What has been the most exciting project of the last twelve months?
Animation-wise, my favourite was probably animating the little boy in the trailer for children’s book The Storm Whale. The scene was designed by the book's illustrator Benji Davies, Dave [Prosser, from Moth] directed and then me,Ester Rossi and Joe Bichard animated it. I really liked the subtle characterisation and detail, and the folds in his jacket were satisfying to animate.
I also directed a three-minute animation for XL Recordings, with a four-week turnaround. It was the first time I had to direct other animators and attempt to communicate what I wanted. Seeing it come together at the end was so rewarding, I’m really proud of it. Unfortunately it’s not out yet so I can’t really say more about it. It has been really interesting and challenging to adapt to the pace of the industry works, compared to making my graduation film.
What skills are essential to your job?
Soft skills like having a good disposition, communicating well and being good at taking criticism are crucial. Animation is very much a team sport so don’t want to be with moody or difficult people. Organisational skills are also really important when it comes to deadlines and being able to prioritise what needs to get done. You also need concentration, patience and drive.
Would you say your work allows for a good work-life balance?
It is always difficult to have a good work-life balance when you love and are passionate about what you do because it’s hard to know when to stop. Between my job at Moth and my own emails and paperwork for festivals, I haven't worked out the balance quite yet. Long hours have never really bothered me. I always feel really proud and satisfied with myself afterwards, even though it is a bit draining.
What tools do you use most for your work?
At work I use an iMac, Wacom Cintic 22” HD, Photoshop (when animating I use the AnimDessin2 extension bar), Premiere Pro, Audition, After Effects, InDesign, TVPaint and sometimes Cinema 4D. At home I use a Macbook pro retina 15” from 2013, Wacom cintiq 13” HD, a Roost laptop stand, a bluetooth external keyboard, usb splitter and a smudge-guard tablet glove.