FMP- “The Maker” Zealous Creative

Christopher Kezelos the head of ZealousCreative and is a award winning stop motion animator . The Maker is possibly my favourite stop motion animation I’ve seen. The stop motion is second to none and in a world where most things are computer generated, you could almost forgive it for being misinterpreted as being digitally created on a computer, it is only with The Makers slight characteristics and style that you can see that it is an obviously well done stop motion. Despite this The Maker knows what it is and instead of regretting the feel of it being stop motion, embraces it. The little quirks in fact add to it’s dark and quirky feel.

While I adore all forms of animation, it basically came down to what I could achieve with my skills and resources. I’m not an illustrator so 2D was out, nor am I skilled in any 3D programs. But I do have a history of making live action shorts so I’m comfortable working in a physical space with sets and lights. I’m also crafty with my hands and have access to tools and a workshop. In the end, it was the only medium that made sense. (

Kezelos’s craftsmanship is clear in the piece, each tiny piece of the equipment and desk look beautifully detailed, as if the viewer could go there and pick it up themselves.

I tend to gravitate towards a darker, quirkier look so I guess over time, this has created a bit of a house style. (

The Maker’s dark and strange feel is one of the reasons I love it so much, the lighting and the colours used make it look almost as if we are seeing something we should not really be seeing or peering into a hidden world somewhere. The darkness of The Maker is also what makes it so fascinating to look at, we are used to seeing darker things on the cinema screen, but to see it done so seriously in a short film is very refreshing.

What most people don’t realize is that I’ve been shooting live action shorts for the past decade! My work in animation however has been the most successful and eclipsed anything I’ve done prior. Animation as a medium is something I’ve always been passionate about so with a background in film making and design, I feel it was a natural evolution. (

I think it’s fairly obvious once it’s said that Kezelos used to work on live action films. The way he sets his sets and the way he moves the characters and how he positions the camera are all reminiscent of something you would see on the big screen. The Maker itself does conjure the image of it almost being a pilot for a much larger story and world. Because The Maker is so mysterious, it leads itself to the audience wanting to know more about the strange world it’s set in. Even for such a short film it carries it’s own myths with it.

The Maker explores the preciousness of our moments on earth, the short time we have with loved ones and the enjoyment of one’s lifes work and purpose. In their fleeting existence, our characters experience joy, love, hard work, purpose, loss and loneliness. As the tagline suggests, ‘life is what you make it’ and we’re all makers in this world. (  

The Maker is outstanding at making us think about life and it’s relative shortness. When The Maker is watched, the audience thinks “Why continue the cycle of just building another creature, just to die?” but then it strikes you that that is what humans do, we work up all our lives to have offspring, then die, and just as the creature is against a sand timer in the film, we are also against the time as we age. There’s also the confusion of the creature at the beginning, unsure of itself or what to do as it watches the clock, reminiscent of the way we struggle as young people to find our way.

I want to evoke a strong emotional response in my viewers, so by the end they’re passionate about what they’ve just watched and want to see more! (

I think the film is very successful at making the viewer think and question various extersental questions, but at the same time we think about the emotional of the voiceless characters, like the main creature, as he final gives life to his creation, feeling happiness and uncontrolled joy.

FMP-Roman Klonek


In my early days of drawing, before my study but also during my study, the act of drawing was always something like an exercise in concentration. For me it was important to observe a thing with great attention and I was very glad for catching the right form, succeeding similarity, or finding the right perspective, or putting the shadows on their right places. etc… In the meantime I have another view on this. My way of drawing has changed a little. Now its rather a play, a free association without any special target, rather experimental. (

Klonek’s desire to be more playful shows in his work, his shapes and lines speak of a playful energy, mixed with his bright and saturated colours which positively glow. Klonek’s work is bold and eye-catching, the print above certainly shows this with it’s almost neon colours.

At fist I have to explain: I do colourful woodcut prints in the technique of the “lost cut”. That means I print all colors with only one plate. In the beginning I cut out all the spots that should remain white. Than I print he first color. Now I cut out all the spots that should remain in the first color… and so on. In the end the plate is “lost”. A retake is not possible anymore.

His printing technique means that there has to be a lot of precision involved. Once he has printed he cannot go back, which means he has to be bold and confident, but not overly so that he forgets what he’s doing. This is quite and amazing way to work, considering his finished pieces always seem so clean and flawless.

my work is a very big mixture of contemporary influences and cultural roots. I have a soft spot for East European cartoons because I grew up with them. My father had a big collection of Polish and Russian Super 8 cartoons. (

Polish and Russian cartoons are often very strange to more western european eyes, the characters can look a little uncanny, perhaps too wide eyed, and you see that in Klonek’s work. Some of his characters are devilish or strange looking, reminiscent of the types of characters which appeared in those cartoons. Those cartooned also used bright colours to attract children, but the colours of Klonek’s work almost take it to the next level of brightness.

This penchant for the “playful and bold”… it have always been important to me. Really everyone and everything can be an inspiration. I think the most important thing is to set up situations for good receptivity of inspiration. The creative activity will follow.

Klonek gains a lot of inspiration from tutoring others about his craft and from the world around him.

FMP-Ping Zhu


Ping Zhu is an London-based illustrator who has a quirky and cute portfolio filled with beautiful pictures of people and animals which features an amazing use of colour and texture. Zhu has worked with a long list of clients including The New York Times, The LA Times and Playboy. I really love her textural feel she puts into her work. Her illustrations of animals and her combination of flat colours and rich textures works really well. She combines more textural lines and elements with smoother ones, creating an image which is a nice even balance between the two. The textural elements are usually where needed to make line of blocks of colour more interesting.

