Oslo-based illustrator and animator Steph Hope’s style is worlds apart from the typical twee and cute work scattered across the internet. Instead, she adopts a lurid colour palette to create garish figures with wonky features. Describing her style as “curvy, loopy and melty”, Steph’s grotesque characters meander through life and awkward situations, mixing in more abstract images, which offer a welcome contrast.
In both her illustration and animation work there’s a clunky, vibrant energy to everything, which derives from Steph hand drawing everything, scanning it in and then colouring it digitally. In terms of her animation, she enjoys the pace it offers her: “You get to play with timing and movement, which I think is really fun. And I enjoy drawing lots of images quickly and making transitions especially,” Steph says.
Her most recent short is New Friends, which is a humorous retelling of some of Steph’s own experiences. “I recently moved to a new city and didn’t really know many people here in the beginning, so I would try to go to private views and other free public events and introduce myself to people, hoping that I could make friends with them, and sometimes it didn’t go very well,” she explains. This is just one of many animated shorts, where Steph captures universal moods and feelings in a humorous way.
Much of Steph’s work is inspired by her own personal experiences and her ideas develop as she experiments with new techniques. Working on a plethora of projects, she continues to approach each piece of work with the same objective: “I think I’m trying to make work that captures different frames of mind as accurately as I can.”
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