Pursuing Passion and Dreams: Insights from Animal Logic Entertainment Scholarship Recipients at NIDA
In this interview, Siann Lau and Mehhma Malhi share their experiences as recipients of the prestigious Animal Logic Entertainment Scholarship at NIDA. The scholarship provided financial support and boosted their confidence, allowing them to fully invest in their studies. They discuss how the scholarship has impacted their personal and professional growth, with Siann aiming to merge her disciplines in Animation and Costume and Mehhma aspiring to create thought-provoking narratives. Both look forward to honing their skills at NIDA and offer valuable advice for aspiring applicants.
NIDA: How did you feel when you received the Animal Logic Entertainment Scholarship, and how has it influenced your decision to pursue studies in this field?
Siann Lau: I felt a myriad of emotions: overwhelmed, shocked, confused, blessed, grateful. It wasn't until my first week at NIDA, when I finally began processing everything – a big culture shock. Being accepted into the Bachelor of Fine Arts Costume course and having a scholarship cleared a trajectory of all the worries and “what ifs” I had in life. It was like the universe was telling “this is what you are supposed to do in your life”. The Animal Logic Entertainment Scholarship has influenced me in fully investing my time and energy into my studies without worrying about other financial worries and stress. I felt more secure and confident in my decision in pursuing an interest in Costume. I now feel supported and the big leap and change in life matters.
Mehhma Malhi: I was thrilled when I received the call and to hear I had been selected for the Animal Logic Entertainment scholarship supported by Zareh Nalbandian. It was a huge boost of confidence—especially when entering a new industry—and incredibly encouraging. Happy Feet was a core childhood film and the support from the Animal Logic Entertainment team was inspiring.
NIDA: How do you think the Animal Logic Scholarship Entertainment will impact your personal and professional growth in the coming years?
SL: On the personal front, I can meet with individuals who inspire me every day. I get to observe others in their practice, regardless of their discipline. Animal Logic Entertainment Scholarship allows me to be in a safe and creative world to explore my full potential in Costume.
Professionally, the scholarship impacts my professional growth in giving me space and security to redirect my focus — mind, knowledge and soul — into learning. I can experience the course to its full potential. I can attain and learn new skills such as tailoring, pattern making and draping.
MM: Thus far, Animal Logic Entertainment has been incredibly supportive throughout the year and has reached out to check on my development as I progress through the course. They have taken an active interest in learning about my passions and engaging me in industry. This mentorship has been invaluable and will continue to inspire me as I progress.
NIDA: How will you apply your skills in the industry after completing your studies at NIDA?
SL: I am confident that I will be able to intersect both my disciplines/degrees in Animation and Costume and to one day become a fabricator in a stop motion animation project. I also would like to one day become a Costume or Character Designer for animation and film. I am fortunate enough to have technical skills and experience in multidisciplinary areas in both digital and theatrical environments.
MM: I will continue to apply the methodologies learned from my teachers in the course and collaborate with NIDA students and alumni as we progress through our careers.
NIDA: Siann, you still have two years left in your degree. What are you looking forward to in your second and third year at NIDA?
SL: This one is a hard question, as every aspect of what I am learning at NIDA excites me. I think overall, learning fundamental skills in garment construction and seeing how they apply to theatre during production seasons is fascinating. I especially look forward to collaborating with individuals outside of the costume discipline in subjects such as The Warrior Project or costume supervising in third year and working with designers and actors. I also am excited to work on my final research project in my last year. So, basically everything!
NIDA: Mehhma, what are you excited about bringing to the industry after completing your studies at NIDA?
MM: I am excited to create stories crafted from my philosophy and bioethic background and discuss ethical quandaries through the lens of film and theatre. Additionally, I am excited to continue exploring different mediums and forms of storytelling and enter the industry with my peers.
NIDA: Can you share your experience with the application process and offer any tips or advice for students considering applying for scholarships at NIDA?
SL: It was a digital application and Zoom interview. I was originally so worried, I applied twice just in case it did not send through. The meeting was very short, maybe 20 minutes. One tip for me is to think positively, be your authentic self, be open and share your passion and experience.
MM: The interview is an integral part of the application process. In terms of advice, this is a chance for the panel to understand who you are, where you are at, and where you want to be. It is a relatively open discussion that spans many topics, but all link back to Why NIDA and Why NIDA now?
Learn more about Scholarships at NIDA by visiting this page.