Ageing in animation

w/ Hannah Lau Walker and Helen Piercy

We’re all getting older – it’s something we can’t avoid. But what does it mean for your career in animation? 

In our latest episode, we explore some of the key areas around ageing in animation and how you can feel confident and happy in your career, no matter your age.

About Hannah Lau Walker and Helen Piercy

Hannah Lau Walker is a freelance animator and the organiser of ‘She Drew That’, an organisation that runs workshops for women in the animation industry.

Helen Piercy is a lecturer for the animation and visual effects course at Norwich University of the Arts. She’s also the Education Advisor for Animated Women UK, an organisation that supports women working in the creative industries. 

Ageing in animation

Hannah and Helen started working together on a project titled ageing in animation. It came as a result of someone commenting on one of the She Drew That polls to ask them to talk about the stigma of getting older, being a 40, or 50-year-old animator and what that means for your career.

As a result, they put on a series of talks as part of their online events to discuss this topic and open up a conversation around ageism in the industry and what to do about it.

One of the interesting perceptions from attendees of the talks was that many 30-something-year-olds seemed to have more anxiety around getting older than people in their 40s – who generally felt much more relaxed about their lives and careers and the prospect of continuing to age.

Being open to where your career might lead


Hannah explains that when you start in the industry, you tend to have an idea of the kind of role you’re aiming for. But as things progress, often the original path you thought you wanted for your career will change – and that’s okay.

There is not one, linear path that your career should follow. Give yourself the freedom to explore different avenues, specialisms and industries.

One member of She Drew That went back to being a Junior Animator in her late 40s to explore a different style of animation. It’s never too late to try something new.

How to support older animators


One of the ways that older animators could be supported would be for studios to be more flexible around working hours, particularly for those who have children.

Job shares, flexible working and removing the need for working “around the clock” to get jobs finished would allow everyone to have a better quality of life, reduce burnout and to be more creative.

Another method that Helen thinks would be incredibly useful is providing older animators with free additional training, particularly in regard to software. As you progress in your career you need to be aware of how styles change and be supported to learn these changes.

Having interests outside of animation is key to longevity in the industry. Often, your best work comes when the pressure is off and you have the freedom to be creative. 

Helen also recommends the importance of mentoring – it’s an amazing way for the generations to help each other out. 

How do you feel about growing older in animation? Do you have any anxieties around what it means for you and your career? Let us know in the comments section below!

ln this episode

    • An introduction to Hannah, Helen and She Drew That
    • Where the ageing in animation project came from 
    • Why being open to change in your career is a good thing
    • The benefits and drawbacks of raising a family when you’re freelance or employed
    • What studios can do to support parents in animation
    • How we can support each other in the industry 
    • Why having interests outside of animation is important
    • The importance of having a mentor in the industry



“There was a lady in the group who was an Art Director but she had changed career paths quite often. But I think that reassured the younger members of the group that you can chop and change in your career and not worry too much about where your career path might lead. [7.50]

“The thing about animation is you start out very creatively but as you progress, you find yourself becoming more managerial and leading teams and directing and potentially producing.” [9.21]

“The older you get, if you do have a family or other commitments that take over you have to think about where you can put your energy.” [10.00]

“There’s only so many burnouts you can take before you think you know what, it’s just not worth it.” [11.18]

“To have a 20+ year career in animation you’ve got to keep enthusiastic about it and learning how to use new software is a big part of this. Keep challenging yourself and don’t settle in the day to day.” [18.43] 

“When I was pregnant and on maternity leave, I found myself picking up my sketchbook and drawing and having that space away from my other work to be free to create.” [21.28]

“Have an open mind about what opportunities are out there, what you can do in this industry. You can make money in so many ways in our industry.” [30.50]



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Episode 41 – Parenting as a freelancer

Helen Piercy (00:00): I suddenly found myself picking up a sketchbook and drawing and just having that sort of space, you know, away from you know, my other, my other work. I can totally understand that you might, you just takes the pressure off really. You were just free to kind of create. And actually, funnily enough, I find a lot of my students, once they've graduated, they're really happy because now they're working on their own personal projects. So yeah, I think absolutely that kind of space, just to kind of think about something else is really important.

