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One year of Jim

Last week marked 1 year with our very own, excellent, Illustrator-turned-Animator Jim Makepeace. Jim has achieved a lot here with us at Sons of Graham, he’s made us look cool. So we thought it be a good idea actually get to know him and not just use and abuse him.*

*SONS does not use or abuse its employees nor do they condone the using and abusing of employees.

Jim, what motivates you to take out your sketch book?

It’s a real cocktail of things, if I have an idea and I want to draw it, or if something makes me laugh or inspires me in some way, then I want to convert that into an image.

There’s a discourse at the moment about perfect sketch books and how that’s not really how they are supposed to function, and I think I agree with that. But also I find it very pleasurable to spend a lot of time working in them and making them as elaborate as possible.

..But also I do want a lot of adoration on social media… I love the serotonin.

Why do you have a mullet?

Martha, my girlfriend asked me to cut her a mullet over lock-down, and she looked terrible but I really liked it, so I said “Do me, do me!”

If you could have been part of making any film or series what would it be?

The film Akira - Over the last couple of months I keep coming back to it, as a film but also as a technical thing it’s just amazing. The fact that they use 24 fps - it’s buttery smooth. So much of it looks futuristic today and was hand drawn 30 years ago - that’s wild. It’s like one of those mechanical books that you get for jeeps and they have all of the diagrams, it’s like looking at one of those come to life it’s like -😘👌

What’s lockdown taught you about life?

For us as a whole - we live in a society where it seems like the needs of the economy come before the needs of the people..

Does it make you angry?

Yeah. I think, a lot of lockdown has been distressing and worrying. I don’t like it.

I mean obviously, I approve of quarantining..

What’s the most useful trick you have learnt in Animation recently?

Also I really like smears in animation, mushing as many frames into one frame as you need to. I really like the kind of abstraction you get from that - it captures the motion in a single image they look so strange that on their own they don’t mean anything, but then as part of the sequencing they have such a feeling to them. That’s been one of my favourite things to learn.

If you could experience something as a kid again what would it be?

It might be Star Wars.. or Lord of the Rings, I liked massive blockbusters.

Things that I’ve watched over and over again since.

Other than Stef, who inspires you?

My friend Jean Fhilippe he’s @noseturquoise on Instagram.

His style is so sure of itself. He knows he can draw wonderfully but he chooses not to draw realistically. Technically really proficient and abstract. There’s something about, as an artist, learning the rules and then breaking them. He’s one of the few that has done that.

Also as a teenager he was very helpful and patient with me and my friend. Showing us cool stuff. It’s nice to see him move from a realist style into something more abstracted. And that’s something I have done as well, following in his footsteps quite a lot.

What kind of food couldn’t you live without?

I feel like I’m missing out if I haven’t got something with chilli in.

And finally, Jim, you are quite the word smith. What’s one or two of your favourite words?

‘Ersatz’ and ‘brolic’.

And with that, Jim burst out of the interview room in an extremely brolic manner, and with ersatz elation he ran back into his permanent drawing position, making weird gremlin noises as he went.

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