Joanna Quinn

As part of our field project we attended a talk by Joanna Quinn. She is a an animator, illustrator and director, currently running her own animation studio Beryl Productions. Joanna is a highly acclaimed figure in the world of animations, winning many awards and received Oscar nominations for her films.

Starting out in graphics, but soon changed to study Illustration, after having an animation project on her graphics course. Her first film made in 1986, won 3 prizes at the Annecy Animation Festival in 1987 which trust her in the international animation scene. From this she went on to make many films such as, Famous Fred, Canterbury Tales, also producing adverts for Whiskers and Charmin Toilet Paper.

One for the short films that she showed us Britannia (her first commissioned piece of work), which is a brilliant biting view of British Imperialism. It is an adaption of a book written by an American woman’ observation on the UK. It won her the Leonardo Da Vinc award in 1996, which was ironically presented by Prince Philip. Joanna talked about the process of coming up with the narrative of the film, from wanting to get all the political points across but in the end with the a few strong key drawings to progress with. The overall film shows Joanna ability to produce a beautifully  fluid and dynamic animation.

The process that Joanna uses consisted for 12 drawings per second. Having strong key drawings at the start and finish of each shot, with only showing impressions for the movement rather than a solid change of form. This gives her a unique outcome, she uses the same process throughout her short films.

Films like Britannia were made pre digital era, which made the process laborious, taking years to complete. Having said this Joanna is more than happy with continuing to use traditional materials, as she still prefers to draw on to paper, then scanning her sketches into programmes such as After Effects. The sketches that she produces are very organic, she captures movement beautifully.

The film Dreams and Desires with Beryl as the main characters, (which Joanna claimed to be her alter-ego) is a charming and humorous animation, I just love the dogs role in this. From talking about Beryl Joanna spoke about using real life to observation to influence her animations. Being based on reality she said they you can captivate the audience, as “everyone loves animation, you can expect anything can happen.” By putting real life situations in, you can write in a shock value or add more humour.

Overall Joanna gave a great talk about her career. She was quite an animated person herself, and could see the sense of joy that she gained from being an animator. Was a lovely insight to the animation world with some helpful tips. Im looking forward to producing my own piece of animation in the coming weeks.



4 Designers conference London

4 Designers was a fantastic full day event held in London on the 20th February 2017. It was split into four sessions which was chaired by Patrick Baglee. The speakers who were each experts in their field  and gave accounts of their influence and experience within the design industry. It was great exposure to the work and process of some of the leading designers in the country.

Matthew Shannon 

Currently working for Brash Brands as a Group Executive, Creative director and Group content director, perviously working for some of the highly respectable design studios within the UK, such as Metadesign and SAS first. His talk was very informative and he gave some sound advise. One of which was the process triangle (which I sketched out). To start at the bottom of the triangle when receiving a brief, to think = research, research is the key to ignite the brief. Rethink = interrogate your research, finally Do = design. By working this way he states that you make the creative process a whole lot easier. Giving substance to your final designs. He proceed to talk about 6 ways that he believes is an effective process to being a graphic communicator.

Approach To take a different view point from your brief, not thinking about your own personal preferences. To always be Agile, as you never know what is going to happen next, especially when it comes to technology, making sure that you are aware of trends to better your own work. Being able to Adapt, constantly learning to enable communication, work in different ways. Affects, to make a difference. To create content in a different way, to Alternate your delivery. Working Altogether to have the ambition to effect change.

His overall talk was quite inspiring, to effect change to be the change. Creativity is endless and we are the future. 

Joanne Davies


Founder of ZAK and is an audience focused design agency creating big brand ideas for under 30’s. Their claim is to be “Makers, Creators, and Innovators.” Jo not coming from a creative background when she initially set up ZAK but previously worked in Marketing and as a PA, so she had a lot of experience working with people, which gave her a good insight in to the type of people she wanted to build her agency up with. Her advice was more focused on us as a person and what we can do to stand out from the crowd. “Find your personal brand,” what make us different. Be Creative – get into cultural things, have a passion and interest for innovation. Be Smart – Make things happen, communicate your  work effectively. Have Agility – be flexible and adaptable. Be Brave – Speak up, challenge status quo, think laterally. Be Ambitious – Have a drive for competitiveness to produce your best work. Be hungry for more. Be Grounded – Be down to earth, no divas or dramas.

When going for interview she gave three pieces of guidance;

  1. Make a strong first impression
  2. Live the company values – research the company beforehand
  3. Deliver excellence

If we considered going freelance or setting up your own agency, she advised not to head straight into it after university, advising that its worth gaining experience working in a studio environment, to work with real clients and briefs. Make connections and contacts.


