A background in animation certainly helps with this, but for Oliver, studying comedy has proved just as important. Naming Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer among others as early inspirations, observing the way jokes are delivered on screen continue to inform his work as a storyboarder.
After spending four years working on Gumball, Oliver recently decided to go freelance, which has since presented its own challenges. “I guess it’s more scary,” he says, “The biggest challenge is probably my own brain. Procrastination, anxiety, mental health. It’s quite hard having to constantly look for work, and managing your own time. But also having confidence about what you’re putting on the page. All of that can culminate into a big, black cloud.”
Oliver encourages emerging creatives with an interest in animation to watch their favourite TV shows, and to pay particular attention to the credits for unusual or interesting job roles and names of artists to contact. Drawing and watching TV may be key to developing practical storyboarding skills, but, as Oliver points out, reaching out to creatives you admire can prove equally fruitful.