows that it will be hard work getting a place in the industry, let alone somewhere where she feels her skills are used best but seems determined and ready to work hard in order to hone her skills and continue to progress into a role that suits her.

At Ravensbourne it is drilled into you that ideas and concepts are everything, nothing else matters. I like to keep a more open mind about it - eye candy and great ideas often go hand in hand, especially if you want to get noticed. It is clear that Charlotte values ideas and concepts and has identified this as where her strengths lie, but I feel that with more hard work and shaping of her skills she could also market her design and illustrative style as one that is unique and sought after.

Natalie Suthons

Website brillinat.com

Course Motion Graphics

Background Film

What now? Natalie has enjoyed learning Graphic Design to compliment her film-making and hopes to spend the next year further defining the direction that she will take and learning more in a studio.

Tell us a bit about your background in design

Actually I originally started in film, I wanted to be a film director so I went to film college. It was only when I went there when I found out all about design on screen and I always thought that that was part of film so I changed to Ravensbourne because I loved the use of typography on screen, that sort of thing so it kind of started there, that was only when I started to look into design and the fundamental parts of it which is what we learnt in the first year and using it with moving image.

Do you feel that Ravensbourne was the right place to do that?

I feel that Ravensbourne gave me the opportunity to carry out looking at design and film together with the Motion Graphics course. It was something that I'd never heard of before I started studying it and we looked at different aspects across design, whether it was branding or advertising or title sequences we got a taste of everything so that we could see what we were good at.

Could you tell us about your strongest piece of work, or the one you most enjoyed?

The piece I enjoyed the most was work on the Leon title sequence. The 1994 film 'Leon' is one of my favourite films of all time but it had a dreadful title sequence, very disappointing for such a powerful film so when I started looking into style for it I looked at Saul Bass. His work has such a classic feel to it and there was something quite strong and dangerous about his style.

Different parts of the film I animated and had to subtly put within the title sequence pulls it all together so there was a cup of milk and his pot plants just so you could see the subtle side of this deadly assassin.

Do you feel that your work is commercially driven, as well as artistically? Do you feel that your design is transferable to the industry?

I think that when it comes to getting a job in the industry that the skills are transferable because we've always been taught that when we come up with a concept, that it's the most important thing and it's vital to get it across different media platforms, so you're not only designing for the screen but you're also thinking about how to apply that design to print, applications and websites so we're kind of looking at the whole package.

It's important to have a professional direction to your future. In years time where do you see yourself?

I think that in a years time I would have liked to have worked out exactly what I would like to specialise in, so developing skills within a studio. I think that it's very different when you're a student, you kind of work on everything yourself. I think that in a years time hopefully I will have developed both skills and I'll be looking to move into a more specific part of the industry.

We love the open plan at Ravensbourne, do you think that this learning environment has benefited your work in any way?

I think that the open plan at Ravensbourne really helps with seeing other students wherever you are, so you can look across and see loads of fashion students if you wanted to do a video for fashion. In Ravensbourne there aren't really any kind of cliques or areas to go where for example only Graphic Design students will be. Wherever you go you can always mix with other students and that can be really good.

Do you think that Ravensbourne has given you the right set of skills so that you feel confident?

When we were at Ravensbourne half of the course is to really get you at an industry standard, they don't work across saying "go out there and experiment, do what you want", it's very much from the beginning industry standard work. The whole 3 years we've understood what is needed from us when we've started working and there are also units that encourage enterprise and entrepreneurship and also your professional practice when you leave.

The Saul Bass-style title sequence caught my eye before we interviewed Natalie, as readers of the blog will know of my love for his work and others inspired by it. I am also a fan of the film Leon, so this seems like the kind of project that I would enjoy. I like the references to the person beneath the assassin, as it reflects the film really nicely - Leon is more about the character and his personality rather than the fact that he is an assassin. I would have liked to have seen more about his relationship with the Mathilda, a 12 year old girl who falls in love with him after he takes her in due to her parents being killed in a police raid next door. The films dramatic finale is hinted at in the sequence in a very nice and subtle way, which is something that really pleased me when watching the sequence.

Natalie obviously has a good eye for design and is well aware of what is expected of her in her first job. She understands that she will need another year or two of honing her skills and finding the right path for her, but again has the potential to be a great Motion Graphics designer.


