Events

AWUK: SEEN | Supporting and increasing the visibility of ethnically diverse women in Animation and VFX

AWUK: SEEN | Supporting and increasing the visibility of ethnically diverse women in Animation and VFX

AWUK: SEEN aims to support and increase the visibility of ethnically diverse women in Animation and VFX. Our goal is to support and provide opportunities for women of colour to start and grow in their creative careers, whilst creating and cultivating a safe space to engage with each other.

The group was formed in mid-2020 in response to the consistent and growing need for the discussion, visibility and support for women of ethnically diverse backgrounds in the VFX and Animation industry. We make up less than 9% of the production and post-production workforce in the UK, and whilst we are beginning to see minor shifts, there’s still a lot that can be done.

We want to help women not only gain experience and enter the industry, but also support those looking to evolve their careers. SEEN will be hosting panels/networking opportunities, as well as workshops from industry professionals to help women further develop and expand their current skill sets.

Most events and workshops will be open to allies, but we would like to emphasise that this is a space to really highlight and support the voices and opportunities in particular for women from ethnically diverse backgrounds.

Sign up for our AWUK: SEEN launch event on 20th October.

Posted by Lucy Cooper in Events, Homepage, Mentoring, Profiles, SEEN, 0 comments
Introducing the Limitless Exhibitors | Part 2

Introducing the Limitless Exhibitors | Part 2

With less than two weeks until we open the virtual doors on our first-ever virtual exhibition – Limitless – it’s time to introduce you to the rest of our talented lineup who will be showcasing their personal work.

Isobel

Isobel Stenhouse is a concept and animation artist, currently working on a game at Supermassive Games. She has enjoyed an incredibly varied career in both art and production roles. Since mid-2020 she’s been teaching layout at weekends at The Cartoon Mill, and in March 2021 she completed a 3D-focused concept art course at Escape Studios. She mentors for Access VFX and gives industry talks on workplace wellbeing.  

Emma

Emma Niemis is a London-based freelance fabricator for stop-motion animation, specialising in puppet and model making. She is a graduate of the Animation course at Norwich University of the Arts.

Magda

Magdalena Osinska is currently a director at Aardman Animations. Jasia is a personal project on which she has been working for the past few years and it’s a labour of love. It’s a real story set in fantasy, about a little orphaned girl going through hardships caused by a political situation, by a war. It’s about survival, being different and believing in dreams and love. 

Amy

Amy Backwell is a London-based sculptor and painter, her wacky characters visually capture her whimsical and surrealist visions. Her work is about capturing the essence of these characters in exaggerated and absurdist situations. During the day, Amy works as the Emerging Talent Specialist for the Visual Effects company Industrial Light & Magic (ILM). In her own time, she also loves composing classical music. 

JoAnne

JoAnne Salmon is a storyboard artist at Pop Paper City Ltd. She has worked in the animation industry for 5 years in Bournemouth and has had various roles such as animator and concept artist. For as long as she can remember she has loved drawing and painting. Through painting, she felt so much freedom, creating worlds and express emotion through a paintbrush. 

Natasha

Natasha Tonkin is a London-based filmmaker and artist originally from Australia. Her paintings are evolving alongside my films, each informing the other. Her ambition is to bring them closer together and continue to explore inventive storytelling and image-making techniques.

We can’t wait for you to see their work.

You can now register for our launch event on 23rd September to be one of the first through the virtual doors. REGISTER NOW FREE!

Posted by Lucy Cooper in Events, Homepage, News, Profiles, 0 comments
Introducing the Limitless Exhibitors | Part 1

Introducing the Limitless Exhibitors | Part 1

As we get closer to the launch of the Limitless virtual exhibition in September, we wanted to share some of the brilliant exhibitors we have lined up who will be showcasing their personal work.

Stacy Bias is an activist, artist and animator living in London. She creates 2D animations with a special focus on storytelling for social change and creative research dissemination. Her practice is collaborative, self-reflective with regard to the ethics of representation, and guided by the principles of intersectional feminism.

Kim Noce is an Italian artist, filmmaker and animator resident in the UK. Her work has been screened in major international film festivals, displayed in art galleries, broadcasted on major TV channels, on streaming platforms and won several prizes around the world including Chicago Int. festival, LIAF, LSFF, IFFEST Document Art, Anima, Sopot and many more.

Jess Mountfield is a 2D and stop-motion animator and director working in London. She finds her artistic practice outside of this vital to both her mental health and her development. She is very excited to be working on a hybrid children’s book, which combines her original love of stop motion and physical puppets with her professional 2D work. Outside this, you’ll find her creating blankets, pottery, and felted sculptures.

As an animation director, Jennifer Zheng often finds herself staring into monitors. When screens blind she retreats into the physical: drawing, sewing, sculpting, pottering- creating. She mixes and cross-pollinates mediums, choosing whichever expresses herself best.

Helen Piercy is a creative educator and craftsperson. Her current practice centres on the belief of ‘Animism’ – the notion that all objects, places and creatures possess a distinct spiritual essence. Through exploration of character design, referencing traditional symbolism, her creations are realised through the medium of soft sculpture and brought to life using stop-motion techniques.

Anushka Naanayakara is a stop-motion director who explores emotion and stories through fabrics and textures. Her background in fine art, and graphic design also influences her vibrant visual style.

