Talk to me

I love messages!  So if you’d like to get in touch, feel free to say hello here:
inthedarkwoods (at)

Oh, and you can also follow me on Twitter @inthedarkwoods



13 thoughts on “Talk to me

  1. Wow, I’m so excited to have stumbled across your blog. Your artwork is absolutely beautiful! 🙂 Also, always a pleasure meeting a fellow William Blake fan. Best regards, G. E.

    • Hi Darran, thanks so much for your comment, I really do appreciate it!

      I’m very rubbish at answering questions like this, but I’ll give it a go…

      I started out writing animation without words and visual storytelling is something that I keep returning to. Big influences have been the stop motion animators Lotte Reiniger and Yuri Norstein. Through them, I realised that I love how paper and light work together, and the effects you can create with very simple means.

      I’m always fascinated with shadows and how a papercut becomes something more, or something different, once it’s coupled with light. I find that when I’m working on new designs, it’ll be the shadow cast that helps me decide if the image works or not. It’s like the shadow is the thing that I’m actually trying to make.

      There are lots of papercut artists that I admire very much like Peter Callesen, Elsa Mora, and Su Blackwell. But it’s probably Lotte Reiniger who’s influenced me most.

      I hope that (sort of!) answers your question, Darran:-)

      Best wishes,


      • thanks so much for that Rachel. it’s funny because I thought of Yori Norstein when I first saw your art, the beauty and layering of it and the hint of mythologies. I’m a big fan of his work and screened an excerpt from Tale of Tales at a little event I did a while back. the other names you mentioned I’m not familiar with at all, look forward to exploring their work.
        best wishes,


      • Aw wow! I’m genuinely thrilled that you thought of Norstein. Tale of Tales is astonishing isn’t it? Everything about it works perfectly. In the documentary, Magia Russica, someone talks about the cat putting out the candle as being this extraordinary moment in the film. And it is. It’s a perfect piece of animation.

        So thank you again Darran. You’ve reminded me I need to watch a whole load of Russian animation now at the weekend:)


  2. I am so inspired by your work, it’s so moving! I can’t stop watching your animations! wow!
    I am incredibly passionate about animation and storytelling myself, and having just finished my Art and Design foundation, I am excited to start my BA in animation and illustration at Manchester in September… do you have any advice on how to succeed in the industry?
    Thanks a lot, Amy xxx

    • Hi Amy,

      Thanks so much for your lovely message! I genuinely do appreciate it.

      I’m not sure what industry advice I can give, but I can tell you what I’ve learnt about writing for animation, such as it is. And that’s to make sure you’ve got a strong story first and foremost. A massive budget and the top animators from the best studio won’t make a great film with a weak script.

      The style of animation has to suit the story, and bear in mind budget: it has to be doable with the funds (if any) you’ve got. Keep characters and locations to a minimum – if you’ve got a character that doesn’t move the story along in any way, then they’re not needed. It’ll just cost time and money animating them for no good reason. Same goes with location.

      Spend as much time as you can in pre-production getting everything right, as you don’t want to be editing out finished animation. Storyboard until you’re happy with it, and you know exactly where all your characters are, where they come in, go out etc. An animatic will help you get your shots, pacing and timing right.

      And finally, get people on board that you can learn from and who you’ll enjoy working with. Once your story or script starts to become an animation, it becomes a collaborative project. Which is the really exciting part.

      Not sure if that’s any help, Amy, but that’s pretty much what I know:)

      I really like your work, and I’m sure you’ll do exceptionally well in your degree course. Look forward to seeing some of your animations soon. Do keep me posted!!

      Thank you again and best wishes,


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