150 words

My name is Alice Geary and I’m a character animator. I have a love for telling stories and creating original ideas. I am very passionate about animation and developing complex and interesting characters. I also enjoy working on the research and pre-production side, including, character designer, storyboard artist, animatic, concept and initial story stage. I’m a 2D animator at heart and in practice but I also have a good understanding of animating in 3D. I’ve gained experience directing and creating a short animation for the BBC Radio 4 ‘Weather in History Series’ (2016) and I was Commended on my entry to the RSA Student Design awards (2015).  I’m confident in using Photoshop (where I currently animate), Maya, Aftereffects, Illustrator and Flash. An enthusiastic person that will research and get fully involved in a project. Aside from animation I enjoy travelling, swimming in the Cornish sea, learning languages, country walks and watching a good film (including animated!). A student of Ravensbourne University.

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Invites to degree show

Invited people

For our degree show we had to invite different companies to attend. I decided to invite the companies that are located locally and I have interest in. Above you can see I have entered four different people / companies. My sister also uploaded a few names I am interested in.

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I invited Manddy Wyckens, an art director and Designer who works at Studio A.K.A – I love her work and if anything it could be great to meet her and gain advice. Especially as she works at Studio A.K.A a company I am interested in – she could be a great contact.

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I invited Lupus films – a company that have created some stunning 2D animated films over the last year including Ethel and Ernest and Going on a Bear Hunt. This is one of my favourite on the list.

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Peter Dodd is a supervising animator at Studio Aka and the animation director on Ethel and Ernest (2016) – although I am not sure if he would come, I thought why not? He could give me advice and would be great to meet.

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Lastly, I invited BEAKUS a small animation studio in London. I like a lot of their work they create and felt it would be great to meet and network with. And for them to see my work.

Finding Events / festivals / Competitions

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British Animation awards has been running for 20 years – at the south bank BFI is were it takes place. The next competition takes place in 2018. There are lot of big sponsors (such as CBBC, BLUE ZOO, cartoon network, Aardman, Dreamworks, Cbeebies). Furthermore there ate lots of categories and the public choose. Awards given to ‘Best student film / undergraduate / post graduate’ animation. Quality animations to be entered in here.

Above are a selection of some animation events, festivals and small competitions that I have researched into. The 11 second club is a small competition, monthly an audio is realised the length of 11 seconds and animators must create animation around the dialogue. It’s a good way to spend time on a short and polished animation – and to potential have it presented on a great platform for animators. It could be a good way have a focus on a deadline.

The London Internation Award’s festival holds many events over several days that look at different parts of the industry, holding talks and viewings: “LIAF is a year-round celebration of animation with screenings and events throughout the year. Our annual Festival is the engine room of the whole kit-and-kaboodle! A 10 day comprehensive, up-to-date overview of the international indie animation scene: every style; every genre; every technique.” (http://www.liaf.org.uk/events/the-festival/)

Sketch Dailies is not nessecarily a competition or event. However it is a socal media challenge that posts topics and artists create work on that them, hashtagging #sketchdailies, the work will appear on their page and it is shared to over 50 thousand followers of the challenge. It’s a great way to promote your art and profile to un-expecting audiences. I hope to create work to this challenge over Christmas.

Tricky Women – is an animation festival that takes place in Vienna. It celebrate women in all aspects of animation industry international. They hold a five day event.

Animated Women UK – You have to sign up to the membership of this organisation which helps to promote women in animation. They have a network ofImage result for animated women uk animators who are stay connected and work hard to push for the greater need of women lead roles and in technical jobs. Every year they have a event, a BBQ where the members gather. I contacted the founder of animated women and spoke to her for my dissertation work – she explained some of the work she is launching at the moment also: “In terms of inspiring other women in our industry, Animated Women has just launched our ‘achieve career development program’ which kind of contains aspects of mentoring, so that is a huge aspect of my research. (My interview).” She explained the mentoring scheme and the need for the organisation.

 

 

Events

For this term I decided to attend at least three events. Events are important in going out to meet other artists and networking with potential connections. It also allows you to see work that is being made at the moment and share with others your own. I attended the FAFF festival, a BBC networking opportunity and a Life drawing session at the Cutty sark. Each were different and taught me different things.

