{the interview series} Julia Pott

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Hoje estou à conversa com uma talentosa jovem ilustradora e animadora. Julia Pott está prestes a mudar-se de Londres para New York e irá certamente levar consigo a família de estranhos e deliciosos personagens, metade homem, metade animal, a que já nos habituou. O seu trabalho não passa despercebido e a tarefa de Julia é torná-lo cada vez mais divertido, enigmático e refrescante! Leiam a entrevista para ficar a saber mais...

Mas antes... não pensem que me esqueci do fantástico giveaway Cara Carmina! O vencedor foi escolhido através do site random.org e o número sortudo a ser escolhido foi o 7 - Parabéns Mad About Pink!
Consultem o update no final do post da semana passada, com o anúncio do vencedor. Muito obrigada a todos os participantes e novos seguidores - se não venceram desta vez, não desistam, isso não significa que não possam vencer da próxima!

Entretanto, não se esqueçam de seguir {the interview series} no facebook e de reler todas as entrevistas aqui.
(Por motivos óbvios de extensão e compreensão do texto, tanto pelos entrevistados como pelos potenciais leitores do resto do mundo, a entrevista segue em inglês.)

Today I'm chatting with a talented young illustrator and animator. Julia Pott is about to move from London to New York and she'll certainly carry with her the family of strange and delightful characters - half man, half animal - that she made us fall in love with already. Her work doesn't go unnoticed and Julia's task is to always make it more fun, enigmatic and refreshing! Read the interview to learn more...

But before... I haven't forgot about the great Cara Carmina giveaway! The winner was picked up through random.org and the lucky number chosen was the 7... Congratulations Mad About Pink!
You can check out the update at the end of last week's post, with the announcement of the winner. Many thanks to all participants and new followers - if you didn't win this time, don't give up, this doesn't mean that you can't win next time!

Don't forget to follow {the interview series} on facebook and to read all the previous interviews here.

Julia Pott
UK, moving to New York
site | blog | shop

1. Let’s pretend we don’t know each other and I’ve never heard about Julia Pott. Tell us a bit about yourself.
I am a freelance animator and illustrator living in the UK. I just completed an MA in animation from the Royal College of Art and am in the process of hotfooting it to New York in October. I am heavily into sugar and I am a bit of a clutz.

2. You’re an illustrator who has recently graduated with an MA in animation. How was this creative passion born?
I have always defaulted to expressing myself visually rather than with vocally. My mom was a huge influence on me. We would write parts of a children’s book together every night before I went to sleep and she would encourage me to draw what scares me. When people would ask me what I wanted to be I’d say I wanted to work for Disney. I wonder if my kid self would be pleased with my career or disappointed in me for not pushing for full on Disney.

3. You create unexpected characters, often animals in human clothing and poses. What inspires you to give them life?
I think when I started out this way it just made me laugh. It was funnier to me to see an awkward animal trying to get away with looking like a person than just drawing a straight person. I think we are all awkward animals so animation became the perfect vessel to explore that.

4. Which mediums do you enjoy using in your illustration work? What kind of research do you do? Tell us a bit about your creative process.
I am most comfortable with a pencil and paper at the moment but it changes from year to year. I had a semi serious relationship with acrylic paint after I graduated and a brief fling with felt tips but pencil is always the one I come back to. In terms of research I have some running favorites – Priit Parn, Igor Kovalyov, pretty much any animation that was made in the 90s and screened on Nickelodeon… and I have short obsessions that often heavily influence one film or illustration series for a short period of time until I get it out of my system. At the moment I am keen on native American patterns and surf culture, and before that I was all about space. In terms of subject matter I tend to draw a lot on my own experiences, and then build out from there. It can be very cathartic.

5. Your characters appear in your original drawings and prints, but also in lovely tote bags and t-shirts. Can I ask you what your favorite is and what’s been your best seller until now?
It’s difficult to choose a favorite; I think my favorite always tends to be the one no one else likes. It feels like sending your children out into the world and when no one wants to play with one of them you feel very overprotective and want to bring it back inside, give it a hot chocolate and tell it everything’s going to be ok. Maybe that’s a bit extreme… but you get the idea. My best selling tote bag is the animal beach hut tote and that is one of the rare occasions where my favorite is my best seller. In terms of my prints the woolly bear is the top seller for sure… when I first drew him I was a little scared of him, I think he looked pretty threatening, but I guess no one else sees it (or that’s why they like him!).

