Happy international women’s day! To celebrate international women’s day we spoke to women across our three studios to talk about who inspires them, and what their best career advice is for those getting started in the industry. 

Laurie Giol - Junior 3D Generalist 

Who is your favourite woman in the industry?

“It's hard to say which female VFX professional I appreciate the most simply because women can sometimes be under-represented in creative and technical roles. I do however admire Victoria Alonso, who is a well known and respected producer on tonnes of blockbusters. She has an amazing career and  she was honored in 2017 with the Visual Effects Society Visionary Award.”

What advice would you give to someone looking to follow a similar career path?

“The way I see it, the VFX industry doesn't have a gender. Boys and girls can both love dragons and unicorns! So girls, don't listen to anyone who tells you that you can't or shouldn't succeed. The VFX industry is massive and growing everyday; we definitely need more women because they are just as talented as men. In my experience, sometimes it can be difficult to be a woman so you should be the last person to put yourself down. My advice would be to have confidence in yourself and your work, enjoy what you do and make friends while you're there.”

Isadora Morales - Storyboard Artist 

Who is your favourite woman in the industry?

“I don't really have one favourite person. I have great respect for all the female creators and storytellers that have finally gotten a chance to tell their own stories in a world that doesn't give us many opportunities. People like Rebecca Sugar (Steven Universe), Lauren Faust (My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic) and Daron Leah Nefcy (Star against the Forces of Evil) are certainly inspirations to me. 

On a more personal level though, there are plenty of incredibly dedicated and talented women with whom I've had the pleasure to work with and learn from. They are making their way into the business now, like myself, and their drive and passion shows beautifully through their work. They are amazing art directors like Kirsten Shiel and Sarah Guedes; creators and animators like Fernanda Valverde and Giulia Raniolo; and fellow board artists, like Antonella Maringolla and Myriam Fourati. There are many (many!) more, of course, and I want to follow their careers for many years to come.”

What advice would you give to someone looking to follow a similar career path?

“My advice would be to follow the path you want, despite society's expectations, and just prove them wrong if they doubt your skills. In my experience, competency and confidence go a long way, even if sometimes we have to put up with backhanded compliments and a very male dominated environment. The industry is changing, things are improving constantly and just by being here we help change people's minds.”

Ivelina Dobreva - Compositing Supervisor 

Who is your favourite woman in the industry?

“Working in VFX fills my life with challenges, frustrations and achievements and I find inspiration  in each member of the team - men and women. It's about time we focus on the talent rather than the gender, this way we'll have more time to create beautiful images.”

What advice would you give to someone looking to follow a similar career path?

“Just make sure you love what you do and the rest will sort itself out!”

Branimira Yordanova - Realtime Lighting/Compositing Artist

Who is your favourite woman in the industry?

“I'd like to shine a spotlight on Naoko Yamada - a 2D animator and director working in Kyoto Animation. Her first ever directed film won her the New Face Award at the Japan Media Arts Festival - given to animation's best up-and-coming director. Only 35, yet she's already made a name for herself for her ability to draw authentic emotion from everyday mundane situations, and get the audience truly invested in what is happening on screen. A master of silent storytelling, she can convey the characters' emotions just through her camera work. Her latest film - A Silent Voice (2016) explores communication through non verbal expression. It's the story of a deaf girl who cannot speak and one that is perfect for Yamada's style. If you have some spare time please give it a watch. It's a slow burner of a film that will leave you bawling your eyes out by the end. But who doesn't love crying to a good movie!”

What advice would you give to someone looking to follow a similar career path?

“My advice for entering the industry would be the same as for anyone pursuing their dream job - do the best you can with the cards you've been given - keep moving forward! And hope you're as lucky as I was with the people you meet along your way. Sarcastic jokes seem to help as well!”