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Graduate Success Stories

Liam Addison

Studied: Diploma in Applied Animation

Company: Freelancer @ Proud of it Productions

Role: Animator & VFX Producer

Studying at Animation College gave Liam Addison the fundamental skills he needed to launch his freelance career in the creative industries. Now he works with clients to share their ideas, tell their stories, and bring their creative visions to life.

What inspired you to study 2D animation at Animation College?

I’ve been interested in animation, film and television from a young age, so as soon as I finished high school I enrolled.

Was it everything you hoped for?

I got to learn about something I love and have fun while doing it! I was able to study exactly what I wanted to - the fundamentals of 2D animation, characters, world building and working with a team. We did business/client workshops which taught me how to appeal to, and work with, clients - and how to apply those skills to freelance work. On top of all that, I had a blast, thanks to the awesome lecturers who taught me.

You are now a successful freelancer. How did Animation College help you get established?

The knowledge I gained around client work and team projects in  a studio environment has helped me a lot with my individual freelance work. The diploma covered all the fundamentals, which was exactly what I wanted. That included all the bases of animation – key frames, concepts to linework and colour, media classes focusing on clients and businesses, video editing and VFX, freelancing, how to look for work and who to look for. It covered it all! Since graduating, I’ve picked up some freelance jobs through the Animation College Grad Platform, which has been a great addition to my portfolio for future clients.

To view Liam’s work go to:

Liam's Website 

Youtube Channel

Liam Addison - Proud of it Productions

Liam Addison freelances under the name ‘Proud of it Productions’, and is available for a range of creative projects, from animation and VFX to video editing.

Nixon Garcia

Studied: Diploma in Applied Animation

Company: Mukpuddy

Role: 2D Animator

Nixon Garcia (Nix) has a tonne of talent. As a high school student, he was named in the top ten for Light and Dark, New Zealand’s largest character design competition for secondary students. And now, after honing his skills at Animation College, he has turned his passion into a career, and is making his mark as an animator at Mukpuddy, one of the country’s leading animation studios. 

What were some of the highlights of studying at Animation College?

After finishing high school I was keen to learn animation and get better at production/concept art. I went to a couple of student-for-a-day events at Animation College and really liked the teachers and the environment, so I enrolled. My diploma covered Flash animation, pre and post production for animation and film, plus art and illustration fundamentals. We got to do a lot of hands-on work in areas like animation, character design and illustration, and we also worked on a variety of group and solo projects.

I loved the opportunity to study an art form, and work collaboratively with tutors and classmates. The ability to work as part of a team is crucial in this industry, so that aspect of the course was really valuable. Also of huge value were our lessons on art and animation fundamentals, writing invoices and working for clients.

How did Animation College help you break into the industry?

In my second year our class did an ad for the PyeongChang Paralympics, which gave us some industry experience, and I also did some freelance work during my studies, completing a TV Show demo for an independent director in America/Mexico. I found a couple of one-off jobs through the school’s Grad Platform and landed my first full-time role as an animator at Cinco Cine thanks to the end-of-year exhibition.  I was also hired for my current role at Mukpuddy through the connections I made at Animation College.

Animation College prepared me for the workplace by giving me a firm grasp on animation techniques and software. The animation and software fundamentals I learnt helped me pick up the type of puppet animation we use very quickly. Although there’s lots of online courses out there, there is something beneficial about being able to make real life connections with people in the industry, early on in your career.

How are you enjoying working as an animator?

I love it! I get to work alongside lots of other creative people and work with fun characters and drawing. A typical day for me at Mukpuddy mostly entails completing animated shots or fixing up animation errors. At Cinco Cine I also did a lot of promotional images and design, as well as composited most of the footage. I’m now starting to creep into the fine arts industry, with an interest in painting and murals. Hopefully that might also lead somewhere cool!

To check out Nix’s work go to:

Art Station


Auckland-based 2D animation studio Mukpuddy specialises in making cartoons. The studio was launched in 2002 and since then has won multiple awards and earned itself a reputation for creating compelling characters and unique worlds. In 2016 Mukpuddy created The Barefoot Bandits, a 2D animated comedy adventure series which was screened prime-time on TV2. 

Oliver Frew

Studied: Diploma in Applied Animation & Diploma in Digital Media

Role: Freelance 3D Generalist


A burning desire to work in the gaming industry inspired Oliver Frew to quit his job as a security officer and head back to the classroom. He had previously studied computer science, but nothing prepared him for the life-changing experience of studying at Animation College.

It’s a big decision to give up a weekly wage and become a student again. Did Animation College live up to your expectations?

Animation College looked like a fun place to learn. I had nothing to lose and a lot to gain, so I took the leap. I haven’t regretted it one bit. I started off with the Diploma in Applied Animation 3D at the Auckland campus. I had no idea what to expect going into it – all I knew was that one day I would like to work in the gaming industry, and that learning 3D was how I was going to get there. 

What were some of the highlights of your studies?

One year into the course and I got hooked on Adobe After Effects and creating motion graphics. I learnt how to apply my newly-acquired 3D skills into other areas, and now that is one of my main skill sets. Some of the other things I really enjoyed about Animation College were the tutors, the friends I made - and all the industry big wigs we had the chance to meet! Learning from people who have worked in the industry is great, and the tutors were always close at hand to answer my questions and help me figure stuff out. I finished my Diploma in Applied Animation in 2016 and spent 2017 gaining my Diploma in Digital Media at Animation College in Rotorua – so altogether I had three years at Animation College.

What sort of employment opportunities have you had so far?

During my studies I did some motion graphics work for a gym, and Animation College hooked me up with my first client. I’m now based in Putaruru, about an hour drive from Rotorua, and spend my days freelancing and working on personal projects to keep building my skills. I love the freedom freelancing gives me, and even though it sounds a bit cheesy, nothing beats doing something you love. 

To view Oliver’s work go to:

• Youtube Showreel

• Oliver's Website

• Instagram

• Facebook

Or to check out the first year project he made with some of his classmates visit:

• Year One Project


Oliver goes by the name Digital-Kiwi for his 3D freelance work. The majority of his projects focus on motion graphics (such as logos, advertisements, and user interface), and created predominantly using Cinema 4D, Maya, After Effects and Substance Painter.