When Steph Jee graduated in 2011 from BA(Hons) Animation & Visual Effects, she was determined to crack the industry. She took risks, she was persistent, and her hard work paid off. She has now worked with some of the biggest names in film and television.
In her current role as a Creative at Jumbla, a design-driven animation and motion graphics studio, Steph has worked on briefs for a huge range of clients including Suzuki, Sony, Universal Music, BBC and Netflix. Predominantly Steph works with 2D animation and motion graphics. In previous roles, clients have included ITV, Omnicon Media Group and CBeebies.
To get there, Steph climbed her way up: “My first role after graduating was with a production company where I created onscreen graphics for live TV shows, as well as being responsible for the show’s branding, creating concepts and designing a print magazine.”
But she wanted to focus her career on 2D animation, so she moved on, taking a short role at a studio working on Melody, a CBeebies show about a young girl with a visual impairment. In each episode, Melody listens to music and uses her imagination to go on wild adventures.
“Melody was a lot of fun!” Steph told us. “I animated two full episodes of the series.”
From this, Steph landed a competitive role at Content Creatures, an award-winning branded content agency and animation studio, where she worked as a 2D animator and designer.
Steph told us: “[I took] briefs from initial concept through to final edits and delivery. I was lucky enough to work with clients like the BBC, ITV, Royal Mint, Omnicom Media Group, Happy Socks and The Brain Tumour Charity.”
Now, in her dream role at Jumbla, Steph is “involved in the whole process of production from storyboards, concept art, asset building, animation and editing”, working with a huge range of high-profile clients.
Her advice for new practitioners looking to crack the industry? “Network. Go to all the animation related events nearby or that you can get to. Go to festivals and keep up-to-date with the industry. Create a show-reel with only your best work, even if that makes it shorter, and get some brutally honest friends and family to review it.”
Steph added: “Also keep your social media accounts up-to-date and consistent, so your work can easily be found, and don’t worry or be nervous about getting in touch with people. In my experience, the industry is a very friendly one!”