Whether you’re already at school, looking to find a new school or even considering moving overseas to study, nothing beats hearing from the students themselves! We speak to Anthony Robinson about the ins and outs of studying at CDW Studios | Flinders University in Adelaide, Australia.

The Specifics

What’s the name of your school?

CDW Studios / Flinders Uni

What’s the name of the neighbourhood?

Adelaide, South Australia

Closest train station or public transport option?

We're in the heart of the CDB, so the central train station is a stone's throw and we are surrounded by bus stops to take you in any direction.

How long have you been there?

3 years and going on to my fourth.

Why did you choose to study here?

After seeing the work of an artist by the name of Nathan Elmer I was blown away at the quality of his work, so I contacted him to pick his brain.

I then found out that he had just finished studying at CDW Studios. After looking into the school I saw the level that the students were leaving at. The standard of the work I saw was intimidating but inspirational at the same time.

I was convinced that this was the right place for me. Since then I have been pushing myself to meet the same standards that convinced me to join the school all those years ago.


The Scene

When you walk out of the school, what is the first thing you see?

We are located on our own personal floor in a busy shopping complex. The fit out of the floor we are located on pays homage to the nature of the school. Large illustrations and character designs cover the many walls and windows of surrounding classrooms in the vast, open area. Bridge-like passageways lead you to the other studio areas and looking down these passageways you can see the design is almost mirrored on the lower floors.

A beautiful structure hangs between the floors and almost looks like its floating in mid-air as the surrounding glass elevators constantly travel between floors.

As a child, this area used to have a rollercoaster running through it as it was once a popular entertainment venue, Dazzleland. Having the opportunity to study here fills me with the same aw and wonder I had as a child seeing the rollercoaster sore. But somehow, Simon Scales (Director of CDW Studios) has managed to fill the area with more fantasy than Dazzleland could have ever imagined.

The closest shop to outside your school is:

Being in a shopping complex we have pretty much everything you need from clothing stores to a food court. My personal go-to place when having a break is the coffee store one floor down from the studio.

Your school is great, but you wouldn't mind a bit less:

Competition! hahaha I'm only kidding. The high level of work and attitude coming from my peers creates a great work environment with strong morale and comradery. I wouldn't change a thing.

The unofficial uniform of your school is:

Whatever you feel comfortable in. I find I do my best work when I'm comfortable so I dress accordingly. The CDW black hoodies do the trick.

A mandatory stop for anyone new to your city:

The Botanic Gardens in the city and Stirling or Handorf up in the Adelaide hills. On a sunny day, it is a great way to relax in a beautiful green environment surrounding you. Great food and beverages and a truly unique part of Adelaide.

A common myth about your school is:

The myths change from year to year as all the students speculate which amazing artists we will get for the annual Master Classes. Previously we've had living legends such as Eytan Zana, Kevin Chen, Darren Quach, Carlo Arellano teach at these Master Classes, and that's not even a handful of the artists that have taught at these events.

It is such an exciting part of the year and often I find myself learning from artists that help contribute to IP's that I have idolized and artists that lead me to follow this career path.

A massive night out for students at your school is likely to be:

Pizza, beers and ping pong after a good life-drawing session..... if we can spare the time away from our assignments :P


The Superlatives

You won’t find a better place to eat than at:

That's a tough one. There are so many great places around Adelaide. I'm a big fan of the burgers at Bread and Bone.

The strangest thing you’ve ever seen at your school is:

A fully suited knight, sword and all walking the halls.

One thing you’d never change about your school is:

The studio has an excellent philosophy behind it's method of teaching. It is an extremely intensive workload but it is a manageable one nonetheless. The only way to get better at creating art is by creating art, so our instructors enforce that we create a lot.

We are fortunate enough to receive constant feedback and critiques from our lecturers who are all proven industry professionals. This allows us to constantly be pushed in the right direction. Having weekly, live demonstrations, we are given the chance to have an open forum as a class and pick their brains of our teachers as they demonstrate how to go about doing a certain piece.

Follow this up with a personal critique of the previous week's work, we have an opportunity to really level up.

But one thing you wouldn’t mind seeing changed is:

Personal study pods for 4-5 students.

Someone gives you $1 million to soup up your school. You use it to:

Invest in small IP pitches. Create a system where artists from the school can apply for a position within this new program. Students may use the portfolios they have contributed to throughout the semester.

During the semester breaks, we often have the opportunity to use the studio to do our personal work. I would love to create a working experience for students. An opportunity where students can receive payment through a grant system that is put in place. Working in a team to create a viable pitch document.

Our lectures are fantastic when it comes to knowledge of the industry and producing work in their specialised fields. I would love to have somebody at their caliber be the Art director of a pitch project and select a team of students to see this project through.

This annual project could be an ongoing opportunity from year to year. It may give students further reason to push the limits of their artistic skills, and practice aspects, that may otherwise not be considered while studying. Such as budgeting, project management and pitching an idea to a potential client.