Classically trained, Andrea graduated in 1990 from Wimbledon School of Art, winning a BAFTA scholarship to study film set design at the National Film & Television School. Andrea was a finalist for the BBC’s Homefront Young Designer of the Year and her design work is featured in Theme and Sleeper magazines.
In 1994 Andrea began in the art departments for the feature film ‘Judge Dredd’ designed by Nigel Phelps and in TV on ‘Pie in the Sky 3’ and an ‘Independent Man’ with Production Designer, Tom Brown. Whilst raising her family Andrea worked as a freelance designer on productions for BBC Bristol and Screen South and designed architectural interiors for luxury hospitality portfolios including HandPicked Hotels, Alexander House, Wagamama, ZeroDegrees Micro-Breweries and multi-million pound health spas for Utopia Leisure.
Andrea has a tenacity for constant learning and to keep pace with technological advances in industry. In 2015, Andrea moved to Scotland and enrolled at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design (DJCAD), and achieved a 1st class MSc in Animation and Visual Effects in 2017; winning the Masters Prize, for her 3D CGI animated film Thaw, inspired by themes of loss and transformation.
In 2022 Andrea gained a practice-based PhD at DJCAD which explored animation and virtual reality to represent the perceptual-experiences of three professional, award-winning artists with sight-loss. Her research culminated in a fully immersive experimental film More Than Meets The Eye created and viewed in VR and her research paper was published in the Design Journal. Andrea has recently created and produced concept art for Outlander Season 7, lives with her husband in Dundee and is also a visiting lecturer at DJCAD, Dundee University.
Masters Prize: Animation & VFX, Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design 2017
Odd Shoe - Nominated for Best Short, Chicago International Film Festival 2008
Design feature - Kent Life Magazine 2004
Design feature - Sleeper Magazine 2004
Design feature - Theme Magazine 2000
Design feature - The Right Angle Magazine 2000
Radio Panellist - Ideal Home Show 2000
Finalist - Young Designer of the Year - BBC Homefront 1998
Shaman - British Short Film & World Festival, Houston 1995
BAFTA Scholarship - Post-Office & National Film & Television School 1991
McSwan, A. (2021) 'Exploring Animation and Virtual Reality to Represent the Perceptual-Experiences of Art-Practitioners with Sight-Loss', The Design Journal, 24(2), pp. 315-324.
Alternate, Virtual and Augmented Realities Conference 2021
McSwan, A. (2021) 'Exploring Animation and Virtual Reality to Represent the Perceptual-Experiences of Art-Practitioners with Sight-Loss'. Online presentation at PG/ECR Alternate, Virtual, and Augmented Realities Conference 2021. Institute of Medical Humanities. Durham University: Durham.
McSwan, A. (2020) 'Exploring Animation and Virtual Reality to Represent the Perceptual-Experiences of Art-Practitioners with Sight-Loss'. Online presentation at Digital Research in the Humanities and Arts (DRHA 2020) Conference 2020. University of Salford: Manchester.