In my role as Art Director at Speakaboos, I was responsible for the visual direction of 30 original animated interactive stories. I wanted our stories to offer a wide range of visual styles, in order to expose children to a wide array of Art Style.
I sourced and managed freelance talent from all over the world, working with illustration agencies or reaching out directly to freelancers I found on Instagram, Behance or through networking events. I set budget and timeline for the work, made sure our learning goals were supported in the art, and worked collaboratively with out Animation team and developers to ensure the technical requirement for the artwork animation were met.
Working with different art styles meant translating
concept art in watercolor and pencil translated to digital with mask and texture cards, digital brushes
artwork provided digitally in vector or raster form in Photoshop, Illustrator, Flash/Animate
for children age 2 to 6. All animation and interactivity was carefully crafted to support engagement and comprehension of the story.
general picture with TV, ipad, phone mockup - one animated?
3 Little pigs
Twinkle Little Star
On the Bus
Superkids with unicorn
In my role as the Art Director for these interactive stories, my goal was to offer a variety of illustrations styles that was to present a thesis for the look and feel of the story, sell it to the rest of the team, select an illustrator to execute that vision and was guide them to create animation-ready assets on time and on budget.
Creating an original interactive story was the result of a the Learning Team who came up with the script, the Art and Animation Team in charge of the production of the story, and a few developers who would use different Frameworks to be able to offer the app on the Web, iOS and Android. Here is an overview of our process for Little Red Riding Hood.
Illustration: Hannah Marks
Animation: Titmouse Studios
Sound Design: Robert Hahn
Finding an Illustrator for the story
I start researching an illustrator for the story as soon as the manuscript is far along enough to be shared. The characters’ personality, the settings, the pacing of the action and most importantly the tone of the dialogues all inspire me to come up with a thesis for the look and feel of the story. I think of the characters, with their unique body shape and facial features, as actors who will be able to emote the particular tone of the story. I also look at the background needs to better tell the story. I also look for expressive, unique artwork that will enhance our catalog and set us apart from our competition. The Animation Director and I also evaluate the unique technical advantages or challenges of a particular style of artwork.
Once I get the buy-in from the larger team the look and feel of the story, I come up with a list of illustrators whose style will be suitable and I discuss budget and timeline with them until someone agrees to the project.