Things aren’t Stacking up: stackable credentials in Animation

Within any Constellation there are clusters of stars. Within any discipline there are accepted principles or hierarchies of skills and competencies, expressed in the idiom of the profession. If you ask an Animator for a framework for mastery of their subject, they mostly will talk about the 12 Principles of Animation.


The story of how Lucy Ainsworth-Taylor ended up leading one of London’s top VFX enterprises is worth hearing, especially when she might (thanks to well-meaning parental nudging) have ended up working in a South African Mortuary. Have I got your attention now? Good, here’s the the story.


Like a good music album, the secret to a great TEDx is getting the mix and sequence of tracks right- variety, contradistinction, multi-disciplinarity and the unexpected being the metrics by which any TEDx event will be judged. The main ingredient though is optimism, a genetic trait from the original TED talks and their often noted silicon valley boosterism.

On Presence and Webcams

We are looking at a synchronous mix of on-line and in person teaching for the Autumn term, and there are a number of reasons why. Firstly, we want to build a sense of community and shared purpose, and we believe that comes from student ownership and adoption of a collective presence.

Ten titles for teaching in tenuous times

Pedagogy can seem like a dry subject, so I decided to give a list of my Top 10 favourite books. I’m no expert, more of an armchair general, but now seems a good time to keep connected to the ever evolving debates, theories and practices surrounding the art and craft of teaching.

Do Students need Atomic Habits?

Non attending students don’t lack motivation: they lack ’Atomic Habits’. As we attempt to cram more instruction, more software demanded by industry, more entrepreneurial and business skills into the same 3 year cycle, we owe it to our learners to fortify them with a framework for coping, and build up their motivation levels.

7 Myths about University Study

This is an article I prepared for Access:VFX. I’d been finding that people were starting to stereotype Universities, especially as they tried to articulate the value of apprenticeships. It’s as if it’s necessary to paint University study as all ‘academic tomes and ivory towers’ in order to position Apprenticeships as the binary opposite. People don’t…

What students can learn from VFX role models

In July 2018 I was honoured to give an oration for Paul Franklin’s investiture as Honorary Doctor at Norwich University of the Arts. It seemed to me that Paul’s story should find a wider audience of students, who could maybe model their behaviour on his, since his career narrative exhibits all those aptitudes we often tell students about.