Submarine Channel

Meet 14 Upcoming Talents: Playgrounds 2019

Playgrounds: The Art Department 2019 in Eindhoven was a blast. We got to interview some of the artists after their talks (see Leon Tukker, Mike Hill and John Nevarez). But we also pointed our camera and mic at the crowd. Meet 14 amazing and incredibly talented upcoming artists below. Find out what inspires them and where they see themselves in five years time!


Interviews: Yassin Karmoudi & Nola der Weduwe
Photos: Nola der Weduwe


Romee van der Schoot

“I am Romee van der Schoot and I am an animator and illustrator and I also work as a producer in the creative branch. But when I focus on my work, my heart is very much in the art direction.”

“As a graduation project I combined my passion for psychology with animation. Thematically I find it very interesting to choose themes surrounding the psyche of humans. When it comes to art direction, I often like to design things with a human touch vibe, so the imperfections are what attract me to art. It does not necessarily need to be too detailed.”

“I got my bachelors at the AKV st. Joost in animation where I tried almost everything. I did a lot of stop motion especially. I then took a gap year and discovered myself further and those themes came up a bit more. So I thought I’d do something with that. The year after that I did my master’s. There I was able to bring these themes together with a focus on 2D animation. And that is what I do now.”

“I think that I would have some sort of leadership role, so maybe an art director. Maybe of a larger series or maybe being a producer is also something I could do. Or the combination of these two. It also depends on what opportunities present themselves. As long as I can combine my passions, the vision will naturally shape itself in my future in art.”

Follow Romee: on Instagram


Sarah Pannekoek @zazsarah

“I’m Sarah Pannekoek and I am an illustrator, 2D animator, and comic artist. I studied at the Minerva Academy in Groningen and after that I did a master’s in Den Bosch at the AKV st. Joost. I just finished in September and now I am starting my own business. I would like to take on freelance and commissioned assignments and make editorial illustrations and animations. I think my work works very well for cultural things but also for education or social topics.”

“I always liked going to museums and liked making things and watching a lot of movies. I was always studying and making creative work. I also enjoyed building things, writing things, and inventing games. Throughout this process the illustration and storytelling side came up. There is often humor in my work with a kind of light positive tone. Sometimes it is a bit absurd as well.”

“I would really like to make a graphic novels and then either analog, so simply printed, or digitally. I also have a great desire to do something with cartoons. I would love to be a kind of happy new storyteller who creates and illustrates. I have many personal project ideas, but I also set up my own company and continue to recruit customers and build a network. That is also something I really like.”

Follow Sarah: on Instagram @zazsarah


Petar Topalov @petartopalovart

“My name is Petar Topalov and i’m from Bulgaria. I’ve mostly been working in film. I graduated from school as a director, but animation has always been my passion. I’ve been drawing ever since I was a little kid. I’m actually glad that I started with film though because now I approach animation as filmmaking.”

“I would really like to make short films. Maybe also feature length films, or maybe even TV series. I just really like telling stories. Usually they are fantasy stories and science fiction stories. I think this will fulfil my searching as an artist and hopefully people might be interested in my stories. So it’s kinda for me, but also for the audience because why would I be telling a story if there is no one to see it?”

“My two biggest inspirations are other artists and other films or books. I really love classical cinema. So Akira Kusama is a great inspiration for Japanese style art. I also really loved the films of David Fincher, especially fight club. It’s one of my favourite films. Even though it’s one of the big franchises, I also take inspiration from the Lord of the Rings. I really love that one because it has a fine balance of so much artistry. I think this is something you should always aspire to do, or what storytellers or entertainment should aspire to do, because we are a visual media.”

“Ideally I would like to work on different projects or even have my own YouTube channel or online platform because I don’t know if television is the right place for my work. Ideally I see myself getting a job at a studio. I would love to work in animation. Aside from that, it’s not really that important, but ideally I would like to have my own projects and to work on my own projects.”

