Studying at The One Academy of Communication Design
In this article, Jo Ling, a standout student at The One Academy of Communication Design, a 2023 Rookie Awards Finalist, and Game of the Year Winner, offers valuable insights into her journey studying in the BA (Hons) Digital Media Design course.
Meet Jo Ling, a standout student at The One Academy of Communication Design and a 2023 Rookie Awards Finalist and Game of the Year Winner. Studying in the BA (Hons) Digital Media Design course, Jo's unwavering passion drives her to tackle challenges and evolve on her design journey, with strong support from her school. In this article shares valuable insight into studying at The one Academy.
Can you introduce your school to us and share what makes it special from your perspective?
The One Academy of Communication Design is a leading private higher education institution in Malaysia that offers a wide range of courses in the creative industries. I am currently enrolled in the BA (Hons) Digital Media Design course, which is designed to equip students with the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in the digital media industry. The course covers a wide range of topics, including motion graphics, 3D modeling, video editing, creative coding, and game development. We also have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience through internships and real-world industry projects.
Being a student at The One Academy holds a special significance for me, as it marks the realisation of a long-held aspiration. My acquaintance with The One Academy was initiated during my earlier years when I participated in drawing classes at Da Vinci Creative Kids, an art centre subsidiary of The One Academy. This introduction fostered my admiration for The One Academy, nurturing a desire to pursue education at this esteemed institution as I matured.
What made you choose The One Academy, and has it lived up to your expectations?
The reason why I chose The One Academy is because it is a well-known design school with a strong reputation. The lecturers are passionate and skilled in their fields, and they are committed to helping students succeed. I also enjoy the fact that I get to experiment with different projects that involve design, technical coding and hardware sensors. The school is well equipped with the facilities we need to learn and grow creatively. What I have achieved currently has proved that the school does live up to my expectations.
How do students and teachers interact at the school, and is there a supportive mentorship dynamic?
At our school, the interaction between students and teachers is marked by a vibrant and supportive atmosphere. Teachers actively engage with students both inside and outside the classroom, fostering an environment where communication and mentorship flourish. Regular classroom discussions encourage students to share their thoughts, ask questions, and actively participate in their learning journey. Moreover, our teachers are committed to providing individualised attention, ensuring that each student's unique strengths and challenges are recognised and addressed.
From a personal standpoint, I find particular value in the one-on-one sessions conducted with instructors during tutorial periods. This is because it helps to solve challenges and problems encountered during completing my assignment. Besides that, the mentorship extends beyond the classroom, as teachers are readily dedicated to nurturing the holistic growth of each student. In essence, the strong teacher-student bond at our school fosters a positive, empowering atmosphere where mentorship, communication and guidance are key pillars of the educational experience.
What have you found most valuable about your learning experience so far, and how has it impacted your artistic growth?
Reflecting on my journey in the Digital Media Design program at The One Academy, the most remarkable and valuable aspect of my learning experience was the exposure to new digital technologies and creative media that are reshaping how we engage with the world. The curriculum's emphasis on immersive storytelling opened doors to innovative avenues of expression, allowing me to create experiences that transcend traditional boundaries. Learning to harness these technologies to craft narratives that captivate and immerse audiences has significantly expanded my artistic toolkit.
Furthermore, the program's focus on creating user experiences with societal impact has been transformative. By delving into projects that addressed real-world challenges and inspired positive change, I learned how to channel my creativity towards meaningful endeavours. This not only broadened my perspective as a digital media artist, but also instilled a sense of responsibility to leverage my skills for the betterment of society. Through this, my artistic growth has been marked not only by technical advancements, but also by a deepened understanding of the role digital media plays in shaping perceptions and driving change.
Another invaluable facet of my journey was the exploration of multi-sensory experiences through storytelling. The program's approach of integrating various sensory elements into narratives helped me create more holistic and impactful experiences for users. This dimension of learning enabled me to evoke emotions and connections through visuals, sound and interactive elements, further enriching my artistic endeavours. Ultimately, my time at The One Academy pursuing the Digital Media Design program not only equipped me with technical proficiency, but also nurtured a profound sense of purpose, enabling me to harness the power of creative media to make a lasting impact on society and to continuously push the boundaries of artistic innovation.
Can you share an example of an assignment where you received valuable feedback from your teachers?
Feedback from my teachers has been an integral part of my growth, and I've consistently received valuable insights on all of my projects. One illustrative example is the "Night Blooms" project. Spanning an extensive 8-month development timeline, this undertaking comprised two installations.