Hayley Akins (00:32): Welcome to the motion hatch podcast. I'm your host, Hailey Akins. Hey hatchlings welcome to episode 90 the motion hatch podcast. So when I was scrolling through Instagram the other day, I saw a series of posts about aging and animation from the she drew that community. I thought it might be interesting to carry on the discussion and bring the creators of this aging and animation series on the show. So I'm talking today with Hannah Lee Walker and Helen Piercy on the podcast about what career paths looked like for animators, motion designers etc. We chat a bit about parenting, and we also talk about how people are generally feeling about getting a bit older in this industry and what we can do to help each other. So if you want to carry on this conversation with us, then we actually going to do a live event as well on clubhouse on 24th of June at 4:00 PM UK time.

Hayley Akins (01:28): So do come along and join in the discussion after you've listened to this episode. And if you want to find out more information about how to join, ClearPass go to motion, for more information. So that's motion, or you can just go over to clubhouse if you already have the app and search motion hatch. So just before we jump into this episode, I do want to tell you quickly about a workshop that we're hosting live on the 6th of July at 4:00 PM UK time. So this workshop is called how to generate a passive income as motion designer. So I'm going to teach you the top tips and strategies that will help you to create financial freedom in your motion design business, in the workshop we're going to cover what is passive income and is it right for you, the different types of passive income and how to get started and how you can build an audience that will help you to create alternative revenue streams in the future. So if you're a motion designer, who's curious about passive income or maybe you're a motion designer and you're already creating alternative revenue streams, and you're looking to scale those, I'd lived have you on this workshop. So go to And if you're listening to this after the 6th of July, don't worry because we'll update that page with all of our upcoming workshops. So thanks. Let's get into this.

Hayley Akins (02:52): Hey, Helen and Hannah, thank you so much for coming on the podcast. My pleasure. Thank you for having me. Cool. So do you want to start by introducing yourself and maybe telling the audience a little bit about what you

Helen Piercy (03:04): Do? Yeah. So how did you wanna start off? Yeah,

Hannah Lau Walker (03:08): I'm Hannah and I'm a freelance animator and the organizer of She Drew That, which is a workshop for women in animation

Helen Piercy (03:16): And I'm Helen Piercy and I'm a full-time lecturer on the animation and visual effects course at Norwich university of the arts. And I'm also the education advisor for animated women, UK, which is an organization that supports women working in the crave industry.

Hayley Akins (03:31): Cool. That sounds awesome. So I wanted to ask you a little bit about, well, why I brought you on the show today actually was to talk a little bit about this aging in animation series that you both did through. She drew that. So do you want to tell us a little bit more about that and like how it came about?

Hannah Lau Walker (03:49): Yeah, sure. Yeah. We we, back in gosh, like March or something, now we sort of did a, have somebody asked if we were going to do like online meetups and things. And Helen reached out to me and sort of said, I could definitely help you with that, which was incredible. Cause I'm not very good at the live coding slash talking to people. And so we did a, some sort of portfolio reviews and things, but yeah, from the first one, people seemed really excited to have a chat rather than than look at work. Cause I think, you know, pandemic times you just wanna talk to other humans CSO, we started doing the discussions and and someone posted on the Facebook group that they wanted to talk about. Well actually they said that they wanted to talk about what happens when you're old and the stigma of being a full eight or 50 innovation. I'm not sure that like being 40 or 50 is old, but we can definitely talk about getting older and automation.

Helen Piercy (04:54): And we had some interesting comments on the phase of you know, older animators in the CG, that group who was sort of saying, oh, you know what, he's old. So it immediately sparked a discussion, which you ever thought, okay, that sounds great to kind of keep, keep following this.

Hannah Lau Walker (05:11): Yeah. We ended up doing the two parts. So we had like four speakers in the end. Which was really great.

Hayley Akins (05:18): Yeah. Sounds really good. And I think I first saw it because you did some like quotes from the group on Instagram, right. With their work. And I thought that was really interesting and I just kind of liked how you presented it and some of the comments on there, I just thought it was really interesting and kind of what came up for me a bit was it seemed like everybody, as they got a bit older, sort of felt a bit more comfortable with it. And it seemed like the people who are younger were maybe worrying about a bit more. I don't know how you both feel about that and if you felt the same kind of thing.

Helen Piercy (05:53): Yeah. I agree. I think it's, you know, an unknown really, sorry, go ahead of,

Hannah Lau Walker (05:58): Oh no, I was just gonna say yeah, it was, it was really interesting because actually a lot of people in their thirties were referring to themselves as being old. Which obviously that isn't old, but it's strange that there is this like idea that 30 is old for 30 year olds, but then when you go to like 40 that people are very relaxed and happy and excited. So it's a strange, it's strange that that came up.

