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Shaun Kelly

BA (Hons) in Animation

Shaun Shaun Kelly or Skelly is a 25 year old animator from Mountcharles who has already won 10 international accolades for his films in the US, Italy and Ireland. The talented young director’s film ‘After’ screened at the ‘IndieBoom!” film festival in Brooklyn this year, winning best animation. His film also won best animation at both the New York and Los Angeles Film Awards and made it to “The World Animation Celebration” in LA hosted by Sony Pictures Animation. “To have my animation shown alongside other projects with massive budgets and animations from legends like Glen Keane, is just indescribable and really speaks to what I took away from LYIT,” he says.

The LYIT degree offered Shaun the perfect chance to pursue his passion, “I found my calling. Animation is the perfect fit for me and I love that I can call it my career. It’s all thanks to LYIT.” Shaun started out taking a Level 7 Animation course at LYIT in 2013 and went on to do the Level 8 BA (Hons) degree. His talent shone through, graduating with a First Class Honours and being awarded Best Student in the Department of Design and Creative Media at LYIT.

“I love crafting my own stories,” he continues, “the course helped me to get my ideas out of my head and in motion. I also learned how to convey my ideas to other people.” The facilities at LYIT compared to other colleges he believes are, “Genuinely light years ahead. Every app I needed was there and if not, the IT team was around the corner and would sort you out ASAP.” But he says it was the supportive nature of the lecturers that made his time at LYIT so special, “It’s like being part of a family.”

The climate of cultivating creativity and encouraging students to go further at LYIT had a big impact on Shaun. “Unlike other institutes, we had the option to be completely responsible for the entirety of our final films. I always felt trusted to produce what I set out to do. Everyone was rooting for you.” He recalls the lecturers and everyone at LYIT going above and beyond to help. “It’s very personal.” Another real highlight for him was the good friends he made, “It’s incredible how close you get. We still hang out,” he laughs.

The Animation degree takes work, time management and dedication and he would advise anyone thinking about studying the course to prepare for a serious time commitment. “You need to have a passion. It’s not just sitting drawing and making cartoons. You learn how to be a filmmaker, paying attention to colour theory, lighting, camera angles, storytelling and editing.”

Shaun was scouted straight out of LYIT’s end of year exhibition and now works for MetaCompliance in Derry, where he is using his skills to develop characters for e-learning courses. He currently has a few creative projects in the pipeline. He advises students to work in roles that may not appear to be exactly what you want at first.

“It’ll give you new skills and allow you to practice, which will help you fulfil your dream.” No doubt, we will enjoy more of this young animator’s creativity in years to come. Visit skelly.ie.