From KEA news!

latest successes and plans to share

Emma’s internship Week 1

Illustration of a university graduate after just receiving their certificate, questioning if a job also comes along with it.

What I thought would happen when I graduated and then what did happen.


(Written Aug 15th 2017)

You step up onto that stage, hundreds of eyes watching you as your name is called and you’re walking across the stage towards the Chancellor who is holding your certificate waiting to congratulate you (though you’re too busy concentrating on not falling over). Only afterwards once your back in your seat staring down at the certificate on your lap does it click that this is it- you made it- You’re now officially a graduate. Then it dawns on you that you that now you’re no longer a student, just another unemployed person with a degree and a large amount of debt.

However, I was a little more fortunate than some of my fellow classmates as just a couple weeks earlier I had attended my first (and currently last) interview from the vast amount of design jobs I had applied to so far – having little luck with responses. Yet when I received an email from KEA, which I recall applying for the Illustration Graduate Work Placement I couldn’t help but feel excited upon being offered an interview.

Jump to the day after the interview and I was called receiving an offer for the job, this was incredibly surprising considering I hadn’t officially graduated yet at this point- I wasn’t much expecting anything for months after graduation, imagining that I would end up working in a bar or restaurant again for a while.

I consider myself lucky to get this opportunity and my foot in the door of the creative industries this early on.

Working for Kim Emson Animates so far has been a steady journey. Though it has only been a week, there is so much more I am looking forward to experience and get involved with. As the business is still small in terms of the number of employees I am able to work one on one with Kim to improve my development as an illustrator and gain a closer look at how a creative business is ran. So far I have already done multiple illustrations and researched into the inner working of KEA, and even brainstormed ideas for future projects.

I am looking forward to what the next few weeks of my internship entails and will continue to record my journey with KEA so that I may look back and see how much I have developed.


Visual trends to look out for in 2018

Title illustration for 2018 visual trends

Every year new trends come to light; previous trends may stand the test of time while other may wither away after not too long. As seen all across the internet we see many bloggers and designers report on the possible trends for the upcoming year; 2017 we saw new trends emerge or grow within animation: motion graphics, illustration, virtual reality and augmented reality. Overall visual design such as the use of “Colour surge”, minimal design, and the evolution on flat design aka flat design 2.0 also made an appearance this year. Here are just some of the current and upcoming trends that may affect animation over 2018.


Dynamic Typography

Typography has always been a huge part of design and has always been a long standing trend that won’t be going anytime soon.

While typography has always been a huge part of web and poster design, animation is now combining with typography to create beautiful, flowing messages as another way to convey the message of the animation. Imagination is the only limitation when it comes to animating typography and with the variety of font and styles, dynamic typography with is a big winner in animation in 2018.

Love Hate:Screen Shot 2018-01-09 at 10.18.04


Alphabetic:Screen Shot 2018-01-09 at 10.22.29



GIFs have blown up in the past couple years, thanks to the popularity with social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter allowing users to use this medium effortlessly to improve their posts and convey specific emotions and reactions that an emoji might not allow.

Animation is able to take hold of this popular use of GIFs to be more creative in what they are trying to say and is a great way to display humorous, yet simple illustrations.

Boords is coming!: 

Olivia Huynh:



We saw the a retro style in both graphics and animation make a rise during 2017 through both animation and motion graphics, however with the release of the second season of Stranger Things back in October has only aided to sky rocket the popularity of this trend extending its stay through to 2018. Animation gives a refreshing update to the style yet still maintaining that nostalgic feel, and is an effective way to convey a message to an audience.

Yeaaah! Studio Spring 2017 Lookbook:Screen Shot 2018-01-09 at 10.44.00



2018 we’ll be seeing double because of these upcoming trends seen all across design and could also be effectively used in illustration and animation.


Double exposure: This trend has been around for a few years now it still can amaze an audience when used correctly and has begun to evolve to maintain interest.


Double Light: This is an effective way to transform simple, boring graphics into something new and modern. This can be achieved through channel splitting, or using two sources of coloured light.


Double Exposure Duotone: This is an example of the evolution of “Double Exposure” spoken about earlier. This is the combination of Double Exposure and Duotone (Which was also quite popular over 2017), this can be achieved by overlapping two images and two colour channels, creating a bold image.




A trend that has taken the digital world by storm, what was once annoying and unwanted is now sought after. A popular use when it comes to horror, it has also started to be used in animation, effectively used in 2D animation where it would seem more likely for a glitch to take place and is something that will be seen in the upcoming year.

An incredible example of this effect taking place in animation would be “I am Here” by Eoin Duffy, he brings a whole new feel to 2D animation with the correct use of glitching to build up a tense atmosphere:

I am Here:

Screen Shot 2018-01-09 at 10.54.16



Colour transitions/ gradients

A trend that was first seen back in 2016 when Instagram changed its logo to its now colourful gradient, although at first it received mixed opinions nobody would have guess its rise in the coming years.

Now that flat design has begun to bore audiences, they are craving for something new from this trend to continue to grab their attention.

Colourful gradients are one of the simpler, yet effective way to add a fresh coat of paint to minimal, flat design when using bold combinations.

TEDxNingbo Opening:

Screen Shot 2018-01-09 at 10.55.12

Animatedly Strategic Planning days

team meetings animation

Do you have a burning desire to express your creative side?  Make something you will be proud of? You would if you had the time, and your job isn't too creative?

Read more

Growing pains?

animation can help your business video GIF

It is exciting times here, as I have decided I want to grow my business. One way in which I am going to do that is through recruiting some new talent with different skill sets from mine. My first employee will be an illustrator.



I am growing slowly and recruiting slowly; to ensure both my first employee and me are the right fit for each other.  Although it feels like a big step, I am happy in the knowledge that the role will grow over a long-term strategy, alongside business growth, and only a particular type of person will enjoy this. Having the right culture fit is important to me, with some talent that I can nurture and mould into a superstar.

How to nurture a happy work place?
How to nurture a happy work place

Freelancer to business woman

The freelancer life can give so much freedom, yet be lonely, for a long time I have enjoyed no commute and the freedom of cooking fresh for lunch, rather than grotty sandwiches or the same meal deal each day from the local shop. But now on the flip side, I am looking forward to bouncing ideas around and discussions on the possibilities for each project, as we build up trust, respect and responsibility together. The very exciting thing is that I charge for my time, and suddenly now I have pretty much double the time available; so the risk doesn’t seem so scary!


The role will slowly but surely develop from an internship, to a part time role, to a full time role. This means that at each stage, both parties are able to assess what is right for them, as it will consist of many first times for both!

I have received some criticism for offering an internship, which of course was horrible to receive, but was from a very negative person. But I hope I am demonstrating here a strategy for sustainable, longevity and steady growth, fair for both parties. I regularly receive enquiries for students looking for work experience almost as often as I do from companies looking for animation, so now I’m able to turn it into a realistic opportunity for both of us.

I would be interested in hearing other small business’ strategies for growth and recruitment.



I am also aware that there may be bigger opportunities out there, so I’m looking to retain the right candidate. I’m going to offer a perk program, as well as personal development coaching.

It’s exciting times here at KEA, and I would enjoy hearing about your own strategies for staff retention too.