At Axis Studios, we pride ourselves on delivering immersive hyper-realistic animation and VFX experiences, and we’re always eager to promote diversity within our project teams, whether for film, television, games or theme parks.
This year we’ve been honored to host a number of AWUK (Animated Women UK) Scotland events, in CG, animation and VFX.
Founded in 2013, AWUK’s ethos revolves around addressing the gender imbalance in animation and VFX, and encouraging more women into professions within these industries. AWUK welcome members from all backgrounds within animation and VFX including writing, storyboarding, concept art, production, 2D, 3D, stop motion, environments, design, HR, Finance, Marketing, IT, project management and R&D.
In October Axis’ in-house lead artists Ekaterina Pushkarova, Camille Fourniols and Amy Ash lead a CGI workshop demonstrating head-sculpt, groom and cloth techniques at Axis Studios. This workshop aimed to inform and inspire aspiring female character artists, talking the audience through the artists’ background, process and experience, from building a strong portfolio to balancing personal lives alongside a successful career. We’re thrilled that this event was a hit, selling out within minutes!
Ekaterina Pushkarova has an astounding 25 years of experience in classical art, specializing in portraiture, as well as in the CG industry. She has worked on both 2D and 2D concept art and has contributed to Axis’ most iconic projects including Deathloop and Love, Death & Robots.
Camille Fourniols studied at Supinforcom Arles, known as Mopa, in South East France. She has worked in London and Glasgow as a generalist and groom artist. Camille has vast and specialized knowledge of fur and grooming techniques in Houdini.
Amy Ash has been working in the industry for 20 years, originally as a modeler and illustrator for advertising, before moving to animation, primarily for children’s television. In 2016, her skills led her to working with companies including Passion Studios and Aardman, before she came to Axis in 2018.
Amy Ash, Lead Character Artist, said of her experience, "I think we all found it very rewarding. I'm not a natural public speaker so I found it quite daunting beforehand, but once we were there, we could see how engaged the attendees were, which made it so much easier. The atmosphere was lovely and by the end, something I'd been quite nervous about became a really fun evening. Some of the women who came and spoke to us afterwards, were extremely enthusiastic and passionate about CG, so it was great to feel that we'd helped them in some way.
Also, thanks to AWUK and Axis for organising and giving us the opportunity to do this, and to Paula (Bird) for her awesome presenting skills!”
Paula Bird, Supervising Producer and member of AWUK Scotland also said, "It was a huge pleasure to have had the opportunity to host a workshop like this on behalf of AWUK. The fact it sold out so quickly and the event itself went so well with lots of one-to-one time just goes to show there is a massive interest from both experienced and up-and-coming female creatives to build their presence and sense of community in the Animation and VFX industry in Scotland."
AWUK Panel at World of Film International Festival
In October, AWUK Scotland held a panel at the World of Film International Festival at the Virgin Money Lounge that included some key professional women from the Scottish animation industry discussing careers in animation and their experience, tips and insights. Axis Studios Head of Communication Tracey La Cour moderated.
In November, Jill Wallace, Head of HR at Axis Studios, contributed to an event on animation gurus and how to break into the industry for AWUK alongside Royal Television Society Scotland at Edinburgh College of Art. The event welcomed students, graduates and anyone interested in a career in animation and VFX. Jill sat on a panel alongside other industry experts including Rhona Drummond - Owner & Producer at Eyebolls, Jim Jagger - Director of Animation at Rockstar Games, Annie Campbell - Owner of Campbell Medical Illustration and Sueann Rochester - Moderator and Producer at Red Kite Animation/ Scottish Rep of Animated Women UK.
Looking to get involved in AWUK Scotland? Browse through their upcoming events here.