Follow Petar: on Instagram @petartopalovart


Florian Herold @faherold

“My name is Florian Herold, I’m from Germany, I’m 27, and I’m working in the video games industry for about four years now. So I started out in 2016 at a German company called @daedalicentertainment. And then I took it from there and now I’m freelancing.”

“What I really like to do is fantasy. So fantasy illustration with realistic lighting, but super stylised, like pushed colours and stylised shapes. I love landscapes and do landscape illustration or environment design. I’m very much into colours, moods, and the atmosphere of a place and want to get that across.”

“The highlight, I guess has been the work for ‘Ori and the Will of the Wisps’. That has just been a crazy experience so far. It’s a huge team and we are working from all over the world so there’s no local studio anywhere, everybody is just on Skype.”

“I would love to go away someday maybe from video games and work on movies or shows. I’m happy right now, but it can all change. I just want to change it up and not get stuck in video games. I guess in five years from now, I will hopefully be on some kind of show or movie. Anything dark fantasy style, I love ‘Magic: The gathering’ for example, I haven’t worked for them yet, but that’s also one of my goals. Maybe you’ll see me there.”

Follow Florian: on Instagram @faherold


Anna Guglielmi Farris @annagfarris

“I am Anna. I studied graphic design in Venice and I did an MA in Animation at the St. Joost in Den Bosch. I have always been fascinated with animation.

“I was always surrounded by art. Since I was a kid because we had abstract art everywhere in my house. I really like animation because you can create your own world and show others through emotion and ideas. Animation is just magic and it makes me wonder all the time.

“My goal is to be able to create a story that’s not your typical story. I’m also interested in experimenting with non-linear stories. I want to became a proper animator because I still need to grow. In the future, the far future, I would like to be an art director.”

Follow Anna: on Instagram @annagfarris

Louise van Straten @lovastra

“I’m Louise van Straten. Online I call myself Lovastra. I am a 2D animator and character designer. I mostly specialise in development of characters and environments. So really the making of a story and what the story is about.”

“I started in illustration. During my bachelor year animation students often came up to me and asked me all these questions. But because I liked developing so much, I stayed with Illustration. In the Illustration department there was so much more focus on the thoughts and ideas behind a story compared to the  animation department, which was much more technique oriented.”

“I think it started when I was a kid, just watching movies. Animated movies were always my favourite. I don’t know, I loved the art style and what women could do for the story. I also have a passion for history, which is also about storytelling in my opinion. So yeah, I like stories, old legends. I love fairytales and folktales. So October is really a fun time for me.”

“My greatest success is my graduation project. I just graduated and I did a short animation about a historical figure – one of the first female archeologists. So I really like to combine my desire for animation and history, but I didn’t do it in an educational way. I told it as story.”

“I just graduated so I am a bit at a crossroads. What now? So I either want to work for a really fun company that embraces my creativity and where can really amplify my creativity. Or I’d like to work on major projects, like developing characters, stories and stuff like that with a team. Or I will be freelancer and I’ll be able to sustain myself through my work. And maybe I’ll have some time to develop new films like the one I did for my graduation.”

Follow Louise: on Instagram @lovastra


Iris van der Meule @irisvdmeule

“I’m Iris and I call myself a digital artists, but I have a very big focus on VR and VR storytelling. I’m really interested in researching how we tell stories in 360 degrees but also how we experience the story.”

“I did an animation bachelors and an animation masters where I learned how to tell the story on flat screen. So for me it was interesting to see how you experience that story when you are inside of it with your headsets. I also like to work with a social relevant topic because that is my style, to use VR to address or raise awareness on certain topics. When I had a VR headset on for the first time I was immediately blown away. Like whoa, I can feel present in a world that is completely fake. From that moment on, I actually decided to just do VR stuff. My first work was about 9/11. I thought this is something really big, but how can I make it sort of more poetical and neutral and turn it into a digital monument so that normal crowds can also pay their respects and remember this tragedy in a new way and well that’s how I got started.”

