Written on Sep 15th by Katy Davis | Post a comment!

I thought it was time for an update as I’ve been unusually quiet for the last couple of months…

Have you seen my most recent animation, “Meditation 101: A Beginner’s Guide”?

I’ve actually been commissioned by Happify to create five animations and two promo videos for website. I finished the second video in mid-August and then I took some time off – 5 weeks in all – as I had some visitors over from Australia.

It’s been a busy time as we’ve tried to see as much as we could, this side of the world:

England, including Bristol and Bath…









and Paris…


As you can imagine, we’re all pretty worn out now. But it’s been amazing that’s for sure, and we’ve been especially lucky with the weather!

During my time away I’ve received a few amazing accolades.

I received an exciting email from the Reel Health Film Festival stating, “Happily, I can say that ‘Blame’ has been chosen for the Official Selection for this year’s festival. Of greater significance, I can also happily say that ‘We’re Having a Baby’ has been adjudged the Category Winner for the Creative Award.”

You can read more about the Reel Health Film Festival and my great news here:

Reel Health Awards

I also received the amazing news that my RSA animation ‘Blame’ has been chosen to be screened at Raindance Film Festival this year. I’m extremely excited about attending the event and so happy to be a part of it.


‘Meant to Be’ has been chosen for Anim’est.

‘The Power Of Empathy’ has been chosen as a EWAAC 2015 finalist. There will be an online showcase for this award and the public will decide the winners.

‘Blame’ was chosen for the final shortlist for the World Illustration Awards.

So not a bad couple of months, eh?

As the sun is beginning to hide behind the rainy clouds, my time off has come to an end and from now until Christmas I will be shut away behind a desk, with tea on tap, completing three more animations for Happify.

I will of course keep you updated with my progress and let you know when the animations become publicly shared.

I hope you’ve all had a wonderful summer too. Much love.

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Written on Aug 7th by Katy Davis | Post a comment!

New animation!

Here’s one for the kids. And the grown up kids.

Today is the perfect day for an adventure.

This is a music video I was commissioned to make for JJ Heller‘s song “Meant To Be”.

JJ and her husband Dave got in touch as they wanted a music video made in time for the release of their new album.  The opening request was “The words that we’d love associated with the video are charming, clever and adorable. We’d love it to: 1) be the kind of video that is hard to turn away from because it’s so much fun to keep watching. 2) insert humour as much as we can. 3) for children to enjoy watching as much as adults.”

JJ and Dave had a pre-prepared script and were eager to chat through ideas with me. Initially they had written a story about two foxes but we agreed to change them to be squirrels as one of my recent videos “The Power Of Empathy” had featured a fox (so it was nice to do something different!) – plus we agreed that the idea of these characters living in a big tree house in the woods would be super fun!

After a few minor tweaks to the script, I began by designing the characters. Then on to colour choices…

Squirrel character designs

The animation was hand-drawn, pen on paper, and cleaned and coloured digitally. There’s 1150 individual illustrations in total (let alone layered Photoshop files).

I was in full head-down-work-work-work mode, and clearly wasn’t paying my dog enough attention.

Gypsy and drawings

The video took 32 days to create and it was a pleasure working with JJ and Dave.

You can get the song “Meant To Be” instantly on iTunes when you pre-order JJ Heller’s album “Sound of a Living Heart” for just $8.99 at

You can also order the CD from

The new record releases on 21/08/15.

Meant To Be

Meant To Be

Meant To Be

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Written on May 8th by Katy Davis | Post a comment!

I often have students write to me to ask questions about my process. One question that comes up a lot is how long it takes me to complete an animation.

For every job that I do I record the hours that I work – it means that I can charge my clients fairly (charging them for 5 hours instead of a whole day if I’ve only done 5 hours of actual work) and also for my own benefit, so I can see how long things take me to do (this also helps me quote for future jobs).

Each animation takes a different amount of time considering the complexity, background detail, number of characters, etc. I thought I’d share with you my ‘working hours’ file for my animation ‘The Power Of Empathy’ – which was completed over 30 days.

As you can see, I don’t work a strict Mon-Fri 9-5!

Working hours

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Written on Dec 28th by Katy Davis | Post a comment!

2014 has been such a fantastic year for me. In September I became a real grown up and bought my first house with my main man Billmund.

And after just a week in our new house, we decided to share our lovely home with a rescue pup, Gypsy. I have wanted a dog FOREVER and although she makes it difficult to have uninterrupted work-time, I love her to bits. She makes me laugh every day, and we love our walks together in the Bristol countryside.


This year I have been taken on by two agencies, The Gate Films (I am a member of their new animation wing, Pen Animation) and The Crewing Company.

