We get a lot of questions about animation from students, grads and fans of our work. Everything from education to sotware to company culture. So, we've decided to get the scoop on life as an animator in a series of interview-style spotlights on the team. Today we start with El!
Hello! Introduce yourself.
Hello, I’m Eleanor, or more commonly El (she/her), 26 years old and I’m originally from Boston, Lincolnshire. The most northern of the team.
What team role(s) do you play in the Cut the Mustard team?
Animator (obvs), character designer.
What skills, software and techniques do you use as part of your role?
TV Paint, a large part of the Adobe suite but mainly After Effects and Illustrator, I sometimes dabble in Procreate.
What’s a personal favourite Cut the Mustard project you worked on? Why?
It would probably have to be MIT. It ticked every box for me - dogs, vocalising the war on climate justice, the combination of both frame by frame and motion graphics, emotionally investing, simple style. All of that plus the fact that it was very rewarding to see it come together in the end.
What journey did you take to get here? Education, job, hobbies, extracurricular etc.
I always knew I wanted to be somewhat involved in the creative industry. It wasn’t until Year 11 / Sixth Form that I honed it in towards animation. I attended a course at the University of Lincoln called the BFI Film Academy which helped me to navigate my direction in the creative industry. Studying Art and Media Studies (and maybe even music a little) at A Level also helped me explore my skills, with the addition of a Foundation Course in Fine Art at Lincoln College the year after.
What really cemented it for me was when I did work experience in Year 12 for a little nearby animation studio called Gizmo Animation - after learning some of the softwares it made me super excited to study Animation further at Norwich University of the Arts, where I graduated from in 2019!
What’s something you love about animation?
I love how you have the ability to explore the impossible and add certain elements to things which would look plain weird and disturbing if it was done using live action (e.g squash and stretch).
What’s something you don’t love about animation?
How it’s often seen as a genre rather than a medium, unlike live action >:(
Outside of animation, what hobbies or interests do you have?
I like going to gigs - especially at Norwich Arts Center where I work part time (but it feels like a hobby because it’s that good). I enjoy playing board games and video games, doing jigsaws, being outdoors , cooking good food and generally being social with my friends and family!
What advice would you give to someone to get into animation in a role similar to yours?
Go to life drawing classes, keep up to date with the animation industry (Cartoon Brew is good) but also don’t make the subject your 24/7. There’s a lot to be inspired by in this world!