Gabriella Marsh is an award winning animation director and illustrator from London

Gabriella Marsh is an award winning animation director and illustrator from London. She’s committed to collaborating with organisations that have a positive social impact. She works alongside clients to disseminate their research into animated films/ illustrations/storyboards… or whatever is the appropriate medium to transmit abstract concepts into beautiful and engaging publications.

Gabriella already has a stellar list of clients including: BBC, Tate, The World Health Organisation, WWF, The School of Life, Cambridge University, Autism Research Centre, Channel 4, Hackney Council, Wool & The Gang, 72andSunny, Forum for the Future and MACBA.

Here's where we found out a little more in our regular Q&A...

When did you start illustrating?

Professionally in 2014.

Who has been the most supportive in your illustration career, perhaps your teacher, family, friends?

My partner Jaime is the most patient person I know, he’s always willing to talk through a project when I’m stressing even if that’s at 4am and his advice is invariably spot on (even when it hurts to admit it). Also my friend Maya, is my biggest cheerleader, I’ve known her since I was four and I’ve never known a warmer soul.

Did you always think art was something that was going to be a major part of your life?

No, but I’m so glad it is! I was obsessed with war novels when I was younger and always thought I would do something with history, writing maybe? But illustration is a visual way of telling stories so I think I’m still telling stories it’s just a different medium.

What is your favourite subject matter to illustrate?

People, I’m an avid people watcher and steal most of my character ideas from real people I’ve sketched in the street.

How would you describe your style?

Human and joyful, I hope.

What is your favourite collaboration to date?

Earlier this year I worked with scientists from In Our Nature and the Barbican to animate a short film about how our separation from nature is at the root of the environmental catastrophe. Rather than a scientific chronology, we devised a narrative in which the earth gives birth to the first human and the film follows this child as it grows up and moves away from nature and discovers technology. The final part of the film illustrates the adult coming back into a healthy relationship with the Earth, technological advances and nature side by side. It was an intelligent and inspiring way to think about what’s happening on our planet right now and I think provides a welcome alternative rhetoric to what can sometimes be dismissed as a hopeless situation.

What interested you about being represented by Illo Agency?

Illo’s commitment to working with organisations that have a strong moral compass. I want to make work that children connect with, that challenges, inspires and makes them laugh all at the same time.

Do you have a favourite author, film director, or designer?

Zadie Smith, Michel Gondry and Saul Steinberg

Are you working on any personal projects you can share with us?

I’ve been working on a graphic novel about siblings who move from Malta to London to find work. It’s kind of about my own grandparents immigration story and also a farewell to Europe after Brexit. I think I’ll finish it in about ten years.

Do you listen to podcasts? If so, do you have a favourite?

Probably Radio Lab, the Oliver Sacks episode is especially brilliant.

If you have any questions or a specific project in mind, please do get in touch: [email protected]

Illo Agency represents a diverse mix of illustrators who champion good causes. Illo connects progressive brands with illustrators, designers and animators that have shared values.