They say "you'll never forget your first", well that's certainly the case for us, as approximately this time last week, we won our first award...an Exeter Living Award.
We were shortlisted in the 'Creative Category', which is no mean feat in itself, when you start to consider all of the amazing creative businesses in and around the Exeter area, and if that had been where the spoils had ended, we would have left very happy mice indeed. However, the night had more in store than merely glitz and glamour!
When ever you are recognised for doing something that makes you stand out from the crowd, it of course gives you a warm fuzzy glow, however when we set out our business plan, it wasn't about the accolades, it was about how do we make a difference.
"When ever you are recognised for doing something that makes you stand out from the crowd, it of course gives you a warm fuzzy glow"
Its hard to imagine that our journey started 10 years ago, when a disenfranchised interior designer decided to completely change their career path, and start on a marvelous adventure. On the promise of winning an OSCAR, once he had completed his course, our creative director Dan, enrolled on a MA in Computer Animation at NCCA Bournemouth. Katie, our other director, would drop him off on her way to Southampton. Sometimes she'd pick him back up, sometimes he slept under the desk, sometimes he sofa surfed and on the very rare occasion he stayed in a hotel!
But study he did, and his efforts were rewarded with not only passing the course, having never studied computer animation before, but with an internship at the BAFTA and Emmy award winning studio Jelly Fish Pictures. Fast forward 8 years and the life of a freelancer had started to take its toll, and as such Yellow Mouse Studios was born.
Our desire for the studio right from the start, was to be creative and make a difference. We would ask ourselves the same questions - Why does awesome animation have to come from London or Bristol? Why should local students leaving their studies be forced to move away to get work? And from this simple business plan our studio started to grow!
In the last year we have moved from a home studio, to a town centre property. We have seen students from year 10 to university graduates come through our doors, so they can get a taste of what it's like to be an animator. We've presented to students in Manchester and Exeter, been on animation commission panels, and most importantly, been able to offer work to four Plymouth College of Art animation students.
Team YMS continues to go from strength to strength. Our sometimes quirky full service animation studio has recently worked on an indie horror film and projects for international brands. We look different from most small studios, and we are starting to be recognised for that. We have also become a beacon for young females wanting to discover animation, as our team is mostly female, which is again something to be proud of.
So after 10 years in animation, we may not have that OSCAR yet, it is still very much 'Work in Progress', but what we do have is a local recognition award, and that's more than good enough for now!