Ruth Barrett is based in London. After graduating with a degree in animation from Southampton Solent University in 2007 she moved to a live/work warehouse space with several other creatives in London, but now rents small studio spaces for project work.
She works as a freelance animator, particularly in stop motion and After Effects. She sporadically takes on video editing work for corporate clients and has made a few music videos for independent record labels. She made a humorous ‘public service announcement’ – On the internet no-one knows you’re a dog – for miiCard about the need for online trust, that received more than 80,000 views on YouTube and made Nuggets Nocturne, a music video for Harry Hill’s 2010 debut album Funny Times.
STATE OF PLAY
Alongside her animation practice Ruth works part-time jobs in bars and restaurants to pay the rent and to support her independent practice, which is entirely self-funded. The demands of a dual career means she often finds it difficult to attend networking events to meet other animation professionals.
She has not had much success in getting work experience with stop motion specialist studios such as Aardman Animations, and has even had feedback from other studios across the UK that stop motion is an ‘antiquated form of animation’. This has led Ruth to set up on her own and pursue her ambitions to make stop motion films. She has found that there is a demand for stop motion, though is finding it somewhat tricky to break in to the market independently.
As a freelancer she finds that year-by-year she is securing more work and building up her professional practice; she is learning for herself how to promote her work and how to secure clients.
“Working on your own can be quite isolating. You have to be the Business Manager, Director, Accountant, Storyboard Artist – it’s a lot to manage on your own. To be able to share that workload with other animators would be fantastic.”
“When I was a student I wish I’d been more aware of the market, where to apply for funding, and where I could find employment with my type of animation practice.”
“The budgets I get for the jobs that I do are pretty small for the amount of work that goes in to them. I’d love a decent budget to make something creative.”