Foxy used to be a tree surgeon. High up there among the branches he would think about characters and storyboards, coming down to illustrate his own books. With no formal training in design, but a desire to learn more about it, he took his book to Deepend and landed himself a job.
‘Foxy had some great illustrations,’ says David Streek, aka Gravy, Deepend’s design director. ‘And the fact that he was self-taught is irrelevant.’ Drawing on the buzzing, multi-disciplinary atmosphere of the consultancy, Foxy soon learned to look over the shoulders of his team mates and started using software like the Shockwave animation package. ‘Everything I learnt before I came here I learnt myself,’ he says. ‘The advantage now is that I have all this computer equipment available.’
Illustration for Deepend includes the Cartoon Network site (www.cartoonnetwork.com), whose sub-site has animated short films and games, and the Rapido production company site (www.rapido.co.uk). All his work is done directly on screen ‘because it will inevitably end up there’. He created some original characters for the Cartoon network site.
Picking up on another interest from a previous job in a sports TV library, Foxy now also tries his hand at music, using Deepend’s state- of-the-art music facilities and crossing over into projects which may need film scores. He has composed music for Metropolis, an interactive project for a London property developer, and contributed to a short film by Anthony Alleyne, The Booth, for which he wrote the score and the story board.
‘There was a point in which I almost reached a perfect triangle,’ says Foxy of his illustration/animation/music skills. ‘But now I tend to do more illustration and animation.’ So far, he hasn’t used all his audio and image skills together for Web work; he finds that the Internet is not the ideal medium for music. But with interactive TV and digital video booming, his talents will have the opportunity to flourish.