Our talented Creative Director of Games Art and Animation, Eleanora Asparuhova, has been part of more than 30 short animation films, adverts and game characters during her career.

How did you get into gaming?

I grew up in Sofia in Bulgaria and always dreamt of being an animator from a young age – I loved cartoons and drawing. I used to record a series I loved and then pause and copy it.

Following my studies, I did an internship with Miramar Films, where I got to work on some really exciting projects. I got some great experience there and on-the-job training.

What’s been the WOW moment of your career?

It would have to be when my team at Cherry Cannon Games won the award for Most Anticipated at the Bulgarian Game Awards in 2016. I was the lead concept artist on the game, Among Thieves and a lot of the reviews praised the concept part.

Tell us about the animation festival you founded and the illustrations exhibition you’re planning?

My friend and I started the Celtic Animation Festival because we wanted to expand the platform for showcasing work from students and practitioners in the area. It focuses on cultural animation and cultural identity – we wanted to showcase work from Celtic animators and also Celtic identity, but we also have other categories.

I am currently working on an illustration challenge. The challenge is creating work each day, which I’m doing to raise money for Cancer Research. It’s a personal challenge to push my skills and dedication as an artist and try to encourage the students to see it’s possible to work on stuff you love every day.

I’m planning a big exhibition in April or May in Liverpool too, so watch this space!

What do you love most about life at LMA?

The most rewarding part is definitely seeing the students’ achievements. You see them arrive not quite sure about their skills and perhaps quite shy, and then watch them opening up and becoming these incredibly creative individuals – to watch them succeed is the best thing in the world!

LMA is a great environment to work in and I’ve never felt so appreciated at work as I feel here.

What’s the secret to how to break into the industry?

There are some fantastic university courses out there, but while a lot of graduates have an amazing portfolio, they might be shy or lack communication skills. At LMA, we invite industry professionals in to speak to students and review their work, so we build their confidence and connections from the very beginning. While working with the students to build an incredible portfolio.

What one piece of advice would you give to wannabe gamers?

Work hard, believe in yourself, and you’ll get there. There’s no such thing as an unachievable outcome or aim. If you work hard enough and you want it, you’ll get there sooner or later.

What’s your favourite retro game of all time?

My favourite retro game is Sonic – it reminds me of my childhood when we used to play the game with my sister for ages. I remember getting very upset when my sister did not pass a level!

If you could be any gaming character who would you be?

I would like to be the Witch Doctor from Diablo III – he’s a whimsical, mysterious character who uses Voodoo techniques as his weapon – yes, I definitely want to be him!