Happy International Women’s Day to our fans!
The majority of our fans and followers on our Facebook and YouTube channels are women. The same goes for the Simon’s Cat Team. With the animation industry usually being weighted on the male side, the Simon’s Cat studio is unusual in the fact there has always been an equal number (if not more) women than men.
I joined the Simon’s Cat Team as Producer in 2012 and have since had the pleasure with working with a wide range of exceptionally talented people. In line with this year’s International Women’s Day theme of #BeBoldForAChange I’d like to take today to celebrate and thank the hardworking women that helped make Simon’s Cat the success it is today – past and present. (That’s not to say we don’t have lots of very talented men who worked for us past and present, but I’ll save that for another post!)
Laura Nailor – Animator
Laura was the first animator to join Simon and help with the black and white episodes. Her first film was Cat Chat back in 2010 and since Laura has worked on over 20(!) of the black and white episodes including Screen Grab, Crazy Time, Icecapade and Box Clever. She was vital in helping develop and conform the character models which enabled other animators to join the team.
Laura currently works as a freelancer on various projects in the animation industry and most recently contributed to Going on a Bear Hunt and Ethel & Ernest. You can read more about Laura and her cat here:
Meet the team
Liza Nechaeva – Assistant Art Director
Liza started at Simon’s cat as an intern during our ‘Off to the Vet’ crowdfunding campaign in 2014. With a background in studying business and illustration, Liza is exceptionally multi-talented person and someone who can put her mind to anything! She quickly became an invaluable member of the team and was asked to stay beyond the internship. She worked across all areas of the studio from production, asset management and creation, technical support and app and content development and was recently promoted to Assistant Art Director working very closely with Simon.
Emma Wakley – Animator / Animator Supervisor
Emma first joined us in 2013 as freelance Clean Up artist working on Christmas Presence Part 2, followed by Smitten. Emma is exceptionally dedicated to her craft and progressed quickly to become a Simon’s Cat animator. We asked Emma to join us on a more permanent basis in 2015 and she now helps as both Animator and Animation Supervisor. Over the years our films have been made using a variety of software including Flash, TV Paint and more recently CelAction. Emma works hard to apply her knowledge of Simon’s Cat animation style to every development and change in the studio, making her an instrumental member of the team.
Isobel Stenhouse – Art Director / Animation Supervisor
Originally Isobel joined us as Clean Up artist in 2013. As Clean Up artist you need to make sure the characters are on model, always keeping their shape. Isobel has such a sharp eye she further developed instructions enabling new members to easily join the team. It was clear Isobel had artistic talents beyond clean up so when we decided to make ‘Off to the Vet’, we invited her to be Art Director and develop the colour palette for the entire film – on top of being Animation Supervisor! ‘Off to the Vet’ would not have been the visual feast it is without Isobel’s dedication, hard work and creative flair. You can watch Isobel explain the process in our Behind the scenes – Art direction video.
Karen Ullmann – Animator
Karen currently works with us on our black and white films as CelAction animator. Karen’s help is extremely valued as we try to develop a pipeline that means we can release more episodes a year. Karen has 16 years in animated children’s television, working on many classic and BAFTA winning series including Peppa Pig, Mr Bean, Hey Duggee, Ben & Holly’s Little Kingdom, Charlie and Lola, Sarah and Duck, Bookaboo, and ‘Yoko, Jakamoko, Toto’ for companies such as Tiger Aspect, Aardman, Astley Baker Davies, Studio AKA, Baby Cow, Collingwood O’Hare, Lupus Films, Karrot, Spider Eye.
Lead animator, director, National Film and Television School graduate. Proficient in Celaction 2D, animation software that has driven the post-millennium revival of British animated television. You can find out more about Karen here:
Rebecca Warner-Perry – Production Manager
Rebecca joined the team in 2016 and helps the studio run smoothly across all areas, from film production, app development and YouTube channel management. Rebecca’s background in animation development means she constantly contributes great ideas and her passion for animation clearly shines through.
Maria Tsitsivou – Social Media Manager
Maria started in 2016 also and it was great to finally have someone solely focused on our fast-growing social media channels. Keeping up with the ever-changing landscape in the digital world and feeding the appetite for over 4M followers on multiple platforms is a full-time job. Maria describes herself as ‘a creative thinker with an analytical mind, passionate for films and all things digital’ – So she was the perfect candidate and has more than proved it!
Other talented female crew members include:
Tara Jane Peak
So – a HUGE thank you to all the wonderful women (and men!) who have helped make Simon’s Cat what it is today.
Written By – Emma Burch (Senior Producer / Crowdfunding Manager)
What are you doing to mark International Women’s Day? Do you have any women in your life you would like to thank? If so leave a comment on our social channels: