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Beach Meets : Andy Baker

Beach Meets : Andy Baker

Andy Baker is an award winning freelance animator and illustrator from London. He has collaborated with a number of Beach’s favourite artists & designers on some sick animations,  including Thomas Slater, Rose Blake, Hattie Stewart & Blast Skates.

We had a chat to Andy about his working process, animation heroes & what we can look forward to from him next.

Hey Andy, How are you?

Hi, I’m good thanks

You’ve collaborated with lots of artists & illustrators on animations, is that something you enjoy & is there a typical way it works? 

I really love collaborating with people definitely. It’s something I set out to do a couple of years ago and I had a bit of a list of people that, as a fan of illustration, I really wanted to work with. Luckily most of those people said yes to working together and I’ve gone on from there to meet and work with some really awesome people.

I’m always on the look out for new designers or peoples work that inspires me! It’s really cool for me as an animator as when I see really awesome illustration I just want to make it move, luckily people say yes and let me do it!

I wouldn’t say there’s a typical way it works in terms of the collaboration process. it normally starts with just getting in touch and seeing if there’s a possibility of a project. sometimes  I will email someone or it has been the other way round too. I’m lucky that I share a studio with a lot of awesome people whose work I really like so more than a couple of projects have started there. I’m always really up for working with people and it’s just making that work around other projects. I’m starting to get more people approach me now which is always nice too!

Who are your animation heroes? 

There are so many! Chuck Jones is a real hero in terms of everything he did, all of his old shows are insane and the characters are brilliant. I also love Maurice Noble, although he wasn’t necessarily an animator he bought so much style to Chuck Jones cartoons and his use of colour is unreal! It all looks so simple but if you start to break the colours down he was doing some really interesting things and he was always in total control of what he was doing, I can’t recommend his book enough!

The early Disney animation is brilliant too, those original ‘nine old men’ basically created the way Disney made animation (and everyone after them) and the movement and everything is just perfect. I can watch the Aristocats and the Jungle Book and all those films over and over and not get bored. the animation is amazing, and the music was so so good too!

The early Simpsons shows up until recently were so great, maybe not so much for amazing animation, but for story telling and building that world where you can get lost in – this was the first show that got me like that.

Here’s a list of others in no particular order:

Devin Flynn, Mike Judge, Hayao Miyazaki, Michael Arias, Matt Groening, Trey Stone and Matt Parker, All 90’s tv cartoons that were on cable tv. Craig Bartlett. There are so many more I won’t list and I’m sure I have forgotten but this will just be a massive list otherwise!

You’re also part of This Is It, (Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared rules!) can you tell us a little more about how the collaboration came about & your role in the collective?

‘This Is It’ is basically a name for a big group of friends who share a studio. We are all mainly from the illustration and animation course at Kingston with a few other friends that were on other courses but always in the group. we all became friends pretty quickly from foundation and the beginning of first year and basically haven’t been apart since. we started out doing big drawings together and making a zine (we had access to a free photocopier!) called ‘We make a zine every week – This Is It’ (or something similar to this.) basically I don’t think we had a name for it so ‘This Is It’ kind of stuck. After Uni none of us wanted to stop working together so we rented a space in Hoxton for a show we had managed to get at Jaguar Shoes, this is when we made the film ‘Bad Things That Could Happen’ for the show. Becky and Joe then created ‘Don’t Hug Me I’m scared’ and that’s now blown up and they’re killing it with the 3rd one that came out this week! It’s really great to see and really inspiring to be around everyday.

Nowadays we all still share the same space but are all working on individual projects most of the time and coming together to make projects together when they come up and helping each other out. There have never been any roles as such, we all just enjoy working around each other and making fun stuff! Everyone is really pushing what they are doing and it feels like we’ve all worked through it all together which sounds really cheesy and probably is but it’s great to be around people that inspire you everyday. I don’t think it will happen for a little bit but I think in the future some time it would be great to make another film all together or do a show too!

What’s coming up next? 

I have quite a few projects on the go now, I started planning everything out today and if all goes to plan I’ve got  up until March filled with awesome jobs which is great but terrifying too. There’s a music video, a christmas animation, and some cool collaborations coming up with a big gallery. All really different and exciting things that I can’t wait to start!

Check out more of Andy’s work here & on twitter