All Posts in Illustration

2nd May 2024 - Comments Off on Harvard Law School: Methane Rules for the Oil and Gas Sector

Harvard Law School: Methane Rules for the Oil and Gas Sector

My first collaboration with the Harvard Environment & Energy Law Program is about US legislation designed to reduce methane emissions. It's a complex subject with disappointingly few flatulent cows to animate. In fact, the biggest cause of methane emissions in the US is the oil and gas sector.

The film helps unpick the raft of new regulatory measures and explains how advanced detection technologies can be used to monitor emissions and enforce change. It is made entirely in Adobe Animate and riffs on the idea of a complex network of pipes being simplified as a metaphor for how different stakeholders need to understand the rules and work together.

It serves as an example of how animation can be used to communicate the most complex subjects in a fun and engaging way.

If you think animation could be used to help explain the work of your organisation, please get in touch!

3rd April 2023 - Comments Off on TED-Ed Showreel

TED-Ed Showreel

I recently put together a reel comprised of clips from all the films I have made for TED-Ed since 2015 - 13 films in total, ranging in theme from clouds and living on Mars, to acid rain and why you can't divide by zero.

It's always a great pleasure to work on a TED-Ed film. Animators are pared with educators, experts in their field, whether it's meteorology, biophysics or astronomy. My job is to bring the script to life with animations that assist the understanding of often difficult subjects. In a way, this is the function of most films I make, regardless of whether they are for TED-Ed or one of my many other clients. For a wider range of my work, check out my most recent showreel here.

If you'd like me to make an animated film for you, please get in touch.

10th October 2022 - Comments Off on 5Rights Foundation: Child Online Safety Toolkit

5Rights Foundation: Child Online Safety Toolkit

Earlier this year I had the opportunity to work with the 5Rights Foundation again. My first collaboration with the organisation dedicated to protecting children online was the illustrated educational booklet, Demystifying the Age Appropriate Design Code, back in 2019. This was followed by another booklet this year, entitled Demystifying Age Assurance. Not longer after that, I finally got to work with 5Rights on an animated short.

 

The video was made to support the launch of the Child Online Safety Toolkit, a "comprehensive how-to guide for making the online world free from harm for children". You can read more about it here.

If you're interested in making films to explain the work of your organisation, please get in touch.

12th March 2021 - Comments Off on The School of Life: To Have or Not to Have Children

The School of Life: To Have or Not to Have Children

My first film for The School of Life in a little while is actually one I made some time ago now. It's ostensibly about the decision whether or not to have children (although in my experience, choice is very often not a factor), but it is in fact more concerned with any difficult decisions we might face in life, and how we live with the consequences. As the film puts it, "we aren’t choosing either a ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ answer - merely deciding which form of future suffering we are best suited for."

As always with The School of Life films, the script and voiceover were provided by Alain de Botton. I then ran with the design, choosing to make all the characters rabbits, apart from one scene in which a rabbit unmasks himself to reveal that he is in fact Søren Kierkegaard. This is the scene I enjoyed animating the most. As usual, it was made using Adobe Animate.

This film joins umpteen others I have made for The School of Life, on subject matter ranging from anger and depression to relationships and growth. If you like what you see and would like me to make a film for you, please get in touch.

19th June 2020 - Comments Off on TED-Ed: Can steroids save your life?

TED-Ed: Can steroids save your life?

Made during the early months of the 2020 coronavirus lockdown, the release of my latest TED-Ed film fortuitously coincided with a flurry of news about the possible efficacy of steroids for treating COVID-19. It explains how corticosteroids enter our cells and can help fight allergic reactions, rashes, asthma, and harmful immune responses.

Can steroids save your life?Can steroids save your life?Can steroids save your life?Can steroids save your life?Anees Bahji is the educator behind the script supplied by TED-Ed, from which I designed and animated the film. As is often the case with films for TED-Ed, the challenge is to make often quite abstract ideas easy to grasp (what do steroids look like? How do you show the ways in which they interact with the human body?) Often I also face my own steep learning curve, when trying to depict activity at a molecular level.

This appears to be my eleventh film for TED-Ed, following last year's exploration of the mysterious origins of life on Earth with Luka Seamus Wright. Earlier films have scrutinised particle physics or the impossibility of dividing by zero. Cerebral stuff, rendered fun to grapple with. That's the plan! You can see many of my previous films for TED-Ed here, or get in touch here if you'd like me to make a movie for you.

1st October 2019 - Comments Off on 5Rights Foundation: Demystifying the Age Appropriate Design Code

5Rights Foundation: Demystifying the Age Appropriate Design Code

Demystifying the Age Appropriate Design Code is a presentation and educational booklet designed and illustrated for 5Rights Foundation. It explains why the code exists and what needs to happen for websites to implement its recommendations. In the words of their website, "5Rights Foundation exists to articulate the rights of children in the digital environment." Launched in 2015 by Baroness Kidron, they aim to address the failure of the digital world to differentiate between child and adult users, and take steps to protect children's rights online.

