Work / Animation

How to tell your own life story by animator Olga Makarchuk

Animator Olga Makarchuk is the latest creative to bring to life the wise words of School of Life founder Alain de Botton. This time, Alain waxes lyrical about our life stories and the way we are unconsciously writing our autobiographies wherever we go. “The film is about how precious these stories are and how important it is not to be too harsh on yourself when narrating your life experiences,” says Olga.

Having graduated from the Royal College of Art this year, Olga has worked with the School of Life before, but this project is her first drawn animation for them. She describes her style as “dreamy, surreal, ironic, with lots of metamorphosis and camera movement”.

This aesthetic works itself into the film through pastel colour palettes, doughy characters and unusual transitions. “I wanted to make something witty and melancholic at the same time, trying to come up with associations for Alain’s writing, which wouldn’t be too linear, but still readable,” explains Olga.

Aside from the tight deadline, Olga’s creative process for the animation was fairly straight forward. “I started with some doodling of the key elements, then tried to connect them with transitions – so there’s a lot of transformation going on,” explains the animator.

“Also there are two recurring characters in the film – a tiny male ‘inner voice’, some version of Macbeth in underwear, and a woman, some sort of goddess of story balloons. It’s cheating a bit, but they are there for a reason – to make all those unrelated pieces of metaphors stick together.”


Olga Makarchuk: How to Narrate Your Life Story (still)


Olga Makarchuk: How to Narrate Your Life Story (still)


Olga Makarchuk: How to Narrate Your Life Story (still)


Olga Makarchuk: How to Narrate Your Life Story (still)