FAFF EVENT

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Faff Event Proof

I went to one of the FAFF events (FAFF: Powerhouse). We was a showcase of lots of different works but the main studios was, ‘Moth Animation Studios’ based in London. After seeing some of this companies latest works we had a QA session where we learnt a lot about the details of this company. I found this to be helpful and informative. Here is some of what was said:

  1. They explained that commercial work fuels their passion projects. They must create commercial work in order to help fund their passion projects that they want to do. The passion projects may not pay as well or take more time and etc – so in order to do these they must use commercial work. The passion project also motivate them to do the commercial work so they have a healthy balance between what pays the rent and what they enjoy.
  2. Freelance to begin with. The company started off as separate animators and they each were freelancers to begin with – it let them explore different areas.
  3. Studio – made up with MA students and other animators. Set up by animators and students that wanted to set up a studio.
  4. Turning down projects (ability to pick what will help you). They turned down many projects knowing when too choose the opportunities that will help them.
  5. Contract
  6. Realistic with time and budget. Is it worth doing the job? Can they create what that company wants with what is offered?
  7. Passion small budget films more creative. The smaller projects have more freedom and creativity.
  8. Asking businesses if they can make work from them. They asked the New York Times if they could create an animation for them – and they were hired. So asking for work can be beneficial (if the studio is strong).

 

BBC Radio 4 – Design meet up

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Last year I collaborated with my sister on an animation for the BBC Radio 4, weather series. It was an event that was showcasing the design work of all that had worked for the BBC Radio 4 that year. We were invited back along with other designers to see all of this work and to learn more on each project. It was a great opportunity to network and stay connected with some of people we had met at the start of year from the BBC.

 

Going back to the BBC like this to celebrate designers work is a lovely experience – we are celebrating new work and innovative ideas. Sharing and staying in contact are great, and it was a new experience to attend a gathering like this. Some of the benefits for events like these are:

  • Networking experiences with other animators and illustrators – We had the chance to talk and network with the other designers and creatives after the showcase of all our work. Some of the the people that worked at the BBC said they would introduce us to any of the designers that we would like to meet. One of these was Karrie Fransman, an illustrators and designer who worked on a piece for the BBC Radio 3. We stayed in contact and it was great to meet her and ask advice about how she got into the industry. She was so kind and happy to talk.
  • Swapping business cards (understanding their importance) – a lot of business cards were swapped at this event, unfortunately I did not have a business card – however it let me see their value. I observed some of my friends using it as a way to start or close a conversation. We were also admiring all the cards that were passed.
  • Getting more work from BBC – Staying in contact with the BBC is important and we spoke a little about the possibility of creating more work. Other than the BBC we met other people at the event who were also interested in gaining animators for their projects.
  • Celebrating each others work – It’s so important to celebrate everyone’s work and to be inspired by other artists.
  • Seeing new animation and innovation – Some of the work we saw was very innovative and looked at new ways of creating visual pieces. One of my favourite was the violin player, she played her music as the art as displayed over her violin creating visual music.
  • Free food! (this is a joke) – but we were given refreshments and small snacks which is always a positive!

Life drawing at the Cutty sark

I attended a Life Drawing session at the Cutty Sark on 15/10/2016, an event created by Art Macabre, a company that creates special drawing events. This event started after hours at the Cutty Sark in Greenwich. There were different activities and things to do on the boat. This included, a free mini bottle of whisky, seeing findings of Mud larking, small drawing exercises, shanty singers (whom we could draw and listen), a life model who was an opera singer (her character was a witch), a acrobatic mermaid whom also was a life model – she did her acrobatics on the ships deck, a tea shipment captain and traditional Chinese lady modeled together and of course the opportunity to look around the Cutty sark.  This experience was different to the others that I attended but it was still important this is because I was able to:

  • Interact with other designers. The ship had lots of professional artists and illustrators who were there and I had the opportunity to talk with them.
  • Create illustrations from life models – I could practice my life drawing skills and the opportunity to mix it with a nordic touch.
  • Have a unique experience – The day truly was unique and fun, days like this are good for inspiring artists and letting loose so ideas can be explored.
  • Other places outside of animation.

Competition

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Above is my the entry that I submitted to the BBC Radio 4 (2016) Stardust competition. The competition asked for an illustration to be used as the face of a new radio Stardust programme. I wanted to explore the ‘heart’ of this story this piece. After reading the book I felt that the key feature was the ‘search for the heart’s desire’. Each character from the book is after their heart’s desire in securing the star. I decided to have the characters from this book centered inside of a human hear (including their colour tone) – It also represents Yvaine’s heart, the heart of a star; the witch wants to eat her heart. Over all I wish I had more time to spend on perfecting the colours and character layout inside the heart. I spent a lot of time trying to get the concept to work with the theme of the story. I’m happy with the idea and parts of the final piece however I think I could have perfected it further.

