Outer monologue – the feeling of freaking out on the inside, but remaining cool and collected on the outside – is something that we’ve all experienced at some point in our lives. Whether you’re trying your best to show that you haven’t been rattled after someone has made a snide remark, or panicking that you’ve left the hob on just as the lights darken in the cinema, this disconnect between brain and outer appearance allows for a wealth of visual interpretation, that Katy Wang recently took in her stride.
Working with a crew of three animators, with Katy acting as director, designer and a bit of an animator as well, the It’s Nice That Grad from 2017 was commissioned by Mailchimp for an exciting new series of shorts. In this episode, Katy was teamed up with American actress and former model Joy Bryant, and tasked with animating her life experiences in just under four minutes. “When I received the full recording of her interview, it was so interesting to listen to her talk about her upbringing,” says Katy, “and how her boarding school experience and relationship with her grandma contributed to so many revelations aiding her personal growth.”
Every word dripping with emotion, for Katy, the voiceover provided a myriad of themes to explore through her signature style of fluidity and colour. As we’ve watched Katy’s talent as both an animator and director evolve before our eyes, she’s come a long way since graduating from Kingston University two years ago. As well as gaining more client and commercial experience, the director goes on to tell us, “This might be boring, but a big skill which I’ve learnt is writing emails to clients; breaking down my process in a way that makes sense to them and negotiating things like budgets, deadlines and so on.”
Continuing to grow in confidence, and with the support of creative communities such as Panimation and She Drew That, Katy’s last year has seen her go from strength to strength. From teaching motion design at Sweden’s Hyper Island to working on that ever-tricky relationship that is a creative’s work/life balance, Katy continues to hone her craft through just the right amount of improvisation, experimentation, not to mention hard work.
Recently signed to Blinkink, the Outer Monologue commission is the first of many directing projects for Katy. Using her key creative instincts, she decided to focus on one particular aspect of Joy’s interview that she felt would resonate with everyone and anyone, regardless of whether you know who Joy is or otherwise. “It’s the part where she talks about going to boarding school and reaches this turning point in her youth where she no longer has an inferiority complex” adds Katy. Combining this emotive section with bold colours and abstract visuals to reflect Joy’s experiences of growth, insecurity and knowledge, the final film culminates in an inspiring work of self-discovery and coming of age.