With the madness of moving house, getting a new puppy, I’ve actually been too busy to work with my new agencies, however I hope to complete some successful projects with them in 2015.

Here’s a look back at the work that I completed in 2014:

Animation commissions

Green Century – Fossil Fuel Free Funding

I was commissioned by Fenton, a social change communications agency based in New York, to create an animation for Green Century. The animation was designed to promote Fossil Fuel Free Funding. Read more about this project HERE.

RSA Shorts: Jody Williams, “Anyone Can Change The World”

In April of this year the RSA got back in touch with me, asking me to create another animation – this time bringing to life an audio snippet from Nobel Peace Prize winner Jody Williams. View full project HERE and read a write-up from Open Culture HERE.

Together For Short Lives

I designed and animated a video (working alongside Hurricane Media) for Together For Short Lives. View full project HERE.

Gas Safety Aware

This was a fun project to work on as I was asked to bring Billmund’s illustrations to life.

For Gas Safety Week 2014, Gas Safe Register ran a competition called ‘My Gas Safe Hero’ and the overall winner, Poppy, had had her entry made into a short animation (by me!) which was shown at the Gas Safety Week launch event at the House of Commons.

View full project HERE.

Vision Sting

Bristol Media asked me to create a quick sting for their Vision Bristol event in November.

The Vision event gives the public two days to soak up ideas, inspiration and creativity via talks and social gatherings. For the video, they wanted their logo, a slogan and then the sponsor logos to repeat in a loop. I kept with the creative theme and used these ideas to create each element appear and disappear; brush strokes, scalpel, graffiti paint spray, etc.

RSA Brene Brown ‘Blame’

*Just finished animating!* I’m excited to announce that I’ve just finished a new RSA/Brene Brown animation, which should be launching in the waking days of 2015. Keep an eye out!

Illustration commissions

Mindful Attention Training

I designed and illustrated this cover for a “Mindful Attention Training” programme for a secondary school in Perth, Australia

MAT illustration

Wiltshire Heritage Museum board game

After working with the Willtshire Museum in 2013 on their children’s displays and family friendly trail (view full project HERE), they contacted me again to ask if I would design a board game for them. It was great fun to create.

Wiltshire Museum board game

Personal Illustration

Lucy & Laura Wedding Gift

I created this artwork as a wedding gift for two of my close friends. View full project HERE.

Lucy & Laura


I had completed and published my animation ‘RSA Shorts: Dr Brené Brown, “The Power of Empathy”’ in December 2013, and 2014 was the year to push it out into the big wide world and share it with as many people as possible.

The video had gained over 1.25 million views in just 10 days when it was first shared, and a year later has pushed to over three million views. The RSA and myself have been blown away by the fantastic feedback, and people are still emailing me today saying how much they love the animation and message.

The video was screened at a number of Film Festivals across the world, and it was highly received. In fact, it did so well that I received some extraordinary accolades…

Webby honoree. Read about this HERE.

Webby honoree

Industry Award winner at the SheSays Awards. Read about this HERE.

SheSays Award

Triple award winner at the BrandYou AwardsAdvertising, Animation & FX, and Viral Content. Read about this HERE.

BrandYou Awards

I was shortlisted for the AOI awards, and my animation was selected to be part of the AOI Illustration exhibition at Somerset House in London from 2 October – 2 November 2014. You can read more about this HERE.

The Power Of Empathy at AOI


In November, I was invited to have a Skype chat with the students at THINK Global School in Auckland, New Zealand. One of the students has just sent me a link to a blog she’s written about our chat. Read it HERE.

I’m thrilled to say that I’m going to be part of Showcase 100, “a juried exhibition and publication of 100 illustrations from some of the best professional illustrators working in the industry today.” The exhibition will be held from 7-11 April 2015 at The Framer’s Gallery in central London. The final 100 artworks will be on display and available to purchase at the show, as will the accompanying book. See their Facebook event HERE.

Stay tuned for news of more exciting projects in 2015 like this blog i have planned. Happy New Year!

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Written on Oct 10th by Katy Davis | Post a comment!

Do you submit your films/animations to festivals? And do you pay money to do so?

People often ask me how I win awards (usually fellow artists wanting to promote themselves) and they ask if I had been ‘chosen’ for the award. Nope! I spend a lot of time, and a lot of money, hunting down ways to promote my work, and ways to get as many people to see it as possible.

In December last year I completed an animation for the RSA, “The Power Of Empathy”.

This animation received well over one million views on YouTube in just a week, and is now creeping up to three million views. I was blown away by how many people loved the clip.

I thought that if ever I was going to push one of my animations on the film festival front, this was the one.

