For the week of the 17th-21st February, I had the pleasure of being involved with the wonderful Animated Exeter festival, working as an animator in residence. I was stationed down Fore Street at the bead heaven that is Bunyip Beads, a shop I am very fond of, having enjoyed many long, browsy visits in my teenage years.
Whilst there I was working on a section from my latest film, a short 2D animation about a man that becomes obsessed with the vast nothingness that is our universe. Working at my lightbox in the middle of the shop, surrounded with not just my paper, pens and pencils but also an audience was a very new experience, but great fun.
I got the pleasure of chatting to lots of lovely people whilst there, including plenty who had come in just for the beads, but were intrigued to see what I was up to, as well as some others who came over specifically to watch, chat and ask questions. I even got a drawing sidekick for a little while! I was great to get the chance to talk about the process of making an animation with people who were strangers to it. There were plenty of horrified gasps at how little animation my growing stack of paper actually amounted to, as well as lots of really interesting questions about what goes into making a film and some lovely chats with students about working in the creative industries.
All in all it was a really wonderful experience and a lot of fun. It was great to act as an ambassador for 2D animation, and to spread the love, as well as for Animated Exeter itself, which is one of my absolute favourite festivals and holds a very special place in my heart because it was here I fell for animation in the first place. So many thanks to Susannah, Sarah and Mattie for making it happen.
Here’s a little clip I made that week: