Creatives unite to drive blood donations, featuring Kyle Platts, Mica Warren, Hannah Lau-Walker and more

Artists from Strange Beast, Blinkink and the rest of the illustration and animation world do their bit to encourage people to keep donating.

Date
9 April 2020
Reading Time
3 minutes

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While much of the country isolates, blood donations are in steep decline, and this heartwarming campaign bringing together some of illustration and animation industry’s finest hopes to do something about it.

Stemming from sound design studio Father, where one of its team, Freddie, is personally affected by this crisis in that his daughter relies on blood transfusions to stay well. This prompted the team to reach out to collaborators Strange Beast and Blinkink, among others, to share a call to action among its artists to offer their talents to the cause. And they have done so in their droves. The result is a truly beautiful series of animations and illustrations from the likes of Hannah Jacobs, Kyle Platts, Mica Warren and more, plus a collaborative “consequences” style animation bringing together ten creatives in one.

The brief was simple: create a duo-tone illustration or animation using two hex codes, Red - cd2921 and Pink - fae2e0, with pure white if desired, and a vital message: keep donating, with link to blood.co.uk – where people can find their nearest centre, usually a walking distance away. Blood donation centres remain open and getting to them will be seen as essential travel.

The artists have taken all sorts of approaches, from Sheetal Thankey’s dancing troupe of blood droplets and Matt Lloyd’s happy queue of donators to Andy Martin’s claymation grinning letterform characters coming together in the form of a gift. “I wanted to make something that would encourage people to give the gift of blood in a fun and lighthearted way,” Martin says of his film. “I decided to personify the blood into different characters that created the word ‘blood’ and then squish them into a parcel for a real person to take.”

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Andy Martin: Keep Donating

Nelly Michenaud has even recreated The Creation of Adam for the Covid-19 era, a hilarious short animation showing the two subjects donating while, importantly, keeping their distance. “The idea for the Sistine chapel came about when I was focusing on the idea of social distancing being counter intuitive with giving blood. This iconic painting is pretty much depicting the recommendations of today, hands apart, staying out of reach. So I could play with this grandiose dramatic set-up and have this funny little guy checking the regulated distances in there. It’s only afterwards that I realised their arms were already in perfect position to give blood.”

One particular film (top) by Hannah Lau-Walker brings together ten artists, who each created a sequence of the film that sees characters pass the “heart parcel” along the line-up. See if you can spot each artist involved; they include Hannah Jacobs, Knifeson Yu, Harriet Gillian, Campbell Hartley (who also created a standalone piece), Matt Partridge, Laura N-Tamara, Giulia Frixione, Laura Robinson and Drew.

“In times like these when we’re all at home a little more isolated from one another it’s great to have the opportunity to be creative together,” Hannah tells It’s Nice That. “So when I heard about the campaign I thought it was a lovely chance to get some of my animation friends together and create something positive in these strange times. It’s wonderful being able to see all of our different styles working together to spread a positive message.”

Freddie from Father tells us that the work has real potential to make life-saving impact. “Behaviour change happens with a shift in perspective. And I see creativity as an essential tool in shifting people’s perspectives. We all know that blood donation is important, but until I had a transfusion-dependent child, the true importance of it seemed remote from me. How could I encourage people to change their behaviour, to start giving blood, when they didn't have a personal reason to do so? This campaign was born out of the idea that by reframing blood donation – that is to say, asking a talented roster of animators and illustrators to depict their unique take on the cause – we could turn heads and get people to go to their nearest blood centre.”

The full list of contributors also includes brilliant work by Eloise Garlick, Joe Eckworth, Leanne Rule, Iris Abols, Lina Li, Perrie Murphy, Peter Chownsmith, Guy Field and Ash Johnson.

See the full campaign via #KeepDonating on Instagram.

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Nelly Michenaud

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Mica Warren

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Eloise Garlick

GalleryFather, Strange Beast and Blinkink: Keep Donating

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Guy Field

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Kyle Platts

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Hannah Lau Walker, Hannah Jacobs, Knifeson Yu, Harriet Gillian, Campbell Hartley, Matt Partridge, Laura N-Tamara, Giulia Frixione, Laura Robinson and Drew: Keep Donating. Sound: Father

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About the Author

Jenny Brewer

Jenny joined the editorial team as It’s Nice That’s first news editor in April 2016. Having studied 3D Design, she has spent the last ten years working in design journalism. Contact her with news stories relating to the creative industries on news@itsnicethat.com.

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