Textural animation master and 2017 It’s Nice That graduate Katy Wang has created the latest video for Toto Bona Lokua’s new single, Ma Mama taken from their forthcoming album, Bondeko out on 19 January. . The short continues many traits seen in her university work, from the line work of her characters to the slight grainy texture that flows through her animations.
Katy’s inspiration for the short came from looking into the cultural background of each member of Toto Bona Lokua: “After finding out that the band was made up of three singers from France (Martinique), Cameroon and the Republic of Congo, I was inspired to research African textiles, particularly Kuba cloth, which originates from the Republic of Congo,” she tells It’s Nice That. The colour palette of the Kuba cloth ranges from light browns to creams, with the slight punch of a dark red, a range Katy has brought to life digitally, using slightly bolder shades of the colours, making them dance in time with the track.
“The overall feel of the film is dreamy, surreal and visually exciting to watch — it’s a love story but told in a very innocent, playful way, of two people exploring this animated world together,” Katy explains. The jolly nature of the animator’s two loved up characters (inspired by the “tender love story at the heart of Gerald Toto’s song-writing”) is shown through sweet kisses, lightly bouncing through the short before waking a giant sleeping cat who takes them on an adventure over day and night in Katy’s animated world. Cutaways of pattern break up the narrative, before seamlessly introducing new characters such as lively fish and camels that morph into booty shaking elephants.
Ma Mama as a song represents feelings of friendship and the playful attitudes you have with your best pals, emulating the title of Toto Bona Lokua’s album title, Bondeko which translates as friendship and fraternity. Katy’s animation brings together these themes cohesively, in a harmonious way that plays on her animation strength and attitude.
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.