Throughout this period, I was fortunate to have two supervisors—one focusing on project development and the other on my personal growth and encountered challenges. Their feedback proved instrumental in refining my work. Particularly on the aesthetic front, they provided critiques that pushed me to elevate my visuals and designs to meet the high standards set by relevant references. Moreover, the technical aspect was not neglected; my lecturer generously shared his expertise in areas such as soldering techniques, wire connections with connectors, 3D printing intricacies, power supply considerations, and more. This technical guidance immensely aided the project's execution and deepened my understanding of practical implementation. The constructive feedback loop provided by my teachers has not only elevated my projects, but also equipped me with the skills and knowledge to excel in the industry.
What helpful resources or opportunities does the art school provide outside of regular classes?
Outside of regular classes, our art school offers a wealth of helpful resources and opportunities to enhance our creative journey. We benefit from engaging talks by industry experts like Jun Ong and Abdul Syakir, gaining insights from creative media perspectives beyond the classroom.
Moreover, during semester breaks, we delve into digital media campaigns and workshops in diverse areas such as tufting, pottery and coffee brewing, expanding our horizons beyond design.
Additionally, our final year includes enriching field trips to prominent companies, ranging from game studios to UI/UX firms, providing invaluable exposure and clarity on potential career paths and job roles we aspire to pursue in the future.
Can you describe any collaborative projects or experiences that have enhanced your artistic skills and fostered teamwork?
One notable collaborative project that significantly enhanced my artistic skills and fostered teamwork was the ‘Teamwork Practices’ course, where I collaborated with fellow Graphic Design students in a group of five. Our project involved devising an innovative concept within the realm of creative media art, integrating camera sensors and projection mapping to craft an interactive immersive experience. This endeavour aligned with client and industry requirements and culminated in an exhibition held at the Digital Art Gallery, which drew a substantial audience eager to engage with our creation. This experience was incredibly fulfilling, as I observed the entire project's evolution from its inception to public exhibition, generating a sense of accomplishment and pride as I witnessed the public's enthusiastic interaction with our work, as well as its presence on social media platforms like Instagram and TikTok.
Have you had the opportunity to work with industry professionals or participate in real-world projects during your time at the school?
Yes, indeed. Throughout my time at the school, I've been fortunate to engage with industry professionals and partake in real-world projects, particularly notable in the context of the teamwork project mentioned earlier. This project provided a unique platform for collaboration, allowing us to interact directly with seasoned experts from the industry. Their valuable insights and feedback not only guided our project's development, but also illuminated the practical requirements and expectations of the field.
This interaction proved to be a pivotal learning experience, enabling us to refine our work according to industry standards while broadening our understanding of the dynamic landscape we were preparing to enter. Working alongside these professionals not only enriched our projects, but also endowed us with a deeper awareness of the industry's intricacies, enhancing our readiness to transition into the real-world realm of creative media.
How does the art school promote diversity and inclusivity within its student community, and how has this enriched your educational experience?
The institution actively encourages the participation of students from various backgrounds, cultures and perspectives. Through initiatives like cultural events, workshops and forums, students are provided with opportunities to share their unique experiences and insights, fostering a sense of unity and appreciation for diversity.
This inclusive approach has significantly enriched my educational experience by exposing me to a wide array of viewpoints, allowing me to develop a more well-rounded understanding of creative concepts and societal contexts.
Engaging with fellow students from diverse backgrounds has also taught me the value of collaboration and the power of harnessing varied perspectives to create innovative and impactful work.
Ultimately, the art school's commitment to diversity and inclusivity has broadened my horizons, enabling me to become a more culturally sensitive and versatile artist.
What are your future goals, and how do you feel your school has prepared you for them?
My aspirations for the future revolve around establishing my own interactive technology company within 10 years’ time, collaborating with prominent brands and creative media artists to exhibit my work across the country. Alternatively, I'm open to pursuing this as an individual endeavour, aiming to witness my creations showcased throughout various regions.
My focus lies in delving into abstract and artistic projects infused with profound storytelling, crafting experiences that deeply resonate with users on an emotional level.
The fusion of UI/UX, immersive media, and motion graphics expertise is pivotal in not only creating impactful work, but also generating a sustainable income. As I strive towards achieving recognition in the field, I'm grateful for the preparation my school has provided me. The knowledgeable and dedicated lecturers have been instrumental in shaping my career trajectory, and the education I've received equips me with the essential skills to thrive.
Furthermore, the encouragement to step out of my comfort zone, think innovatively, and push boundaries has been an invaluable asset in fostering my growth as an artist and aspiring entrepreneur.
You can reach out to Jo via her Rookies profile here.