Caitlin McCarthy creates playful 2D animations. Her Instagram Feed is filled with surreal and silly GIFs and quirky characters. McCarthy doesn’t see her work as particularly cerebral – she says she has a teenager’s sense of humour and has been left with a short attention span after spending her formative years trawling “the armpits” of the web.
“The way I draw is pretty cutesy, but I try to avoid anything too straightforwardly sweet,” she explains. “I really, really suffer when I’m trying to be earnest and heartfelt!… I don’t think there’s anything wrong in going for a quick cheap laugh.”
McCarthy studied illustration at university and moved into animation after working with director Rob Wallace (aka parallel teeth) on a video for musician Merk’s track, I’m Easy. “It was a really fun process, just generating loads of looping characters and objects. Rob has taught me most of what I know about animation!” she adds.
McCarthy’s animation for The School of Life
McCarthy collaborated with director Parallel Teeth on the video for Merk’s track, I’m Easy
Since then, she has worked on films for Selfridges and The School of Life and has just finished creating an animated segment about female orgasms for Vox’s Netflix series, Explained.
McCarthy animates digitally, but hand paints frames wherever possible. “The whole hand-drawn look of my stuff is a mixture of aesthetic choice and necessity. I was never formally trained in animation, so I embrace and sometimes play up the wiggly, janky look that comes naturally from not really knowing the 12 principles!”
She enjoys animating to voiceovers and music: “It’s fun to come up with unconventional ways of illustrating what someone’s saying, but still having it make sense with the audio, or trying to come up with visual ways to describe a feeling,” she adds.
She is also working on her first short film, about a teenage girl’s quest to make a cold sore – a project she says is “heavily inspired by teen makeover movies” – and would like to experiment with animating to a piece of music.
New Talent is part of Inspire, a partnership between Creative Review, Facebook and Instagram showcasing outstanding creative work across both platforms. More advice and inspiration for creatives using Facebook and Instagram is available at facebook.com/ads/creativehub.You can follow Caitlin McCarthy on Instagram (@c8l.in) or see more of her work at c8l.in.