Annie Atkins is a graphic design guru in the film industry and one of my idols. Tucked away in Dublin, Ireland, she has a glorious little studio full of mementos and curiosities. I have followed Annie’s work since my university days dreaming that one day I could dive into a graphic world as rich as hers.
A few times a year, Annie hosts a graphic design for filmmaking workshop – something I always dreamed of attending but never thought I would be able to do before I moved to London. So when she announced a workshop, I jumped on the opportunity while I still live close by!!
The class of students is small – only about 10 of us filled the room for the winter weekend and it was perfect. Annie and her studio assistants welcomed us with festive cakes, tea, and pastries upon our arrival as it was Christmas time. On each of our workstations lay a worksheet packet, pens, pencils, and other knick-knacks needed for the weekend. The most unique part of the workshop? No computers allowed! That’s right. No Photoshop, Illustrator, Google, or Pinterest… just our imagination. What a concept.
The script and the design meet.
We proceed to learn how to break down a script, dissect movie scenes, and research historical references. Then we got hands-on by aging paper, making postage stamps from scratch, crafting snarky telegrams, and forging old celebrity passports. My favorite project was inventing an old British theatre called The Sunspel and drawing up plans for a stained glass entrance sign.
I’ll forever be inspired by filmmaking and all the imaginative worlds that can be brought to life with graphic props. While my career isn’t necessarily leading me in that direction at the moment, I will take everything I have learned with Annie Atkins into my work as a brand designer. Taking time to create a full vision off of the computer, pulling from historical research, and stepping into a mindset of infinite possibilities. Who knows maybe I’ll do some volunteer work for an Art Department one day soon!
Interested in joining a workshop?
Keep an eye on Annie’s website.