This portfolio includes a collection of illustrations, character design, and a selection of stop-motion and animatronic puppets made by Sarah Spendlove. Illustrator Character Designer Stop Motion & Animatronic Puppet Maker
‘Grumpy Bunny’ - Watercolour & Inks
‘Animatronic Puppetry’ - Animatronic Squirrel
Animatronic Puppets As a slight divergence from stopmotion puppetry, I decided to look at the internal workings from a more mechanical point of view. It was an enjoyable challenge working out how to animate a character live, and make sure that each part was durable enough for an animated sequence of up to 10 seconds on an infinite loop. The film ‘Animatronic Puppetry’ is a documentation of the mechanisms in action, within a neutral space. This helps to focus the viewer on the texture of the felts used, and the subtle movements otherwise missed in a busy environment.
Needle Felted Ellie Prototype Reading
About Me... Originally from Shropshire, I grew up drawing and painting in my parents art shop, and eventually developed my drawing and illustrative style, alongside my newly aquired stop-motion modelling skills that let me enroll at Bristol’s UWE BA(Hons) Animation course. I have since gained advanced skills within stop motion and animatronic modelling, including moulding, casting, and fabrication. Alongside the university training I also gained experience at Aardman’s model making department working on Shaun the Sheep, and credited work at Tiny Elephants Animation Ltd on the music video ‘Mothers Song’, currently screening at international film festivals.
Still from ‘Animatronic Puppetry’ Documentary
I am now a self employed Illustrator, successfully selling my own brand of illustration based gift cards and prints in local markets and online. Most of the characters I develop are designed for a young age range, including a variety of animals. My ‘flagship’ character is Ellie, a little girl who goes on adventures such as exploring the wild woods in search of creepy crawlies. I originally made her as a stop motion puppet, and recently, I have completed a life size version of her as an animatronic puppet.
Illustration The subjects and mediums I use vary, but I feel that I have finally found my own style of drawing, which I use to great effect. My preference of medium is watercolour and ink, combined to make slightly naive, cartoon-like characters and locations. This has helped me to create a successful income, by attracting audiences of children, and adults looking for something cute and cuddly. I have taken several commissions and have recently released my own children’s book ‘A Walk In The Woods’. The book features a sequence of events played out over double page spreads. I am also beginning to expand my illustration medium towards screen printing onto fabrics and block printing.
‘Karla’ - Watercolour & Inks
‘Ellie & Hedgehog’ - Watercolour & Inks
Ellie - Stop Motion Puppet
Stop-Motion Puppets During my studies at UWE and work experience in stop motion studios, I have learnt a great deal about the construction and application of stop motion puppets, including mold making, casting and fabrication. I have created puppets out of plasticine, foam latex, ceramics and needle felted wool, using internal alluminium wire skeletons with tie-downs. The challenging art of making stop motion puppets is one I hope to master in time. Overall, I have enough of an understanding in each section of cunstruction to confidently create and replicate commission puppets for both small and large companies in the animation industry.
Wire & Polymorph Armatures
‘Snail’ Clay Sculpt
‘Man’ - WarTorn Short Film
‘Doormouse on Holly’ - Watercolour & Inks
Character Designer As an expansion of my illustrative background, I have developed my drawing to include variations of rough storyboard action shots and detailed concept design for characters within or seperate from their environment. I am able to apply my knowledge of physical anatomy succesfully to purposefully retain realism or surrealism in their movements, aswell as how to define them well enough in quick turnarounds and storyboards. Being able to quickly draw rough layouts and character actions has helped speed up the design element of my children’s book ilustrations. As a result, I was able to get feedback quickly and make alterations where nessecary, without wasting time obsessing over the tiny details until the overall layout was set.
‘Snail’ Character Design
‘Derek the Alien’ Character Design
‘Grumpy Gardener Tortoise’ Character Design
‘Ellie’s Adventures’ Character Design - Pencil & Inks