Some festivals charge a fee for film submissions. Some are free. These days a lot of ‘free festivals’ require you to submit via websites like withoutabox, FestHome and eHomeRemedies – which often charge a pound or two for your online screener. If you’re submitting to a few festivals, this all adds up. For those of you who aren’t filmmakers/animators, note that if you pay to submit to a festival you will never see that money again whether you are, or are not selected for screening. A lot of your money can potentially be spent on absolutely nothing.


Here’s a breakdown of costs for the submissions I made:

RSA Shorts: Dr Brené Brown, “The Power of Empathy” Festival Submissions

Festivals entered: 51

Animation selected for/screened at: 12

Awards won: 1 (SheSays award – this was free to submit to)

Animation not selected for: 27

Festivals I haven’t even heard back from, despite emailing numerous times: 12

Total money spent on entering these festivals: £320.41

Breakdown of fees:

Festivals I was selected for:

£1.84 to third party websites in order to submit to ‘free festivals’

£47.92 direct to festivals

Festivals I was not selected for:

£6.57 to third party websites in order to submit to ‘free festivals’

£178.96 direct to festivals

Festivals I haven’t even heard back from, despite emailing numerous times:

£7.88 to third party websites in order to submit to ‘free festivals’

£77.24 direct to festivals


Film festivals are BLOODY BRILLIANT and I try to go to as many as I can. It’s so fantastic to watch people’s imaginations right there, on a huge screen, in front of you.

Festivals need money for venue hire, projectors, awards (sometimes!) and promotion, but more often than not these fees are paid for by the filmmakers. Some festivals also charge the public to pay to see the films (they do not reimburse filmmakers with any of their profits) – while others think it should be free, to encourage people to enjoy the arts (good!). Is there another way to fund these events?! I would hate for film festivals to cease to exist, however I think it’s crazy that it’s the filmmakers who have to pay for them. We already spend a considerable amount of time making the work (often non-profit personal projects), time filling out forms for the submission process, and now money to be part of it all too? Give us a break! The film festivals would not exist without our work.

The worst though, and what has been rubbing me up the wrong way today, is festivals/events/companies that charge a LOT of money for submissions, and then don’t even have the courtesy of letting you know if you have been selected or not.

One company in particular, mentioning no names of course, emailed me specifically saying “We greatly value your work, as demonstrated when we recently featured you in _________, and hope that you’ll enter the Awards. They are a great opportunity for you to be recognised for outstanding work and to be seen by our millions of readers.” This man went on to personally say that as they had featured my work (used my work on their website front page), that I would have a great chance in winning an award… blah… blah… blah…

These guys were charging $100 to submit work. As I had received this email and it was so personal and encouraging, I scraped my pennies together and went for it. Time passed… and I never heard from them again. I have been on their website and seen that they have chosen the shortlisted projects and are making progress with their event. I don’t mind not winning things – that’s part and parcel of life! You try, sometimes you win, sometimes you loose. But you’re part of it all, and that’s fantastic. My beef is the rudeness, and lack of appreciation from some companies. When you spend $100 on entering something like this, you at least expect to get a courtesy email saying if you have got through or not. Like… $100… sent to somebody… and then… NOTHING. Not one measly email.

If a company is going to get in touch, encourage people to send them $100 and then never speak to them again, then it’s just spam. If you look at the broader picture, to have their event they must have hundreds of entries all paying $100 each. Why is this such an excessive amount? Their primary motivation is monetary: they care about profits, not about creativity and innovation. These companies can, and will prey on vulnerable artists that crave acknowledgment. It’s criminal.

Companies that have free submissions and actively support and celebrate artists deserve huge recognition and gratification, and the other ones that are rude money-grabbers should be pointed out to artists, and forgotten.

I still want to be part of the hustle and bustle of the industry – to attend events and festivals  – but my happiness about submitting to festivals is slowly being drained.





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Written on Sep 16th by Katy Davis | Post a comment!

Did you know it was Gas Safe Week this week? I’ve been working on a really fun animation to celebrate and educate people about being Gas Safe Aware.

For Gas Safety Week 2014, Gas Safe Register ran a competition called ‘My Gas Safe Hero’ and called upon registered engineers to get their family involved!

Children aged between 4-12 who had a relative or family friend that was Gas Safe registered were invited to submit a picture or short story that depicted their relative or family friend helping to keep the community, or a particular family, gas safe.

They received over 40 fantastic and adorable entries. You can see them all HERE!

Four pictures/short stories were shortlisted, and were turned into comic strips by the fantastically talented illustrator Billmund.








The overall winner, Poppy, had had her entry made into a short animation (by me!) which was shown at the Gas Safety Week launch event at the House of Commons.


Script: Poppy Worthington Harris (age 10)

Comic illustration: Billmund

Animation: Katy Davis


Read more about being gas safe:

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