Talk us through the process of bringing your illustrations to life through animation for this project—where did you start, and how did it develop?
I had to be to lead through the beginning stages and needed to learn how to think in terms of time as well as space. So many of my initial ideas were quite one dimensional, and I couldn’t break out of thinking in terms of pages like I’m used to doing with books. But James has a great sense of motion and narrative, so slowly I caught up and we started to develop storyboards and initial animatics to shows Azuma. The first thing was to get my head around exactly how the life cycle of flowers works, and how to communicate quite a complex thing creatively and simply.
What particular challenges does the animation process pose to you as an illustrator?
Azuma was clear that he wanted to include scenes with landscapes and context, not only isolated plants like I usually draw. We both agreed this was important, but I had never done that before and really struggled with how my style would translate into landscapes. There are a few bad first attempts but I'm really happy with the final result, there's some weird perspective and 3D space in a some shots but I think it's quite charming and adds character. Its always good to be forced to do things you're not familiar with and I kind of feel like I have learned a new skill.