6. Tell us now about your animation work. I’ve watched your films on vimeo and I think they’re stunning! Would you share with us the differences between working in illustration and animation? What do you enjoy most?
Illustration and animation are two completely different kettles of fish. I consider myself to be an animator by profession. For me illustration has become a way relaxing, the thing I do to develop ideas for films and to practice new techniques. If I make an illustration, and let it ferment for a few weeks, and I am still interested in the characters and subject matter after that, I know it has the potential to be translated into an animation. For me, I need a lot more endurance for an animation – it involves secluding yourself from the world for a good few months and you need to love what you are working on or it becomes torturous.

7. You’re a member of Treat, a collective of animators and illustrators. Tell us about your work as a creative group.
We all graduated from Kingston University in 2008 and we decided to form a collective as a kind of support system. It became easier to pitch on work with 6 of us, and when we won jobs we had a ready made team to help us. As we’ve grown up some of us have moved away, Robin now lives in Berlin, Will in Zurich, and I am off to New York in October, but we still maintain the collective as a platform for our work. We collaborate on bigger projects, have exhibitions and do talks and it is a great excuse to stay in touch with everybody from across the pond.

8. You’re a published artist, you have well-known clients and your creations travel all around the world! What means do you use to promote your work?
I try to stay on top of promoting myself online, through social media, and as you grow as an artist you meet more people who are keen to work with you and promote you as well, so it’s a domino effect. I’ve been lucky enough to work with some wonderful folks who I now count among some of my closest friends so it’s a great position to be in.

9. Would you share with us a regular day at work?
Every day is different. An idea day would be one where I have the whole day free to work on a certain project, without an evening plans so I can work into the night (like a sad old hermit). That is a very rare day though. Usually I have a few meetings, either in person or on skype, post office, shop orders, buying supplies, emails etc. It can be a nice way of breaking the day up though and forces you to be proactive as I can tend to wander off and get distracted if left staring at the same piece of paper for too long.

10. Would you give us a glimpse of your working space? Describe it and tell us what you love most about it.
I was working out of the Royal College studio during the last 2 years so I do not have a designated studio space. I am lucky enough however to have a good sized bedroom, which has my studio on one side, and my bedroom on the other. It’s very cozy, full of trinkets and ridiculous art prints and creature comforts. I am very much a person of habit so I like everything to be easy to get to and consistent. I feel much calmer and more productive when I feel at home somewhere.

11. You live in London, a vibrant city. Tell us a bit about your favorite places there. Would you like to live anywhere else?
I’m moving out of London soon, so I am starting to look at it through fresh eyes. I leave in October so I have the summer to really make the most of it, spending time with my friends and exploring new shops and cafes that I never knew existed. I have recently become a bit of a coffee fiend so I have been going to Monmouth coffee in Borough, and Kaffeine in Soho a lot. I love Columbia road flower market on a Sunday and all the little shops that populate that area. What I used to take for granted I am now becoming very nostalgic about. Of course other places I’d like to live would be New York because that is where I am off to! I’d also love to try California or Vancouver.

12. If you could live in any historical era of your choice, what would it be? Why?
That’s a tough question. Being of the female orientation might not have served me so well in the past and I definitely appreciate having more freedom in my career that I would not have had access to before. That being said there is definitely a romance about the Victorian era and the idea of sitting about all day sewing and reading.

13. What else are you passionate about doing?
I really want to try working with live action. Romantic comedies are a huge guilty pleasure of mine so I would be keen to delve into those at some point.

14. What advices would you give to someone who would also like to become an illustrator/animator?
Don’t give up. You need to put up with being pretty broke for the first few years but if you can push through that barrier you can have a pretty decent career and a life for yourself that is much better than a 9-5 office job.

15. What are your plans for the future? And your most unrealistic dreams?
Well New York if the most immediate plan, after that I am just going to see how it goes. If I could be a successful animator, all the better. My most unrealistic dream? When I was younger I wanted to be a balloon, I supposed that’s pretty unrealistic.

Now a quick question and answer game so we can find a bit more about you and your tastes! Tell us one:

book: Cats Cradle – Kurt Vonnegut
music: Bon Iver
movie: Harold and Maude
personality/artist: Priit Parn
color: florescent pastel orange
object: my buffalo tooth necklace
animal: yeti
drink: root beer
food: cheeseburgers
season of the year: summer
travel destination: New York
piece of clothing: my mount Washington giant jumper
secret: I used to have an imaginary boyfriend

Thank you for sharing your lovely friends with us, Julia! Wishing you a happy adventure in New York city!


  1. great article and stunning artist. I truly love your work!! thanks for the interview, it was great to find out a little bit more about you and your way of working :)

  2. Lovely interview, I enjoyed it a lot!

  3. adoro, adoro, adoro!
    e vi uma entrevista (em video) dela... que me fez gostar ainda mais do trabalho. e a tua só comprova a forte personalidade, atrás de um grande trabalho.


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