Grad Film Inspiration

To start this project off I’ve been stalking through tumblr and pinterest, trying to define the aesthetic I want my film to take. I feel pretty confident in my simple little story and what I want to express, but obviously the overall look of the film is what is going to make it appealing to an audience.  I’ve always been drawn to creating work with large amounts of negative space, usually white with little splashes of bright colours where the focus should be. I have a general sense of where I want the film to go, but it’s going to take a lot of playing around to actually solidify the style.

Things I know I want:

-Negative space – be it white or a flat colour, I want my work to have space to breathe

-Bright limited colour palette- I’ve always been enamoured with bright childlike colours, but I want to restrict my palette and have a handful of colours that work well with each other to keep the film visually flowing.

-Texture- Lots of it. I don’t know exactly what yet, but I want some sort of painterly/papery/grain feel to the film, not for it to be flat coloured.

-A part of the film to be paper cut. My practice has revolved around paper-cutting for the past few years, and I want to incorporate it into the film. I was toying with the idea of making the whole thing out of paper, but for the sake of the project schedule and timing, I figured having just one scene of the film paper cut would give me enough room to explore the technique visually. I know I addressed this aspect in the CS project, but would really like to build on my pre established techniques, and get the character moving out of paper as well as the backgrounds. Eek. I’m excited for this bit!

I am worrying about this a lot at the moment, I feel hesitant to start fleshing out the story and animatic without knowing what I’m working towards visually, but I’m trying to plough away at both and realising that I won’t get anything done if I just keep mulling over ideas in my head. So to start with, I’ve collected a bunch of stuff other people have done that visually hint towards what I want to achieve.


William Santiago

While the colour scheme in these illustrations are vastly different than my desire pallete, the colour weighting reflects what I want to achieve using 2-3 colours.

Taku Bannai

Arnelle Woker

Xiao Huang

Karlolis Strautniekas 

I find myself being drawn to a lot of work that use large amounts of soft blue while I think of this project. There’s something soothing about them.

Siiri Väisänen

Blanca Gómez
Charlotte Trounce

Cécile Hudrisier


All the above images reflect instances of bright colour against a very minamilistic background. I find myself drawn to these large expanses with their little splashes of colour, particularly the work of Cécile Hudrisier, her use of watercolour with line drawings over it.

Amandine Piu

Amandine Piu’s characters reflect what ideally I would like my character to look like, full of texture and hand drawn. However I need to be aware of the reality of animating a character like this, and dealing with the conversation between the hand drawn aesthetic and not taking away from the action by having all the textures boiling too much.

Nader Sharaf 

Finally I happily stumbled upon Nader Sharafs illustration series above by accident! Tiny figures exploring a larger body is what my grad film is going to explore and it was really inspiring to see the same sort of idea being portrayed so differently than what I plan to do. I love love love these, they are super beautiful!



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