Helen Piercy (06:23): Yeah. I think it, I think it comes from those lists, you know, top 30 creatives under 30 and everyone gets that, you know, really stress kind of feeling like, oh my gosh, I've got made it. Cause you know, past 30 is, you know, just old, old age and you know, what am I going to do with myself there? So that kind of, I don't know, that came up in the top, you know, the talks as well. So I think that might have something to do with it.

Hayley Akins (06:45): Yeah. What do you feel like the, I dunno, I mean, not really learnings, but you know, like what would you like to share with the audience really about what came out of the discussion?

Helen Piercy (06:57): What career paths look for animators and our speakers sort of talked about their own experiences and we had a great example of somebody who kind of worked their way up to be, I think it was an optimistic tool. Is it Hannah or what was her her role?

Hannah Lau Walker (07:16): Was she she changed Christophe quite a lot. Wasn't it?

Helen Piercy (07:22): She did. Yeah. And it was really great from, from her perspective just to show that yeah. Again, to the younger people that were in the group, there wasn't one linear path to take you know, as you know, in the animation industry and that you could actually chop and change, you know, from circumstances and it can be sometimes for the better as well. So that was really great insight. Which I think reassured a lot of people not to worry too much about where your career path might lead and be open.

Hannah Lau Walker (07:50): Yeah. It was nice that sort of the, actually they were sort of talking a lot about how that evolution and how it does evolve. And it's not just, I think when you start out, you think it's one thing, like I want to be a director or I want to be an animator when actually you're fine. Like as you, as you're moving along, some things interest you more on some things like interests you less than you. Don't sort of realize that I think when you're starting out and it's sort of, it's nice that it changes and that actually you can change. Cause one of the women changed her career path. I think she's maybe nearing like in her late forties and she just like had a dramatic change starting like as a junior position, but is now, you know, doing layout design professionally full time, which is amazing.

Helen Piercy (08:38): And certainly life circumstances, you know, your lifestyle might change for whatever reason and you know, you might have to completely be, think how you work as well. So again, just sort of being confident and open to those changes that might happen and down the line. So yeah, there's no career paths can differ. So, so it was good just to hear people talking about that.

Hannah Lau Walker (08:59): Yeah. Sort of people seem to be a bit unclear about what you even do after like becoming an animator. And actually I think it came out that, you know, the strange thing about this kind of job is that you're very creative initially, but as you progress, you just, it becomes more managerial roles, you know, you're leading teams and directing and then, and then potentially like produce it, it just not producing, but you actually don't get to be as creative as you kind of move up the ladder almost, which is and I think a lot of people found that she, they enjoyed staying with animation or, you know, going up the ladder and then coming back down to it or like coming down to animation now, coming down.

Helen Piercy (09:45): And there's also kind of the physical aspects of, you know, if you are animating and you know, how much energy you have and ability to kind of work on long-term projects or projects that require just a lot of you and sort of the older you get, you know, if you do have a family or other commitments, you know, that take, take over, you know, you have to kind of think about where you can put your energies. And so that, that's another factor as well that we kind of discussed.

Hayley Akins (10:09): Yeah. I think I remember in Joey Coleman wrote an article on school of motion. I think it was like 2017 and he was talking about like, you know, are you too old for MoGraph? That was the title. And I think, which I thought was quite funny and I think in that as well, they were talking about, well, okay, you like climbing the ladder for the sake of it and it, is it a thing of like, people can work all nighters and stuff for so long. Cause you know, that's kind of a bit of a thing and then we kind of get burned out and then it's, it seems a bit like, well, what do you do next? And how do you kind of, I dunno, I don't want to like tell, you know, go into like, how do you design your life? But that's how I always feel like I ended up talking about on this podcast, you know, because it's kind of true. Like you do need to have some foresight and think about it a little bit to make it work for you. So I wondered if you sort of touched on those kinds of things and, and how you can maybe prepare yourself or something. I

Helen Piercy (11:11): Dunno, you know, there's only so many burnouts you can do before you think, you know what, it's just not worth it. You know, I really loved my career and what I do, but there comes a point where you're just, you're kind of suffering kind of mentally and physically job is absolutely worth that. I mean, from my personal experience. So I am now teaching full time and previously I did work as an animator freelancer in London for about six years. And yeah, I just, I kind of gravitated towards more sort of teaching jobs just because I preferred the kind of lifestyle that gave me the control I had over kind of my hours. And then when I met my partner, we both discussed the, of, you know, bringing up a family and while working freelance and I just thought, oh, I just don't think it's something I would enjoy really.

