Here at The Animation Guys, diversity is something that we nurture and celebrate, whether it be in the context of the videos that we create or the staff that we work with. Unfortunately, as with many industries, animation has a history of disparity when it comes to marginalised sectors of society. As recently as 2016, despite the fact that as many as 60% of animation students were women, only 20% of animation creatives were female. However, thanks to organisations like Women In Animation, there has been a positive change in this area.

In this two-part blog series, we are taking a look at the careers, inspirations and past work of our female team members to offer a taste of what women in the animation industry experience.

Tamara Animated Avatar

Tamara – Junior Motion Graphic Designer

What drove you to pursue a career in Animation? 

I felt absolute joy when I started getting into animation. There is such excitement in making static objects come to life. I first thought about animation as a potential career whilst I was on my foundation course at Leeds Arts University. My tutors helped me understand the medium more and explore its many paths. I started doing stop motion at first, then got into hand-drawn 2D animation. I think I enjoy how much you can do within the animation pipeline and I found my niche within background design & 2D animation.

What has been your path so far during your career?

For my degree, I studied Animation because I was eager to learn more after my foundation course. After finishing University (in 2020) it was pretty difficult to adapt to life afterwards. Considering I finished my degree at home, it was a very weird feeling and sucked that my classmates and I couldn’t do anything to celebrate. I knew I needed to get a job, so I applied to anything, from animation roles to roles in hospitality. I had a few near misses with some exciting places. I eventually got an internship with The Animation Guys – and have been there ever since!

Are there any animators/creators that are a big inspiration to you?

I am super inspired by Izzy Burton’s art. Both her background design & storytelling skills. I think I aspire to be a somewhat similar artist to Izzy because of the charm her paintings have, and how they all tell a story in some way. I also really love Albeniz Rodriguez’s crazy caricatures – super inspirational for character design and just beautiful to look at.

Of all the projects you have worked on, which was your favourite or piece of work you were most proud of?

I really enjoyed a project we worked on for Cognassist, the style was gorgeous and it taught me a lot of new skills. It was great because there weren’t too many restrictions, and we could add our own personal touches here & there.

Vontesse – Junior Motion Graphic Designer

What drove you to pursue a career in Animation?

Cartoons and gaming were my biggest influences growing up (and still are now). They were a world of pure magic, but it wasn’t until Nintendo released an animation app on the DSi (Flipnote) and combined these worlds that I began to realise this magic was within reach. Being able to see your creations come to life was such an amazing feeling.

What has been your path so far during your career?

My journey started from work experience creating artwork for mobile games to studying graphic design in college which then led to a degree in 2D animation. The world of animation itself is so vast, I often find myself seeing one style and thinking that’s how I want my work to look only to then find a whole new style of inspiration to explore and the cycle just continues.

Of all the projects you have worked on, which was your favourite or piece of work you were most proud of?

I’d say my final year 2D animated film “Proud” has been my favourite project so far. It’s a very personal film based on a poem written by my mum, that deals with the issues of race and belonging. It felt like the perfect way to finish my time at university almost like the last chapter of my study. To end with a film that held a lot of importance to both my mum and I, with a strong message that I felt needed to be heard and to share what an amazing poet she is.

What would be your message to women looking to get into the Animation sector?

The animation industry is very close and word does spread quickly so keep posting your work out there – you never know whose path it may cross! Join events and festivals as well as looking at groups such as “Women in Animation” (WIA) to help learn from and connect with others in the industry.

And finally, what is your favourite animated film and why?

Recently I watched The Mitchells vs. The Machines and aside from the amazing animation, I can’t remember the last time I’ve found myself laughing constantly through a film. You really find yourself rooting for the characters and, for me personally, the film made me love and appreciate my weird family even more.

The next installation of our blog series will include interviews with team members Liv, Grace and Yunjuan, as they share their personal experiences of working in the animation industry.

Don’t forget to check out part 2 of our ‘Women in Animation’ series coming to our blog page very soon!

If you are looking for an agency that can help guide you through the wonderful world of animation, please get in touch with us today or call us on +44 (0) 207 2886 319. We’re happy to help and can’t wait to hear about your project!