Katharine Nicholls

Job title
Senior Lecturer
01326 370406

As a Senior Lecturer on BA(Hons) Animation and VFX at Falmouth University, Katharine’s professional background is diverse and has led her through many aspects of animation, illustration and design, with her strong interest in storytelling always underpinning the work.  

Katharine fell by happy accident into the animation industry when a job came in from her illustration agency to paint a background on a title sequence for Tandem Films. She enjoyed the collaborative way of working in animation studios and went on to TV Cartoons as a background artist on the film, ‘Father Christmas’. At TVC there followed, ‘The Tailor of Gloucester’, ‘The Tale of the Flopsy Bunnies’, ‘Oi! Get off our Train’, ‘T.R.A.N.S.I.T.’, ‘The Wind in the Willows’ and ‘The Willows in Winter’. She also painted backgrounds for Grand Slamm Childrens Films on the 2D TV series, 'Angelina Ballerina' and on many commercials and title sequences for various other animation studios, using a wide variety of production design styles.

Katharine is involved in two research projects at Falmouth University: The Cross Channel Film Lab (CCFL) http://crosschannelfilmlab.com/  is a project that connects Cornwall with the similarly rural area of Brittany in France, and has the aim of developing brave, original feature-films that innovate in their use of Stereo 3D and VFX. At the CCFL she works with writers, directors and producers, students and VFX consultants to help bring together screenwriting, technology and production design. In this short film, Katharine talks about her contribution as an artist to ‘Dome’, one of the films developed at the CCFL:  https://vimeo.com/117943773

In addition Katharine is a key collaborator on the experimental, multi-disciplinary film project, ‘Deep’, directed by colleague Derek Hayes, on which students work with professionals and staff.

Katharine’s research into how these projects work aims to help connect students with animation and film industry professionals while at University and forms the basis of her study for an MA in Creative Education and Senior HEA fellowship application. Her greatest professional rewards come these days from seeing Animation and VFX students realise their ambitions.

Profile image by Estelle Carr at the Cross Channel Film Lab


YearQualificationAwarding body
Falmouth University

Membership of external committees

HEA Fellow

Research outputs



The Cross Channel Film Lab workshops


Areas of teaching

Drawing for animation
painting and design