Recently I have been providing illustration and design service for 5Rights Foundation

Beeban Kidron initially contacted me to discuss making a film. This has yet to happen (although I sincerely hope it will) but we later had a discussion about what could be done to turn a Power Point presentation on the Age Appropriate Design Code into something more compelling. Using a mixture of illustration, design and the 5Rights' existing brand guidelines, we collaboratively conceived a 23 page document which can be seen in full here.

Recently I have been providing illustration and design service for 5Rights Foundation

The success of this document led to the development of a print version, shown above, for distribution to people in a position to influence and enact the necessary changes.

Recently I have been providing illustration and design service for 5Rights Foundation   Recently I have been providing illustration and design service for 5Rights Foundation

If you would like to discuss how illustration can be used in your campaign materials, get in touch here.

Recently I have been providing illustration and design service for 5Rights Foundation

"A child is a child until they reach maturity, not only until they reach for their smartphone."

28th August 2019 - Comments Off on TED-Ed: The mysterious origins of life on Earth

TED-Ed: The mysterious origins of life on Earth

Working with marine ecologist Luka Seamus Wright, my latest animation for TED-Ed explores the origins of life on Earth, and more specifically, where it might have happened. The film takes us to the ocean floor where fissures in the Earth's crust cause hydrothermal vents to spew vast quantities of hot seawater; the probable cradle of life.

The TED-Ed process is to pair educators with animators to combine deep specialised knowledge with a talent for visualisation and thereby produce unique films that make complex subjects easier to understand without ever dumbing down the core lessons. In a sense, TED-Ed is the fissure in ocean floor, animators are the boiling water they spew, and the educators are the rich soup of minerals that bring forth life. I receive the script and voiceover from TED, from which I design and animate the film. I was also responsible for the sound design on this film, which was a lot of fun to make, comprised as it is of deep gurgling and aquatic percolation.

This is my tenth film for TED-Ed, many of which are collected here in my portfolio. Most recently I have taken on particle physics and the impossibility of dividing by zero, so as you will see, the subject matter is seldom light. My aim is also to make it fun.

If you'd like me to make a film for you, get in touch here to discuss you needs.

11th January 2019 - Comments Off on The School of Life: How to be a good guest

The School of Life: How to be a good guest

The title might suggest you're in for a film on social etiquette, and good behaviour, but in a way my latest work for The School of Life is quite the opposite. Similarly to my last film for them, concerned with not worrying so much whether people like you, this film also urges you not to merely laugh along politely with your host for fear of hurting their feelings. Rather, you should show the candour of a child mixed with the social empathy of a mature adult, and BINGO! You're a lovable eccentric. That or they'll never invite you back, but at least you had some fun, eh?

The School of Life: How to be a good guest

Script and voiceover are provided by the school's founder, author and philosopher Alain de Botton.

This is the starting point for my designs and conceptualisation, which I then carry through to the final animation. This is my 14th film for the school, and so from now on I have decided, as a little Easter Egg, to add the number of the film in one of the shots.

The School of Life: How to be a good guestThe School of Life: How to be a good guestA general overview of my work for the school, together with links to several previous works can be found here. Themes range from troubled childhoods to the conflict between emotional and emotional growth.

6th August 2018 - Comments Off on How to Play Werewolf: Live

How to Play Werewolf: Live

I'm finally performing at the Edinburgh Fringe festival. Or, rather, this is the only way I'm ever likely to. Audiences of Jon Gracey's Werewolf: Live will watch a looping 3 minute video I made as they enter the theatre.

The short animation builds on the teaser I made early last year, and explains what will happen during the show. It also functions as a general introduction to the popular game, not just for those participating in the live theatrical version. Hopefully, in this capacity, it will take on a life of its own over on YouTube as well as at the Iron Belly in Edinburgh from the 2nd to the 26th August 2018, and in future shows.

You can book tickets for the show here: http://www.underbellyedinburgh.co.uk/whats-on/werewolf-live#calendar-08-2018

Werewolf: Live is one of two performances Jon Gracey currently has at the Edinburgh Fringe 2018. The other is Courtroom Play: A Courtroom Play. More information here. http://www.miromagazine.com/theatre/edinburgh-2018-spotlight-courtroom-play/

25th July 2018 - Comments Off on Over 30 Characters for Cosmic Kids Yoga

Over 30 Characters for Cosmic Kids Yoga

Since 2014 I have designed over 30 original characters for Cosmic Kids, whose yoga videos tell colourful stories to kids every week. Jaime, the show's host, wears a costume adorned with patches featuring a handful of these characters, and she recently asked me to prepare a few of the more recent characters to be made into new patches. I've yet to see the results, but the above image was made from the haul of characters that have emerged over the last 2 years. They include Arnold the Ant, Diggory the Dump Truck and a rare humanoid addition in the shape of Ruby Broom, with her enormous hair.

At the time of writing, the content I created for the Cosmic Kids Yoga Pose Universe is also still being released on a weekly basis. Here's Butterfly Pose:

Look out for more additions to the wonderful world of Cosmic Kids in the future.