Helen Piercy (11:59): So we might, when the university job came up in Norridge, it just made sense for us to jump and move somewhere that was less expensive, more stable income and just, yeah, work more child-friendly hours. But that was my own personal decision. However, I do have friends working as freelancers with families and they're also really loads of positives to working freelance as well. If it can't be done, it's not an impossible thing to do. You know, you could have more control of your schedule. You can take holidays when you want, you can work from home. And just gives you just much more flexibility with your time. So actually it depends on your circumstances really.

Hayley Akins (12:34): Yeah. That makes sense. So it's kind of, yeah, I don't really, like you were saying, I don't think there is like, oh yeah, it's better if you're freelance, because then you have more control or like you're full-time and I think it's like that for anybody, like obviously if you're going to be a parent or something like that, you need to think about it. But then also it depends very much, I feel like on people's personalities and stuff like that and how they deal with that and also their clients and stuff as well, because I can think about some of my clients and how some of them, you know, if I was you know, going to bring up for family or something like that, like some of them that would have been terrible to work with them and try and do that. Cause they'd be very demanding, but then some of them were extremely understanding.

Hayley Akins (13:19): All of the projects came in on time. We, we never had to work late and things like that. And then, so that would obviously be fine. So I think it's, yeah, it's a tricky one. I, we did do a podcast as well about parenting with doing it for the kids hosts. They've got a podcast too called doing it for the kids with Frankie and Steve. So I think that was really good too. Cause they talked a bit about, you know, how you can manage it a bit as a freelancer as well. So if anyone wants to check that out, I think that would be like a good little supplement podcast. This podcast as well was also

Helen Piercy (13:59): Visible and visuals did a fantastic podcast very recently about that exact same thing as well, talking about refinancing and childcare and it's a juggle that's for sure. It's not easy, but you know, it can be done. And as you said, yeah, you know, if you do have clients or studios that you work for that, you know, usually in studios particularly you know, there are people with families, so they understand, you know, the fact that you might have to, you know, leave early to pick up your child or, you know, and you can't work those non-friendly child hours either. So you know, it depends on the actually depends on your circumstances.

Hayley Akins (14:33): Do you think there's anything that agencies or studios could do to like make, to help parents or, you know, women who are trying to bring it for young children? Yeah,

Helen Piercy (14:44): For sure. And so I would say again, yeah, it totally depends on the culture of the studio if they're, and you know, and also just sort of normalizing normal working hours is something that was brought up when we were sort of having a chat with the pump panel panelists. You know, so yeah, if you have to pick up your child a certain time, that's something that, you know, studios, that's what you have to accommodate and the culture of working all hours in the studio just isn't possible if you have kids. But that's actually good because it's unhealthy, it's deciding ultimately will be to burn out and mental health problems, which is something that really needs to change. Anyway. we also discussed normalizing part-time work and flexible hours as well. You know, if you're a great worker, are you going to get the job done? So if that means starting earlier and finishing earlier you know, to pick up kids, then that should be possible. And also the option for job share as well is something that you also touched upon. Yeah. And, you know, ultimate the ultimate dream would be, do days to have their own Koresh, which would be amazing and relieve that pressure of juggling childcare or even considering, you know, providing childcare costs, but that's an absolute dream.

Hayley Akins (15:58): Yeah, definitely. I mean, I think they're like really good suggestions. And I think, you know, as we're kind of getting older and aging and animation I feel like hopefully, you know, some of more of these things will come in because as well, the studio owners too, we'll be having the same kind of issues. Right. Like you would expect. So I'm kind of hopeful that, but is there anything that, you know, I don't know we could do as animators or motion designers as well in the industry. I mean, having these kinds of conversations on this podcast obviously is a good start and all the things that you have been doing, but I wondered if you had any other ideas for the audience.