“I think the work presented here at ‘Playgrounds’, which is about MH17, is what I am most proud of because in this work I created a new strategy where the storytelling is nonlinear and you as the experiencer decides in what order you see scenes and how you will navigate the story. I think that’s very fitting for the medium VR because it’s an interactive medium. I think the viewer or spectator is supposed to be active instead of passively watching stuff in the VR environment.”

“I really hope to be a big VR pioneer artists that just creates a lot of VR experiences that are more creative, more art instead of only animation. I like animation as well, but for me, this fine art touch is something that I really like and like to see in VR.”

Follow Iris: on Instagram @irisvdmeule


Anne de Ronde @kipduif ⁣⁣

“I am Anne de Ronde and I call myself Anne Kipduif. That has a whole history in of itself but it doesn’t really matter. I mainly like to make work where I show dark creatures, kind of demons.”

“My greatest inspiration is nature, animals and plants. I find biology in general super interesting. I also studied this before I went to the art academy. Another big inspiration are the demons that I fight within myself. Sometimes this is a bit of a taboo, but it’s about mental health. I myself have a lot of fears restrict me from doing things. So I try to translate is into my work. I learn to deal with these emotions and that often leads to darker drawings.”

“So far I think my art has remained very personal. But I think it would be great to be able to go show my work to the world and with that remove a little of the taboo that comes with certain disorders, like anxiety or depression. These are things that a lot of people struggle with but that you can’t see and if I am able to make others understand through means of my art, that would be incredible to me.”

“Because the future is also one of the things that I find very exciting but also frightening I really hope to emerge stronger from my mental struggles so that I can help others overcome or deal with them as well. So a kind of experienced expert but also in an artistic way of helping people with that. That is the bigger picture for me.”

Follow Anne: on Instagram @kipduif


Laura Aldofredi @lauraaldofredi ⁣⁣

“Hello. I’m Laura, I am a from Italy, and I am an illustrator for children who recently graduated in animation. Something a bit more personal about me is that I’m in love with nature and animals and this one of my biggest inspirations for all my projects. If you look up my works, you can definitely see it.”

#childrensillustation ⁣⁣
“What I love the most is to bring out the poetic in everything, in every story and everyday life situations and visualise it in my own way. When I was much younger I started in fine arts, but I found fine arts way too conceptual for me and limited in expressing what was going on inside my head and I just wanted to tell stories. That’s why I got into illustration and eventually making children illustration, which was right fit for me.”

#5yearsforward ⁣⁣
“My goal is of course to keep working as animator. And my dream is to work for bigger productions and to hopefully visualise works for those production. I just want to keep working in the industry and having the chance to work on as many stories as I can. As an artist, I hope to have at least a one big film in my portfolio. And eventually I would love to be able to go back to my own country one day and open a big studio there because I feel it is missing a bit of the animation scene and I would love to be able to bring something that I can give to my other people. The possibility to work as animators or in stories.”

Follow Laura: on Instagram @lauraaldofredi ⁣⁣


Andres Cuevas @andresafk⁣⁣

“I’m from Bogota, Colombia, I’m 27 years old, and I’m a motion designer.”

“I originally came from an engineering study, but fell in love with animation so I kind of switched careers. I started at a small 3D studio where I got a very junior job as a render super assistants.”

“I would love to be working as a freelancer and be able to sort of choose clients and be very selective and being sought after because of my style. Just maybe being recognised because of a particular style, that is my goal.”

Follow Andres: on Instagram @andresafk⁣⁣


Gemma de Waard @gemmadewaard ⁣

“I’m Gemma and I’m from the Netherlands. I was an illustrator before for eight years and then I decide to do an animation Master. I graduated last year in September. Now I mainly make children’s book illustrations and some freelance commercial work in animation.”

#childrensbook ⁣
“I think my passion for illustration started when I was a small child and tried to make my own children’s book. I would write books myself and then make illustrations when I was maybe six years old. I also made a children’s book for the @efteling. I get a lot of my inspiration from nature, my surroundings, and friends. I like to hang out with friends and this always comes back in my illustrations. People who do activities together, going for picnic or holiday or just nature.”

