Kelly Richardson and Mark Jobe work from a home studio in Whitley Bay in the North East. They previously worked from the former Quay Animation offices in Newcastle but found that a home based office made more sense financially and creatively: particularly during the later stages of production, the rendering of a project can require monitoring on a 24 hour basis 7 days per week.
Kelly is an artist whose large scale animation work has shown in museums and galleries internationally. She has collaborated with Mark for five years on the VFX elements for her work.
Mark studied animation degree in Ipswich, starting off in hand drawn animation in the 1990s before moving into 3D work. Kelly studied fine art at Ontario College of Art and Design in Toronto and has an MA Newcastle University.
Mark set up Quay Animation in 2005 to make independent and commercial work. Although his technical skills are mostly self-taught, he has benefited from creative sector business support, and learned a lot from short business courses within a business incubation start up unit at Creativitiworks in Sunderland. Kelly has been his main client for the past year and a half.
Having built up her practice for 15 years, mostly without funding, Kelly secured support from Canada Arts Council and Arts Council England which enabled her to focus on the production of new work. Pixel Palace, Tyneside Cinema’s digital arts programme commissioned the installation Mariner 9.
Research and development – working with new software and techniques – is a strong element of every project they do; they learn new software and techniques on each project.
The Albright Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, USA, presented a retrospective of Kelly’s work in 2013. She has also been longlisted for the Northern Art Prize and the Sobey’s Award, the Canadian equivalent of the Turner Prize.
STATE OF PLAY
They’ve seen huge technological improvements, with what software is capable of and it is becoming more affordable to own powerful hardware compared to five or 10 years ago.
The wealth of information online, which has made learning this new software accessible and affordable combined with the powerful hardware, has resulted in Kelly and Mark successfully creating work on par with the standard produced by larger teams of people within the film industry.
It has been great watching several projects go viral through platforms such as Tumblr and Twitter. Vimeo, Facebook and Twitter have all become integral to marketing.
“On a personal level, try to stay healthy whilst the pressure is on. Don’t kill yourself with deadlines. I reached a point where working through the night became the norm and my productivity went out of the window! If you rest and take care of yourself it is much easier.
Be careful of what you say yes to – it’s easy to take on work which pays the bills, but doesn’t take you forward creatively.”