Sojo Animation at Barbican OpenFest: Art 50

I feel very excited to announce that “I Am From” an animation I created, commissioned by Sky Arts and funded by Art 50, is showing at the Barbican as part of the OpenFest: Art 50

“I Am From” is an animated version of a poem written by 15 year old Annie, who lives in Londonderry, and gives a little insight into her experience of the world. I was able to have a Skype chat with Annie and her teacher before I started the animation process and (in true Sojo style) I was able to ask for some kids drawings to pop into the film. Annie’s little sister, Beth, did a fantastic job and, hey presto, we have a lovely little collaborative film.


This project was created to explore the notion of British identity in the wake of Brexit.

Advertisements

The Grumpy Hamster

It seems ludicrous that I haven’t blogged about this yet but…

I’ve written a children’s book!
thegrumpyhamster28frontcover29

‘The Grumpy Hamster’ is my first ever published story book as both author and illustrator.

I wrote this as a little personal experiment on spontaneous storytelling. It was completely improvised. I used my iPhone voice recorder and spoke it line by line, whilst getting my niece to repeat each line as I dreamt it up so that I would have the audio for an animation ready to go.

I knew, once we’d finished recording, we’d found ourselves a real gem! A simple and hilarious story, focusing on what we can do when we are fed up with feeling angry.

So I made a book!

Published in 2018 by the freshest children’s publishing company in the UK, Sojo & Mouse, which as the name suggests, I co-founded.

Sojo in LeftLion Magazine

I do love LeftLion Magazine so very much! Each issue is bursting with everything that needs shouting about in Nottingham.  They champion awesomeness and help artists like me reach new eyes and ears.  I was so very chuffed to be invited in to LL HQ, along with some of Nottingham’s finest illustrators to discuss a new, mammoth collaborative project!  Let me tell about it…

The Goose is Loose

sojo-animation-the-goose-is-loose.jpg

See the whole cartoon

For each issue of LL magazine a new version of ‘The Goose is Loose’ would be taken on by a different illustrator (or illustrator/writer team).

Our brief was this…

You know that goose on the goose fair round about? Well he’s gone missing. Now make a cartoon about it. Make sure the first frame is two people in a pub discussing the fact that he’s missing.

My Sojo version was mostly made on my iPhone 6, with a cracked screen, using an app called Adobe Sketch. It hit the streets of Nottingham in the September issue, which of course is the big run up to Goose Fair.

And now that the Goose is actually back, I thought it was the perfect time to share a little Sojo post all about it.

I hope you all enjoy it.

Kids Tell the Best Stories!

kids tell the best stories flyer.jpgI’m on a new mission.  I’m collecting stories.  Spontaneous stories told by children.

I am animating a few of them too!  Plus, once the animated series is out I will publish a beautiful book through Sojo Publishing Mouse, so you guys can read the stories every night!

Here is story number 1, written by a 3 year old called Morris.

“The Baby, the Sound and the Bird”

Lakeside Arts at Cantrell Primary School

DCIM100MEDIA Last week I was invited to run a Sojo Animation workshop alongside the Lakeside Arts learning team at Cantrell Primary School in Bulwell.

cantrell-logo

The kids in year five have been thinking about ‘persuasive arguments’ and have been using the book ‘The Great Kapok Tree’ to explore their ideas.  What a cracking idea! Hats off to the teacher that thought of this. In the book the animals try to persuade a man not to cut down their tree. thegreatkapoktree Rachel from the Lakeside Arts learning team transformed the class room into a rain-forest the evening prior to the workshops, ready for the children to discover in the morning. When I arrived at the school even the reception staff were full of smiles and excitement about how fabulous the room looked. I was in a less rainforesty (made up word alert!) room, but armed with a projector.  The children animated their rain forest animals in ONLY 2 FRAMES (that’s extra tricky) and then handed over their freshly snapped jpeg files to me, to take away and compile into one, quite frankly, BRILLIANT animation. Well guys…I promised you that your characters would come alive in seven days so here you are. 🙂

You should all feel extremely proud of yourselves.  I was blown away by your creativity!   DCIM100MEDIA DCIM100MEDIA

20/20 Eastmidlands Filmmakers Showcase: featuring 3 Sojo ‘Thunk of the Day’ Animations.

Thunk of the day pic

I am over the moon that my 3 little ‘Thunk of the Day’ animations have been selected for this! Here’s Thunk no.1, incase you know not what I speak of.

The concept is brilliantly simple… 20 short films from 20 filmmakers based in the East Midlands.  Thank you Beeston Film for another excuse to celebrate the huge pool of creative talent we are surrounded by.

21st March at 19:25

24 middle street, NG9 1FX Beeston, Nottingham, United Kingdom

‘Finish me, colour me!’ T-shirts: Are they a good idea?

IMG_6249

Everybody loves a good scribble on their clothes, right?

…Just me?

Well it was my birthday last week (Valentine’s Day actually, incase you want to pop it into your diaries for next year) and we had planned a great big family walk and play in Rushcliffe Country Park

Bro and M :) followed by a pub lunch.

Now here’s something every sneaky mama knows…if you’re taking the kiddos to a restaurant, bring fun stuff to do at the table. Standard.

I thought this would be a fabulous opportunity to test drive a new Sojo product idea I’ve been toying with…

no headed monster

…”The No-headed (but potentially 3 Headed)Monster- Finish me, Colour me, T-Shirt” and a bundle of lovely fabric pens.

Ok, the name needs a bit of work.

Anyhoo, everybody LOVED them (apart from my little girl, who was “…FAR too hungry to draw monster heads, are you crazy mummy?!”)

Here are some sneaky pics I took of the lunchtime madness 🙂

IMG_6249

The 4 year old’s approach: First things first, let’s swishle (new word) some colour all up on this Tee.

IMG_6254

6 year old’s know their stuff when it comes to designing a monster.  Easy peasy!

IMG_6250

My 9 year Old hard at work.

IMG_6259

The 32 year old’s approach: Serious. Very serious.

IMG_6256

Tadaaaah!

IMG_6263

Tadaaaah!

IMG_6261

Tadaaaah!

So tell me, what do you reckon…Should I go for it and develop these bad boys into a  crafty product?

Is it the type of thing you might consider buying?

What age range would most enjoy it?

Tell me, tell me 🙂

IMG_6235