Celebrating Women in Animation
Random42 consists of scientists, artists, animators, and programmers, who collaborate to effortlessly intertwine the worlds of science, art, and technology, producing some of the most impactful scientific imagery, stories, and interactive experiences. Our animation team is made up of talented individuals whose creative flare and passion for the arts shine through in the outstanding animations they produce. We are proud to have a team of artists with exceptional visual imaginations and originality to bring science to life, making challenging medical concepts clear, concise, and engaging!
We have many inspiring female animators in our team who have all built successful careers within the animation industry. At Random42, we believe it is crucial to motivate women of all ages into the world of animation. Astoundingly, only 20% of animation creatives are women, something Women In Animation (WIA) is dedicated to changing with the 50/50 by 2025 mission. Founded in 1995, WIA is the only organization dedicated to advancing women in the field of animation. Their vision is a world where women share equally in the creation, production, and rewards of animation, providing resources and connections to help make it happen.
We are committed to upholding this mission and the aims of inspiring, promoting, and encouraging equal access to jobs in animation, gender equality, and female empowerment. We will continue supporting and recognizing all the amazing women in animation at Random42 and within the industry.
We would like to showcase the wonderful female creatives in our team as they share their own experiences, thoughts, and inspirations on why celebrating women in animation is so important…
Nicola Alexander – Art Director
3D Digital Animation – The University of Hertfordshire
To be a cliché, I have always loved animation. As a kid, I would pause The Lion King on video and draw my favourite parts of the film (not the bit where Mufasa dies). After graduating in 3D Animation at The University of Hertfordshire back in 2014, I joined Random42. It was a much smaller company back then, with just one other female artist who helped me discover my strengths and confidence. After three years at Random42, I was happy to see how many new female artists had joined and grown in the company. I then pursued working in film and TV as a Lighting Technical Director. My first film was The Lion King, where I was guided by a female artist throughout my time at MPC. This pursuit helped me broaden my understanding of animation and what it meant to be a female in such a young, growing industry. I was lucky enough to be taught by various female mid and lead artists during my time in film, who gave me confidence that women could make a huge impact on Blockbuster films, as well as impacting other female artists in a positive way. I admired them for their inspiring attitude toward helping other artists, as well as how far they had come individually, when not as many females were in their position. After getting such exciting opportunities to work at DNEG and MPC, on films such as ‘No Time to Die’, ‘Fast and Furious’, ‘Prehistoric Planet’ and even ‘Cats’… I returned to Random42 as an Art Director. To now be in a position where I can help shape and encourage other female artists’ journeys is something that I think is so important in the animation industry as a woman. And ultimately, I feel that the industry is continually becoming a more balanced and approachable career path for women who love animation.
Liz Peach – Lead Artist
BA (Hons) Computer Animation Arts – Bournemouth University
One of my hopes about getting a career in computer animation was the idea that you are judged solely on the work you produce, and not on who you are. This may not always be the case, but over time I believe the industry’s diversity and inclusivity has been improving. During one of my earliest jobs in the animation industry, a director I was working under was fairly surprised to hear that there were other women on my animation degree. According to him, he’d only worked with a few women in his lengthy career. On graduating, I was asked at a few interviews why someone with an outgoing personality would want to be sat in front of a PC all day, not interacting with people, doing a role like producing, instead of having a more technical role like a generalist. There are issues that arise when a company is not diverse, some places still see breaks in career for child-rearing/care of family members to be viewed as something to question, or as a red flag in their career, when this obviously should not be restrictive to career progression, man or woman. I can only hope that the people joining the industry now experience fewer issues and unnecessarily judgemental questions. There is no reason for animation not to be diverse, this diversity can only grow the skills and experiences brought to the field.
Daria Pankeeva – Junior 3D Generalist
BA (Hons) Animation – University of the Arts London
MA 3D Computer Animation – Bournemouth University
Since my early childhood, I have always been drawing and sculpting and creating stories. I have always found it interesting to tell stories through drawings or sculptures. Having an influence from artists in my family on my mother’s side and science from my father, animation, especially 3D computer animation, became my profession, a combination of both art and science. Moreover, my father’s research in biophysics encouraged me to work in medical and scientific animation at Random42. During my studies at both the University of the Arts and Bournemouth University, there were a lot of talented female animation directors and artists who always inspired me not only with their work but also with their creative career paths which served as motivation for my career.
Stefanie Chrysostomou – Senior 3D Generalist
BA (Hons) Computer Visualisation and Animation – Bournemouth University
MA Digital Effects – Bournemouth University
As a child, I was always highly ambitious and creative. Growing up watching Disney films, I was blown away by the combination of color, motion, and sound and how it all came together to tell a story, this is what inspired me to pursue a career in the industry. Animation to me is the ability to bring any idea to life, not only for entertainment but also to relay important messages to the world. It is the absolute freedom to visualize brand-new concepts and set your own challenges in a never-ending learning journey. Getting through University, the gender gap was very noticeable, even more so when joining the industry. However, having mostly male mentors and supervisors did not affect the overall experience in a negative way. I am so grateful for everyone who has given me guidance and been a part of my career. As a woman in animation, I feel incredibly proud to have a job that I’m so passionate about and to share this journey with so many other talented individuals. My hopes for the future are to finally see the numbers shift and for more women to join the industry.
Sarah Padley – Mid 3D Generalist
BA (Hons) 3D Computer Animation and Modelling – University of Hertfordshire
When I was growing up, I always enjoyed the sciences, biology in particular, so when it came to getting a job and further education it was a toss-up between the two. After hearing all my mum’s stories about being a nurse, I decided art was more for me, although now I have the best of both worlds here at Random42. Something that makes 3D more appealing as a career is that the work is what does the talking, so I get to hide behind a screen all day rather than doing a more front-of-house role. Despite my lack of confidence and anxieties, I have always been fortunate to be surrounded by talented, supportive people, both male and female, at University and here at Random42. The VFX industry has always been a welcoming one to me, but it is nice to see it improving for women in particular, as more women rise to leadership positions, as well as the ever-growing number of events to support women in this industry.
Emma Le Good – Lead Artist
BA (Hons) Computer Animation Art – University of Bournemouth
I joined the animation industry after studying at Bournemouth university and got my first job in 2017. At this time, there were far more men in senior roles than women and so many of my role models have been men. When I started at MPC, I was fortunate to have Thomas as my lead who taught me about training my artistic eye and attention to detail. When I was a new artist at Dneg I had the delightful opportunity to work with Ajay who was part of the lighting team, whose patience and talent inspired me. Each of my role models have given me perspective and advice that have shaped how I work today and continue to do so in my work at Random42 as a Lead Artist. Due to the greater balance of gender in the office at Random42, there is a great support system, creating a very successful group. I believe that sharing my career path and personal experience is a good way to support and encourage women to either enter or continue and progress into more senior roles in the animation industry and I wish them all luck.
This article highlights how important role models were to Random42’s women in animation throughout their upbringing, education, and careers, and how there is a crucial need for young women to have role models as a part of their support network.
A massive thank you to our female creatives, who have helped share some very inspiring ideas about the importance of celebrating and supporting all women and girls in animation!
If you would like to join the cause to make it 50/50 by 2025, then you can sign WIA’s pledge here.
If you are interested in a career in animation with Random42, please view our jobs page to see our current opportunities.