Her work has a particularly in her ability to not only capture the essence of an animal without the use of too many visual elements, but also create illustrations which are simple and clean and yet them speak a story all of their own. Take the picture I selected above, a Tarsier and a mouse stare at each other intrigued. The story almost plays out like a scene from a children’s book, with the mouse and tarsier pointing out each others differences and yet how they are a like whilst they become friends. Their tails intertwining speaks a lot in the image by saying these two creatures are not only comfortable with each other, but also like each other.

Her website is called PingZoo and is a really nice playful take on her own name;  perfectly suited to the type of fun and cute illustrations she creates.

FMP-Crayon Creatures


Crayon Creatures is a service to turn children’s drawings into figurines; nice looking designer objects to decorate the home and office with a colorful touch of wild creativity. (

Crayon Creatures creates 3D printed sculptures from the drawings for children. There are a few similar projects going around (such as the one turning children’s drawings into plushes, and the other which is drawing children’s drawing realistically, which I covered in my critical journal previously called Monster Engine.)

Children drawings are weird and beautiful. Kids produce an immense amount of drawings that populate fridges, living rooms and workspaces of parents, family & friends. Those drawings are amazing, we love them. (


The creatures are meant to be given as gifts or displayed anywhere you wish but not to give to the child who drew the picture. The fun comes from seeing how these strange children’s drawings are turned into 3D pieces. An artist from crayon creatures builds a model in 3d modelling software and then 3d prints it to create an in real life version of any children’s drawing you chose.


I think these sculptures offer a look into a child’s mind, but also are very cool because of the process the artist must take to try and imagine what the child was seeing at the time, or what their hands were trying to get down on paper.


FMP-Alan Dalby


Alan Dalby’s animal illustrations are charming in their simplicity and general look. The colours are strong but not overpowering and his shapes he uses within his work are beautiful.

My work is usually vector based, minimal design. I find enjoyment in playing with shape, which I think is reflected in my work. I also love drawing animals. (

It’s obvious that Dalby takes great pride and time in making sure he has the correct shapes within his work, the shape of the platypus above was what won me over into choosing to put it into my critical journal. It also happens to be one of Dalby’s own favourite illustrations.

I view myself as an Illustrator, but I’m heavily influenced by Graphic Design. I think that comes across in my work but I think the end product is always Illustration. (

Dalby does work a lot like a graphic designer, his work is ordered and very obsessively and deliberately placed and refined.

That project was my first screen-printing experience, It taught me the benefits of limited colour palette and changed the way I approach colour in all my work. It was also the first steps to the minimalist way I work now. I’ve screen-printed a few times since then, but not as often as I would like to. (The convenience of creating work on a Mac is probably the only thing stopping me.) ((

Dalby’s limited colour palettes really sell his work and bring out the shapes and forms he uses. His style really works for any kind of printing due to it being so minimal. I think overall Dalby’s platypus illustration is successful, however when I first saw the playtpus I did have a little trouble understand what it was and it took me a few seconds to realise it was a platypus. This is probably due to the shape, however once I knew what it was I found I liked it.

FMP-Malin Rosenqvist


I enjoy this piece of type by Malin Rosenqvist because I love how she uses transparency of the foxes to frame the lettering. Her work is playful and cute with a hint of fold about them.  I also really love her texturing on the foxes, the subtle texture of fuzziness which it cannot be told if it’s from being hand printed of done digitally.

I do wonder however if the foxes obscure the text too much and if it would have been better to cut down on the number of them and simply have a few rather than so many. I think that is an unsuccessful factor of the design if it was intended more to be read or be a piece of lettering on a piece of work. Unless that was the intention of the work that would be a thing i would change about this piece.

I do like the muted colours, I think the varying muted tones of the foxes work well with the rest of the grey type behind them.

I think inspiration is about working, developing your own work further, getting ideas within your own work. But of course seeing great work can be inspiring too. Nature and flowers can be a source of inspiration too. (

Rosenqvist is obviously a illustrator inspired by nature sd she uses it for a lot of the subjects in her work, flora and fruit are often very comman subjects in her work, animals too. She uses people not as much.


FMP- One Night, Far From Here


Julia Wauters’s book seeks to educate children about the animal kingdom. She is the illustrator of popular French children’s books The Legend of Father Christmas and My Little Old Manand is the co-founder of renowned illustration magazine Ecarquillettes. This books One Night, Far From Here is her first book for Flying Eye Books.

It’s night-time, a hush has descended and a handful of insects buzz around in the deep blue sky, but as the pages of this beautiful book turn, day breaks and the animals begin to stir.

The book is fascinating as if contains transparent pages that peel away to reveal the creatures that live in our world and the types of creatures the live there. The book takes place in a variety of settings, including the forrest, the desert, under the sea, etc.


The text is short and descriptive which is good for it’s target audience of chilfren. The aim of the book is to search for each animal, however contra to most similar books, the animals are not really hiding. The skill children learn from this look is to use the description to identify many of the species and find the right ones. The book is beautifully illustrated and the novelty of the transparent pages really make this a book appealing not to children but to adults as well, whom will be the ones actually buying to book. The book is both a mixture of educational but also very aesthetically pleasing. It teaches a lot of useful information to children wild life and habitats. The book is also designed very well for children as the transparent pages are nearly impossible to accidentally damage, and the paper pages are very thick and sturdy, making them well suited to the small hands of children. Which is a good thing as children wouldn’t be able to da,age it too easily, but also because it will last quite a long time, which is what parents also think about when buying a book for their children. They usually wish for a story book that can be read to their children again and again with no problems. It is also very easy to use with different age groups a toddler can enjoy searching for the animals, while older children can learn to identify the many different species, and perhaps be encouraged to find out more about the different habitats.