Kate Isobel Scott is a dab hand with a ball of plasticine. The illustrator, animator, prop maker and all round creative has a knack for creating characters full of plastic-y personality, showcasing the painstaking joy of stop-motion animation.
A graduate of Falmouth’s illustration course, Kate explains she has “always enjoyed writing short stories for myself, and I’ve made things out of plasticine in the past, so stop-motion animation is a great way to combine the two together”. Working from home (Kate recently moved to the Netherlands to go fully freelance), her animations have a tangible quality to them. You can see her fingerprints moulding expressions, backgrounds of jungles and even boobs or bums, showing off her funny and skilful flair. “I make most of the figures and sets in my living room so if you look closely you’ll see a few dog hairs in there — the bane of my life!”
Two recent shorts by Kate include Soul in Perfect Shape a music video for her musician pals, Tom and Edd who make up the band We Two Boys Together Clinging. Kate had complete creative freedom for the video “in return for having no budget,” and the result is “basically 3D versions of my illustrations,” she says. The video’s narrative shows a purple character travelling through a jungle, getting bitten by a spider, warping into a goddess before swimming under the sea and riding a tortoise that gets eaten by a big fish. Stuck inside, the taste doesn’t quite agree with the fish, leading it throw up so violently that Kate’s purple character gets catapulted into space where she is captured by aliens.
As mad as this narrative sounds, it’s one you’ve got to watch for yourself in order to witness the attention to detail the animator has behind the scenes. “The other day I was shooting the UFO landing scene in my kitchen, cigarette in one hand to blow smoke through a construction of straws so that smoke would come out of the UFO. I had a flashlight in the other hand to light the two little clients in the cockpit. I did question myself at that point.”
Another short is a spooky teaser we spotted over on Kate’s Instagram timed with today’s Halloween celebrations which displays a pumpkin playing piano to a room of waltzing vampires. The animator has learned all of her claymation skills along the way, mostly using online tutorials or working with Rogier Wieland, “an amazing local animator” in The Hague. Kate’s tactic for learning on the move gives her shorts a unique charm with her own point of view.
About the Author
Lucy (she/her) joined It’s Nice That as a staff writer in July 2016 after graduating from Chelsea College of Art. In January 2019 she was made deputy editor and in November 2021, became a senior editor predominantly working on It’s Nice That's partnerships. Feel free to get in contact with Lucy about creative projects for the site or potential partnerships.