I decided to enter this competition as it let me play around with the composition, explore colours and looking at how to tell a story in only one shot. It enabled me to play around with my creativity. In addition, I have worked for BBC Radio 4 before and it was a great way to stay connected. I would love to have another opportunity like this in the future.

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Above are two colour experiments before the final test, I created a rough digital sketch to experiment with colour and effects. I really like the shine I added in these tests. I really wish I had added it to my final entry as it gives the pieces life. However I was worried at the time it would look too cluttered and messy.

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This is a page of sketches I created to look at gestures and poses for how the characters could fit inside of the heart. I t was an exploration of the character designs for this piece also.

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Above I am experimenting with the layout of my idea – It was difficult to fit the characters in with out deforming the characters a little. It took some time to finally figure out how it was all to fit into the human heart. Surrounding the heart are small birds I watercolor – as I wanted the mother (from Stardust) to appear as her bird self – I am playing around with colours.

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Here is another defined early concept sketch of the characters inside the human heart. I am happy with how this all fits. It served as a reference when creating the final piece,

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This is another concept of an idea that didn’t get chosen for the final entry. This shot focuses on Yvaine being taken to Victoria. I wanted to experiment with the composition and narrative of one shot. I like the layout of this as it feels like the world is slanted (in this upside down reality). The faces of characters from the book are to appear on her cloak (look below). I like how mystic this shot is, it doesn’t give much away but leaves a lot of mystery behind where the string leads too. The characters on the clock presenting us with more a clue.

drag2Another colour test from this shot – more earthy tones.

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Above is the sketch of this idea. You can see in better detail the intended finished look. I wanted the characters that cross path with Yvaine to be presented on a clock, she is following Tristan (holding the string).

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This is a very rough sketchy concept sheet for one of my ideas. It’s not that clear in the picture but the sky is a human heart and surrounding are characters from Stardust. I wanted them to create a heart in the sky. In the center is a shooting star. After playing around with the scene, colours and competition I didn’t feel like it was strong enough. However I still like the concept at did develop the inverted one for the final entry.

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This is the digital sketch which shows the human heart a little more clearly. The characters will deform around the heart – the book it about the heart’s desire so this is why the human heart centers (connect to the darker themes of the witch wanting to eat Yvaine’s heart.)

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After drawing out lots of ideas (in the thumb-nailing stage) I picked a few that were my favourite to explore further in more detail. These three ideas focus on the meeting of the lead characters of the book: Yvaine and Tristan. A rope ties them together and it’s during night – so she could shine. I wanted to experiment with the different cinematic shots and layout of the scene.

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This is another page from my sketchbook. I created lots o thumbnails like above to play around with different ideas and explore as many different concepts as possible in a short time. This page is focusing on designs that capture the entire book. I have circles those that I like.

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Above are thumbnail sketches of different ideas and scenes for the Stardust competition. These are very quick sketches that let me get initial ideas out onto the page and see what works and what doesn’t. These sketches are shots from the book and also symbolic scenes that try to capture the heart of the book.

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These are a collection of quick ink sketches I made when playing around with ideas for the stardust competition. I like to use my sketchbook as a place to experiment ideas of characters and of the designs I could use. In the book Yvaine has a limp and I wanted to capture the scene of them walking together, around the circle different characters. However I decided that this was a little too simple. However I do like the look of the ink and water.

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To get a fill of the ‘characters’ I created this small illustration of the star ‘Yvaine, in the scene where she thinks Tristan has left her, and is walking towards the wall (where she would dies if she passes it). It’s supposed to be very serious –  I was playing around with this concept just getting it out of the system before designing. I hope for my final illustration to have more thought behind it – but I like this early design of Yvaine.


BBC Wind Knots and British Folklore (Entered into a competition)

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We were entered into a competition by Ruth Nicholls (Ravensbourne Staff) for the best collaboration between a university and employer. We were asked to give a quote about our experiences on the project for BBC Radio 4 ‘British History in Weather’.  This could help get our work seen and shows a positive experience – giving us opportunities for networking and winning a competition.