Matthew Baxter 

Currently working as creative director at Baxter and Bailey in Brighton. Having worked for many UK and international agencies prior, of which included 3Deep, 300million, Tricket & Webb. Baxter and Bailey work for many non-profit charities, and promote arts and culture. One which I found most interesting was that he writes and produces a comic, aswell running comic workshops for children.


Matts talks was probably my favourite talk out of the four,  as I related to his ethics and practices. He started off with giving us his stone cold pieces of advice, which he later went on to contradict.

  1. Know where your going  don’t know where your going, keeps you aware of what is going on around you
  2. Say yes to everything  Don’t say yes to everything, be selective, live buy your principles that guide the studio, design for good, make it count.
  3. Fake it till you make it Keep faking it, helps to you learn new skills
  4. Go places Stay local
  5. Dont do free work Sometime do free work, you never know where it could lead.

His advice initially was related to when you just starting out in the creative industry. The contradiction was therefore when you become more established in your practices. However he recommended that we should try and live by the following;

  • Always read the words – within the brief
  • Spell check
  • Spell check again
  • Be nice
  • Keep in touch

He had then put together a short video from designers that he had perviously worked with and what advice that they had that we might find useful. In summary;

  • Never talk yourself down
  • Over deliver, do something unexpected.
  • Do hard work and have a good attitude
  • Focus on what you want
  • Know it, research it, live it
  • Ask questions – even if they sound silly to yourself
  • Take advice – you can choose the advice that works best for you
  • Nurture your curiosity


Brian and James Webb

Our final speakers where a father and son duo, they were probably the most entertaining to observe, the banter between was comical at times. Unfortunately, my camera had run out of battery at this point, so was unable to capture the moment. They founded Webb & Webb together in 2003 and have many projects for the Royal Mail aswell as some really impressive book designs for the Harry Potter series. Most of their talk consisted of past work that produced, however the inspiration that I took from them was;

  • Adapting to change, be up with technology as it is developing so quickly
  • Enter every competition going – might take you somewhere unexpected
  • Avoid the obvious, do different from others in the market
  • Live the brief, know more then the client, become that expert

What I found interesting that even with all the technology around for design these days, that they were still using letter press in some of their book designs. Such a nice thing to see, giving the books an individual look which makes them more unique. Giving an insight to the importance of traditional practices.


The conference and the talkers were able to give us great exposure to the creative work and processes of the leading designers around at the moment. I have gained a wealth of knowledge and an insight into first hand experience into breaking the creative world. The advice given is something that I will be taking forward with my own pursuit to becoming an established Graphic Communicator.

This was above the stage that I thought was quite apt for the talks that we had just observed. 



Pat Murphy Presentation

This presentation was a collaborative body of work which was inspired by one volunteers journey to fight against the fascists in the Spanish Civil war 1936.

Part of my task within the group was to source the suitcase for all the pieces of work to be displayed in. This one above was bought from an antique market place, called the Pumping Station situated just outside Cardiff. This was one of the cheaper ones, though it looked the best for what we were going for. I liked the compartments within it, as I would be useful for displaying our pieces clearly.


This was our final piece displayed in the studio. Below are all the pieces that made up the final body of work.

Within are two letters, one of which is letter from his wife while he was serving in WW1, the other a letter that was drafted to send to his wife when he left to fight. A packet of cigarettes from Howells in Cardiff (his home town), a box of matches with International Brigade advertisement on. Two recruitment posters in welsh “Save Spain against Fascism”. A handmade dairy with his first entry in about his journey to Spain. A Western Mail article depicting the horrors of the civilians being killed by the hands of the fascist. Also a magazine called the National Union of Seamen, which he was very fond of. The burn out cigarette pack was thought to be a souvenir from WW1, where he was shot and very lucky to escape with his life.

To go with the case we decided that a synopsis of Pat Murphy was needed to help the viewer understand more effectively. I wrote up and designed the synopsis. It was decided to give it a modern look which gave a nice contrast to the other pieces of work.


Everyone within our group worked really well together we had great communication which made the process run smoothly. The final piece came together better than hoped with interesting research being put into each individuals work, all playing an important role into the final message that we wanted to put across to the audience. The inspiration for Pat Murphy as to why he decided to go and fight in Spain was wholly because of the media and propaganda which had a massive influence where the Spanish Civil war was concerned, with recruitment posters, newspaper / magazine articles, and advertising. His passion to fight against something that he truly believed in and willing to give his life to cause that was so far from home is inspiring.

From researching and creating pieces for this brief, it has given me an insight into what it would have taken to go and fight. If it wasn’t for brave individuals like Pat Murphy Spain might have been over thrown by Fascism and the outcome of WW2 may have been very different. Just shows you that fighting for what you believe could be a change in the world for the better.