Helen Piercy (16:38): So yes, when we were kind of speaking to the panel we talked about kind of older animators in the industry and how, you know, further training would be really helpful, especially for older, older people. And that should be just part of normal studio life. So software training within companies, not just for people coming out of university, but also just to allow other people to keep their skills fresh. And up-to-date

Hannah Lau Walker (17:05): Yeah, I think it's also about accommodating. What was it, it was about styles help. If you're like, as you progress through your career, you kind of need to be aware of how styles change and how those were evolving and being sort of kind to people when, when that star sort of goes to the fashion always. And like just remembering that there is a place where everybody in the industry, despite there being sort of patrons and certain styles.

Hayley Akins (17:36): Yeah. I guess that like comes into another question that I had about you know, sort of, what do you think that freelancers or anyone really, you know, what does it take to be able to sustain a career in animation or in motion design? I feel like they're both interchangeable. So that's why I always say, but, you know, because I think we've talked a bit about it before, and I think we've mentioned it a bit here as well, about how, you know, maybe as we go through our career, we're going to need different things that we're going to need different types of jobs and things like that. But was there anything else that you both could, you know, kind of touch on that is related to that as well?

Hannah Lau Walker (18:21): I think, yes. Again, it's like a software thing. Like I think that's one of the main things that came up in in the discussion was that if you want to have a long career in animation, you need to keep up to date with software. And that sort of, I mean, yeah, like having a 20, 20 year long career with animation, you've got to keep enthusiastic about it and like learning new programs, I think is a part of helping that, like trying to do like new things and keeping, keeping challenging yourself. And not just sort of settling back into the day-to-day.

Hayley Akins (18:56): Yeah. So a bit like you know, as well, probably doing some more personal projects and all of those kinds of things, which we all know is really hard to do because we've all got lots of work and lots of clients and stuff like that. But I think just trying to make time for those sorts of things, that's really what, you know, I guess the people who seem like the, at the top, like I'm doing the little, like, you know, Betty, his fingers, if you're listening to this podcast you know people who are seemingly more successful from the outside, it seems to be the people who are kind of pushing themselves and do more personal work and stuff like that by understand that that can be very difficult, especially you know, like as we've kind of probably burned the candle at both ends for a long time. And if you're like raising a family and, you know, all of that kind of thing and working late hours, you know, it can be difficult to really fit that stuff into.

Helen Piercy (19:55): Yeah. There was actually somebody who was part of the, she drew vats drawing the Instagram stories about kind of the quotes and doing an image. And there was one person who is a bit older and as she kind of wrote about the fact that now her kids are grown up and left and she's now got space to now make the film that she always wanted to make, and now she's got funding for it and it's in production. So, you know, in a way she's kind of got all her stuff out of the way, climbing her career and then the kids, and now it's like, now there's no, I don't know how old she is, but she's definitely older. That was, you have that space to kind of dedicate. And even as a studio in our house, you know, that maybe something that she couldn't have afforded to have that luxury when she was first starting out. So yeah, it was good to kind of see that, that, that was a possibility.

Hannah Lau Walker (20:41): I was just going to say, one of the speakers was talking about how actually they found that by not doing animation by sort of going out and doing work their community and having something actually a way for my animation helped a lot to sort of continue having the love for it. You know, I think because when you're younger, you would just do animation all the time. You are working weekends, you're working late and you were just genuinely exhausted. I think so. So by actually taking some time and like stepping back from it a bit, I think she found space to, to keep going as it were rather than kind of spending too much time, just a screen or all day long.

Helen Piercy (21:27): Yeah. Actually when I was pregnant and I was on my maternity leave, I suddenly found myself picking up a sketchbook and drawing and just having that sort of space, you know, away from you know, my other, my other work. I can totally understand that you might, you just takes the pressure off really. You were just free to kind of create. And actually, funnily enough, I find a lot of my students, once they've graduated, they're really happy because now they can spend time working on their own personal projects. So yeah, I think absolutely that kind of space, just to kind of think about something else is really important.