Mateusz Napieralski (Gust of Wind)

Website gustofwind.co.uk

Course Motion Graphics


What now? Mateusz is a second year, so will be looking to further expand his skills and explore new techniques in his third year. He doesn't want to restrict himself into one particular discipline and is looking forward to learning more.

Can you tell us about your installation piece?

It was a collaborative projective between me, a sound designer and a script writer. Every installation for this degree show had to be based about the idea of light. The brief was really open so we could do what we wanted, we looked at the sun and how it's a source of light and through sun we noticed time, and when the sun is going up and down, you get days, night, months, hours minutes seconds, and so on. So we wanted to create something that was visually, represented visually in a very abstract way the idea of time. Because Ravensbourne is known for its technology and digital innovations and I love creating work with a handmade feel to it, I wanted to mix the two together, so that handmade complimented digital and digital complimented handmade.

So you wouldn't pigeon hole yourself into one discipline?

I am studying motion graphics so I get the sense of movement, motion and animation and it's a good media to get points across but I definitely don't want to get stuck on screen. I also like 3D things, not just digital 3D but handmade 3D. I am interested in prop design and window displays, all these things could definitely involve motion graphics within it.

Do you feel that the work that you have done is transferable to the design industry?

With most of the work that I do, I keep the industry in mind all of the time and I try to think what the work could do other than just being there as an illustration that you can just hang on a wall and just look at it. I just think how I could commercially use it, because there are a lot of designers, illustrators, artists who can produce work which is amazing, but you just can't do much with it unless it's in a Saatchi gallery or you just want something to look nice in the room.

I think it's really important when it comes to getting a job to show people you can think commercially, at the end of the day all the work you produce will need to sell something so you need to show the industry that you can have this in mind. I think that's what Ravensbourne is a little bit about, not just trying to make you the best artist. If you look at Central Saint Martins for example, some of those artists are amazing but I have friends that went there but when they graduated they had no idea what to do because it was all so abstract. I think you do need a commercial business side in the art based subjects because you have to sell at the end of the day and you need to have that in mind whenever you create anything.

What do you think of the open learning environment?

I think that when I came to Ravensbourne last year, I hated everything about the building. I couldn't stand anything and I wasn't used to this open space. Everyone was saying "it's great, blah blah blah" and I think in my second year I really started noticing that actually it's a really great building. People keep talking about collaborating, how it's the key to working and we should all use it, but I actually think it really works well especially today during the show.

I can tell from last year when everyone came into this building nobody knew what they were doing, but now in my second year going into my third year, I know how to use the building properly and how to collaborate with people and how to find these people. So I think it's a really beneficial building and I think people should get involved even more next year. Be more confident and go out and meet these people, talk to everyone everywhere and just really make use of it because we are only here for 3 years and we will be gone, so why not just make the most of it?

Mateusz was the only second year student we interviewed on our visit, as he was at the show displaying a projection installation. We thought he was a good talent to watch, he likes to compliment digital techniques with handmade processes to create pieces that are unique

He is possibly one of the most interesting students we met, who doesn't want to pigeon-hole himself in one area of Motion Graphics. He has the view that the skills learned on his course can lend themselves to anything such as set design and props. With new digital techniques and technology, combined with his motivation and willingness to try something different I feel that Mateusz could potentially work on some very innovative projects.

Ryan Dzierzek

Website ryzek.tv

Course Motion Graphics

Background Art, Graphic Design

What now? Ryan is hopeful that he can find a job to gain more experience and find out where best his technical abilities can be applied.

It is obvious from looking at Ryan's work that he is one of the more technically talented students. His 3D work is very slick and his keyframing is spot on, and combined with some good filmmaking techniques his showreel is a pleasure to watch.

He certainly has a bright future in the industry, he has the motivation to learn new techniques, software and excecute slick self initiated projects which is vital. Although he would integrate quite well into a technical role, he can really gain some valuable experience from a role that taught him the other aspects of being a Motion Graphics Designer.


By: Jonny
Posted: Tue 26th Jun 2012

Tags: Interviews, 2012, animation, college, course, Future, graduates, greenwich, interview, motion graphics, Ravensbourne, showreel, students, talk, university, Work


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