Insider's Guide - Escape Studios

Insider's Guide - Escape Studios

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 Grace Collett about the ins and outs of studying at Escape Studios in London, U.K.

Image courtesy of Escape Studios

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 Grace Collett about the ins and outs of studying at Escape Studios in London, U.K.

Escape Studios
At Escape Studios we create studio-ready talent. We offer undergraduate, postgraduate and short courses in VFX, Game Art, Animation and Motion Graphics, so whether you’re just starting out or want to upskill, we have something for you.

The Specifics

What’s the name of your school?

The name of my school is Escape Studios, a part of Pearson College London.

What’s the name of the neighbourhood?

Escape is located in the heart of Central London, in Holborn.

Closest train station or public transport option?

The closest station is Holborn Station, situated approximately 0.2 miles away which is about a 4 minute walk. There are so many ways to get to Holborn, however I regularly chose to use the bus to Aldwych Drury Lane which would then take me about 10 minutes to get to Escape Studios. I did also take the Northern Line to Tottenham Court Road Station and walked approximately 8 minutes to the building.

Photo by Miklos Magyar

How long have you been there?

I’ve been studying Game Art for almost three years. I began my degree in September 2019 and my journey ended at Escape in May 2022.

Why did you choose to study here?

I have always wanted to pursue a career in the creative industry. However, I had no previous experience creating 3D art, so for me, choosing a suitable place to study was key. Escape Studios is unique, there is no other institution quite like it.

Aside from their various certifications and awards, the selling point for me was the recognition for the relationship that they have with the industry, and that the courses are tailored to get you ready for that environment.

The courses are career based right from the get-go, with focus on following studio pipelines and workflows. This appealed to me because getting a job in the industry was my main focus for studying for a degree!

What advice do you have for students thinking of studying for your degree?

My main piece of advice would be that you get what you put in. If you do the extra work by putting in the hours outside of the time in class, doing the extra research into techniques and workflows, your work will be better because of it. There is only so much you can be taught during your degree, and there are unlimited amounts of free resources available online from experts in the industry! Also, there are so many professionals who are willing to talk to students and help by giving them feedback on work - utilise all the tools available to you.

The Scene

The first thing you see when you walk outside your school?

The first thing you see when you leave the doors of Escape is a pizza restaurant called Pizza Union!

Tell us a bit about the Neighbourhood. What is there to see and do?

Escape Studios is located right on the main street of High Holborn. It is surrounded with restaurants, coffee shops, retail stores, museums and entertainment. If you like musicals, there are so many theatres and they are all within walking distance!

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

Less cameras! I am often running away or hiding from a massive lens - but it is lovely that our Student Experience team wants to take so many photos of the students having a good time!

The unofficial uniform of your school is:

Escape sells awesome branded merch which is very popular around the campus! It includes varsity jackets, hoodies, t-shirts, hats and loads more accessories. But there is not a uniform for students or staff, everyone is free to express their own sense of style!

What clubs or extracurricular events are offered at your school?

The Pearson College Student Association (PCSA) works hard to ensure there are clubs and events going on throughout the year. There are societies such as LGBTQ+, Table Top, Character Design and Asian society. Also they host games nights, quizzes, movie nights via Discord and many more!

How would you describe the school community?

You get a sense of family at Escape from a tight-knit community, which allows you to have a closer and more personal relationship with the staff and students.

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

Escape Studios is surrounded by pubs, so we all loved to walk down the road and get some food and drinks after projects! The PCSA also arranged many fun nights out at bars and clubs, mostly for events for Halloween or Christmas!

The Superlatives

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

A popular place for students at Escape to grab food was a Korean takeaway called Jin’s Kitchen! But there are so many places to eat around Escape Studios, such as Coco di Mama, Nandos, Wasabi, Itsu, Wagamama, Greggs, McDonalds, Burger King, Chipotle, Tortilla and so many more.

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

The strangest thing I saw would probably be the third-floor coffee machine working - as third year students got the most out of the free tea and coffee machine, I think we drained the life out of it!

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

The people! All the staff that I have encountered at Escape have been brilliant, from Personal Tutors to my Course Tutors, the Heads of Departments and Studio Assistants, and the Student Experience team. All fantastic, kind and inspiring people.

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

I would love to have some greenery at Escape, for instance an outdoor chill-out space for during breaks and lunchtime. Being in Central London on a main street is difficult due to the urban cityscape, but to have some grass and trees would be lovely.

Someone gives you $1M to pimp out your school. You use it to:

With that sort of money I would say some super upgrades and improvements to the equipment in the studios, a variety of drinks machines and larger spaces for bigger groups to hang out together without having to spread out too much.


What is your greatest takeaway from your studies so far?

To not be afraid of asking for feedback or critique. I have improved and developed so much because I have asked for feedback and implemented it into my work.

How do you combine school work with your own creative work?

I started finding my preferred style during my second year of Escape Studios, finding techniques that I enjoyed in zBrush. The Game Art course at Escape is fun because it allows you to create individual projects as well as group projects. This enables you to create work that you want, and explore styles that you love.

I wrote a breakdown article for one of my personal projects, a Voodoo Diorama, which you can find here.

However, working on team projects, collaborating with other artists with different styles can be difficult, so I had to find other ways of creating work to fit with the required art direction. I enjoyed making assets outside of my school work anyway, so this helped with me being able to get my project work done at school and still have enough portfolio work in my preferred style!

Where do you get your inspiration from and how do you implement this in your own work?

Most of my inspiration comes from other artists, there are so many talented people out there and those who are generous with their knowledge to pass on techniques and workflows on how to create better art! I love using sites such as Artstation, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest to view artwork.

What personal projects are you working on at the moment?

Currently, I am working on a few small ‘Adventure Kit assets for a SketchFab competition! I took a break from an environment piece that I was creating for my portfolio, but I will be back to that once I have finished with my ‘Adventure Kit’ assets!

Where do you see yourself after graduation?

After graduation I see myself working as a Junior 3D Artist, creating stylised assets for games! I hope to progress in my career to one day becoming an Art Lead at a studio managing a team of great artists.

Grace is originally from Somerset in the UK. She moved to London to study 3D Game Art, and loves all things stylised (In her opinion, the more bright, chunky and cute the assets the better!) Grace's favourite thing in the world is my family dog Oreo, a Pug cross Boston-Terrier.

You can find more of her work on ArtStation and Instagram.