Hayley Akins (22:00): Yeah. So do you think it's good to take up like other creative pursuits as well, because I've been trying to do that, that isn't really related to motion design or animation, you know, I was trying to get into some VR painting and stuff like that, even though that's still digital, but you know, that's

Helen Piercy (22:19): Awesome. No, totally. I mean, I do crochet on the side which again is something I picked up. I was like, I want to learn a new skill. Like that's nothing to do with elevation. What could that be? And yes, I started crocheting middle characters, but it's kind of turning into something animation related, cause I'm making little kind of soft sculptures, but I've kind of got stop motion ambitions for, so it was kind of evolving, but it's something that I would never have thought of otherwise. So it's interesting how that can kind of, yeah, I'm a be back to animation, but yeah, I think it's really, really important to not just define yourself by motion graphics or animation completely. There's so much out there to do and to learn, you know, and also again, you know, more skills that can then potentially bring back into your profession as well. So

Hayley Akins (23:03): Yeah, so I feel like sometimes you know, older anime is a motion signers. It seems like they find it a bit easier to maybe carve out a niche or work in their own style. I know where the, you have seen that to be the case. And I wonder whether it's because you know, after so many years you kind of find what you like doing and then gravitate more towards that and then put more of that workout and it, it kind of takes time sometimes to do that.

Hannah Lau Walker (23:32): Yeah. I think that definitely I think that's the thing of people like the mentoring program or it's to do that. And a lot of the women there were really concerned coming out of uni, not having a style and wanting to be directors. And it is, it's interesting that I know a lot, definitely. That's definitely one way to go about it, but actually when you're, when you're working lots of different studios and things, you kind of get that evolves, like your ideas of what you'd like evolve and, and it sort of changes over time to, yeah. I think like you get to a certain point where you feel very comfortable in one kind of style. But I think, but even, even when you get to that certain place, I feel like it always has the possibility to change again, you know, you, you may see something else and then like, or you may be doing something for too long. I think I've definitely spoken to some directors who kind of, I won't say resent that style now, but are just like quite tired of being asked to, oh, expect it to do the same thing. So I think your career should keep evolving as you get older and that style should keep developing. Hopefully

Helen Piercy (24:46): I, I went to sort of an online illustration talk recently and there was a woman who had carved out a niche for herself doing kind of very chart, like very sort of soft child friendly, appealing and drawings of kind of bears and ducklings and, and and she kind of got commissions from this again and again, and she, the bit of his whole career, which was based on that. And then one day she just said, this is not me. This is not who I am. And you know, I'm far more edgier and darker and she kind of left that, that, that side of herself behind, you know, to kind of go forth and, and she was completely redesigning her, her website kind of on the, on the slide because she was so well-known for this artwork and I, and, and she's going to launch it and kind of you know, be the person she was always meant to be.

Helen Piercy (25:33): And I thought that was such a great story, but kind of, yeah, just take on board for your own own work to think, you know, am I w is what I do, I'm doing genuinely what I love and who I am, or but you might not be in a place to do that. You know, obviously if this is making your money and this what the clients want and, you know, you're well known for it. It's of course, you're going to go down that route, but then, you know, just as just to sort of say, Hey, aren't you, you know, you can hold, hold the brakes, rethink about what you want to do, and then kind of just talk, take the plunge really. But yeah, it's, it's, I thought it was very interesting and up to the, I can mention that applying to animation and motion graphics as well.

Hayley Akins (26:11): Yeah. So when you were talking in your discussions about aging, was there any things that came up that could be kind of helpful in terms of like people potentially helping each other out or you know, kind of getting past this a little bit of okay. I'm, I'm like very young and just starting out and I'm like a bit of a newbie and then people feeling like, oh, I'm getting to all transformation now. Was there anything that came up that would be helpful?

Helen Piercy (26:41): Yeah, absolutely. So we had speaker that sort of talked about her experiences doing mentorship and, you know, what, it was such a great, great way to kind of connect to the younger generation. And yeah, I mean, I've, I've done mentoring myself and I, I absolutely recommend it. It's I get such a boost from seeing my mentees do well and achieve their goals. It really feels like I've had a little part to play in their success and, you know, it's just a wonderful feeding and, you know, I think for myself and a lot of people they've gone through the whole education system and, you know, trying to get your foot in the door and building a career is really tough. And I just, you know, if I could help people just a little bit, you know, navigate that and use my experience to help people.

Helen Piercy (27:26): Yeah, yeah, absolutely. Kind of something that I wanted to do. And just having someone to talk to awesome advice for it could just be a real motivator when you're starting out. And I mean, I personally also really attribute my my whole career pretty much to the fact that I kept in touch with my tutors and who called me off with me their time and support when there wasn't sure what I was doing. And like, even now I still reach out to them when I'm having a wobble. So, you know, you can still be a mentee, you know, even as an older animator as well. So there's no, you know, if you're thinking of mentees, like someone who's old and then talking to the young person, but actually, you know, you can have a mentor at any point in your life as well.