Stay tuned for part two of our introductions to the Limitless exhibitors!

Posted by Lucy Cooper in Events, Homepage, News, Profiles, 0 comments
AWUK/CAVE Academy Collaborate to Enhance Student’s Knowledge and Skills

AWUK/CAVE Academy Collaborate to Enhance Student’s Knowledge and Skills

“I believe that this is one of the best simulations of a real daily that I have ever seen”. High praise from Erica Vigilante, CG Supervisor at DNEG and AWUK Member, who was a guest reviewer at the recent Cave Academy Dailies.

The CAVE Academy Dailies programme is hosted by Jahirul Anim, Computer Animation and VFX Trainer and Consultant at CAVE. The programme or ‘Dailies’, as it’s referred to, is a free collaborative feedback programme which takes place online every Thursday evening between 6 PM-8 PM and replicates industry style dailies by bringing together students and professionals, such as Heads of Department and CG Supervisors, who analyse ‘daily’ submissions from trainees and provide important feedback to truly enhance students projects, knowledge and skills.

Using Zoom with screen-sharing and SyncSketch to do draw overs and annotations, the guest reviewers critique and give notes on between 5-10 submissions from trainees and students. Jahirul explains “ …we are here to educate and to help push the work and skills of students and professionals through discussion, drawovers and experience, just like in a real-world daily”.

AWUK member Erica Vigilante, gave her professional feedback on student submissions and, went on to say…”Being in dailies is always emotional because you see and contribute to a project evolution, but with CAVE dailies it is also a dream evolution, the students experience real growth that will lead them to their dream job, and that is a real fulfilment. For this reason, I consider it a special session and I think that what is proposed by the CAVE Academy is not common, the students of today will be the artists of tomorrow, and this experience will make them stand out from the crowd. I believe that this is one of the best simulations of a real daily that I have ever seen. Really proud to have the opportunity to be part of it and I hope to have the chance to see the students grow in the future”

Other Dailies guest reviewers have included AWUK members Sheila Wickens, VFX Supervisor, MPC Episodic and Binal Shah, Lead Animator, ILM (London) who attended sessions earlier this year. The intention is for AWUK members to collaborate with CAVE Academy Dailies well into the future with the next session coming up after the summer break in September with Kate Vaisey, VFX Producer, Netflix providing the feedback.

Watch this space for further announcements or check out the Dailies page here: CAVE Dailies.

Posted by Lucy Cooper, 0 comments
AWUK’s F*CK UP NIGHT | Inglorious WTF moments shared 

AWUK’s F*CK UP NIGHT | Inglorious WTF moments shared 

You’re not alone: inglorious WTF moments shared 
December started with a bang and an irreverent look at life, work, and everything in between in our F*CK UP and networking event. 
F*CK UP nights are becoming a global phenomenon and on 1st December we elected to host our own in celebration of mistakes, fumbles, WTF moments, and those occasions where you see your career going into free-fall in front of your very eyes.  
You know the kind of thing… viruses distributed to the entire company, internal emails going to clients, lapses in judgement. Those moments that are so toe-curlingly awful you wonder if you’ll ever recover. 
Hosted by AWUK co-Chairs Louise Hussey and Beth Parker, it was great to see so many new faces as 69 women (including 8 from Scanline VFX – thank you ladies) got together on Zoom to share their experiences and talk about ways to get something positive from f*ck ups and failures.
Dara McGarry

Dara McGarry

The evening kicked off with three courageous speakers, Dara McGarry, Operations Manager, DNEG Feature Animation, Sue Lyster, Executive in Charge, ILM London and Sarah Fell, Director of Original Series, EMEA Kids for WarnerMedia, who kindly agreed to talk about their most inglorious moments. 
We learned that failure and mistakes are a part of creativity, of aiming high and in some cases taking risks. Their ‘mistakes’ and failures had taught them important lessons about themselves, other people, and how after making a mistake they sought to channel that experience into something new and more constructive. And, that this didn’t necessarily happen overnight but came with time and a willingness to learn and grow. 
Topics of discussion ranged from imposter syndrome and how to deal with big personalities to exam failure, lack of confidence to voice opinions, and an acknowledgement that even some of the best careers have not been planned.
What was said about the event: 
This is my first time at one of these events and it’s been really insightful. Thank you so much everyone! 🙂
Thank you!!! It was SO MUCH FUN!
Thanks for being so frank and honest everyone!
Once you admit it you can all get on with solving the problem 🙂
Thank you everyone, lovely to speak to everyone in my breakout groups, and thanks Dara, Sue and Sarah for sharing your stories <3
Admitting a mistake allows you to regroup and reassess, to move forward.
Can definitely relate to the feeling of pinning your worth to your academic achievements, and how the bad grades tend to stay in your memory a while longer. Really helps to hear that story, thank you!
Everyone is so afraid of f*cking up that no one stops the f*ck up!
Thank you all so much for sharing your experiences, stories and tips! 🙂
Thanks to all 3 speakers. 100% agree – trust your gut (always)!
Whether you find yourself f*cking up once or multiple times, know that f*ck ups happen to everyone, it’s part of the journey. Remind yourself that this moment is just a moment, and it does not represent all your endeavours now or in the future.
Failure is an important part of your growth and developing resilience. Don’t be afraid to fail.  Michelle Obama.  

 

Posted by Lucy Cooper in Events, Homepage, 0 comments