#5yearsforward ⁣
“For my artwork I want that people can recognise themselves in my artwork, like thinking back about special moments in their life. I think eventually I see myself as an art director.”

Follow Gemma: on Instagram @gemmadewaard ⁣


Fabian Huwel @fabianhuwel

“I’m Fabian Huwel and I am currently a 3D artist and concept artists for light shows and video mappings in buildings and museums. I work at create right now and I’m looking forward to delve more into concept art and creature design and really make my career out of that. I also try to do manufacturing as well, like 3D modeling and printing. I really enjoy doing that because it’s always really nice to have a physical prop after you’ve modeled it for several hours.”

“I got started from a really young age. I always liked doing something with my hands, making things, and then all of a sudden high school went by and I did graphic design and went to digital arts and entertainment. You learn good things there, you actually push yourself to pump out some actual good work.”

“I don’t know if I’ve had that much success yet. I haven’t really been public about my work yet, but I’m starting to. I really like to get my creativity out there. So I just work on 3D modeling in the evenings. It’s kind of what I do in my spare time, but also as my job, so my spare time like bleeds into that. It’s really nice to do that that way.”⁣

“I really want to do this, like doing freelance work, working on many characters and stuff like that. That’s kind of what I want to be doing in five years or so.”

Follow Fabian: on Instagram @fabianhuwel


Lotte Boots

“I am Lotte Boots and I am an animator and illustrator and I am in the last year of my studies at the AKV St. Joost in Den Bosch.”

“I’m mainly interested in nature and I like to put the textures and all its elements in my work and make creations out of it. Once I was at the Ekoplaza and I saw such crazy looking vegetables there and just thought to myself, I’d really like to experiment with them. I started sketching and trying out different things and now when I find things on the side of the road or when I take a walk through the forest or when I come across crazy fruits or just strange textures, I photograph them and turn them into creatures.”

“I am still looking for what my future will look like, but I think I would really like to work as a freelancer and hopefully find some sort of middle ground between animation illustration, because I really like doing them both. I also think climate is very important, so I hope to be able to incorporate that in my work. Giving people a bit of awareness is something that I think is important because those are themes that I am also involved in a lot and I would really like to be able to reflect that in my work too. I also don’t eat meat and am trying to use less plastic and art is just my way of expressing how I try to convey this to other people.”

Follow Lotte: on Instagram


Alba Plap Golfe @jilltoxic

“I’m 19 and I study Digital Games, in Cologne, Germany. I’m in my third semester right now.”

“I have always loved video games, but I got into them really late just because I was a girl and the connection just weren’t made automatically. I love characters. I remember I started playing League of Legends and still today I only play the characters that I like visually and personality wise. At 15 I discovered a bunch of concept artists and studios. This was a way to combine my passion for gaming and for art, which I have been doing ever since.”

“It was really hard getting into the university program. You had to make a game concept all by yourself in one month. I put a lot of effort into it. I felt like I had a lot of bad luck, you know. It was just getting worse and worse. So, after school, getting accepted into university was the first big hit for me. And afterwards I got the scholarship. From then on, I was like now it’s only getting better.”

“The plan is to go to Ubisoft They have a studio in Germany. I have a scholarship and they support me. I have my internship there in first semester. So yeah, I would love to work there after my studies for some time.”⁣

Follow Alba: on Instagram @jilltoxic



Event: Playgrounds vs Submarine Channel 2011

Event: Playgrounds vs Submarine Channel 2012

Genevieve Gauckler presents at Playgrounds

Revisiting Playgrounds Festival Amsterdam 2013

Watch the Titles: ‘The Playgrounds Live Title Show’

Watch the Titles: Playgrounds 2012

All video interviews from Motion Design Fest Amsterdam 2011-2012

Event: Motion Design Fest 2013

Jacqueline Makkee & Justin van der Lek

Orion Tait (Buck)

Profile: Music Video Director David Wilson


Ben & Julia