Helen Piercy (28:05): And yeah. And, you know, it's, it's absolutely a two way street as well. So you can pass on your knowledge to support younger people coming into the industry. And also younger people can give you insights into what new software is going on, any tech, any sort of social media platforms as well. Which I find really helpful as one of the joys of teaching as well. I felt like I'm slightly more up to date with things like I would have otherwise been with. And yeah, it's, it's the partnership really you're, you're both bringing something to the table even the act of kind of giving advice or, you know, you have to think about people's questions as well, and that can be quite a challenge. You have to kind of articulate your own thoughts and like, how would you go about doing something or give somebody the advice, so you would steer them in the right direction.

Helen Piercy (28:49): And, yeah, it's, it's a great way to overcome your fears as having they were saying, you know, you can be intimidated or jealous or envious by these young people and their new ideas and they have their skills and all their energy and their beautiful skin. But yeah, no, it's, it's, it's definitely rewarding. And, and, and, you know, with some of the programs, also, you have the flexibility to structure the mentorship as you'd like, so you can kind of, you know, structure the meetings, you know, with the goal setting as well. And, you know, even like when you meet as well, so it depends on kind of your schedule, so you can be really flexible. And, yeah. So when we were chatting in the discussions, yeah, we had people talking about how mentoring was really great and lending young people, your expertise and experience, so they can develop it, develop their own careers. And in a way you're kind of putting back into the industry then because you're sending people to a confident and know what they're doing, and that would just make the industry even better as well. And it becomes less about you and more about them and how you can grow together. So, absolutely, I think, you know, mentorships are a really great way for the generations to help each other

Hayley Akins (29:54): Out. Yeah, that sounds really good. Or binds me a lot of like the stuff that we do in our mastermind program as well, and like old goals saying, and helping people to fend out, you know, where to go next in their careers and stuff like that, by like the idea of more people getting involved as mentors as well, and like really encouraging that. Cause I think it's really, really helpful. I mean, like you say, I get so much out of talking to everybody about their careers as well, and, you know, helping people, it just makes you feel good. And I think that one of the things for me too, is, you know, obviously doing motion hatch in this podcast and everything like that it's completely changed my career and like what I do in this industry. And I felt like this is more what I was supposed to do, you know?

Hayley Akins (30:41): So I think also like I like to, you know, tell everyone listening, like having an open mind about what opportunities are out there, what you could do in this industry, because there's lots and lots and lots of things to do. And even now with the internet and, you know, you, you can make your own digital products and you can make your own templates and you can make money in so many different ways in this industry and like help other people and like even get paid to do that. So I think that's really awesome. And just something that I wanted to add in that as well. But yeah, I mean, Hannah, did you have anything to add in, in to that about mentorships?

Hannah Lau Walker (31:22): I think mentorships, I mean, she drew that swing and went to a shift and it's been amazing so far, just sort of seeing people come together and like really flourish. I feel like, especially sort of for women it's, it's lovely to have somebody to speak to who has that similar experience to you and sort of share and being able to share that with someone I think is incredibly rewarding. Yeah, I think mentorships are the way forward.

Helen Piercy (31:49): And are you still looking for mentors to sign up? So she'd do that. Hannah,

Hannah Lau Walker (31:55): New mentors and mentees, we're going to be studying us. Like we just sort of finished up finishing up our pilot in July. So yeah, in September we'll be starting up again, the key for mentees and mentors, if anyone's interested.

Helen Piercy (32:09): Yeah. And likewise, I'm animated women UK are also running a mentor ship program as well, looking for mentors and mentees. And I was also part of the screen skills and mentorship program, which was really great actually. And so there's, there's lots of, lots of opportunities out there. You kind of look for them.

Hayley Akins (32:27): Yeah, definitely. We'll put like all the links and everything in the show notes as usual. So everybody can find out all the great things that we've been speaking about today. And if they're interested in mentoring and things like that, then definitely reach out to everybody. So do you want to start Hannah by telling everybody where they can find a bit more about you and your work and a bit more about she drew that and things like that? Yeah.

Hannah Lau Walker (32:51): Yeah. Like guess you can follow my work or the Instagram, my handle is hello Walker. And then yeah, if you want to find out more about she do that, we also have an Instagram that she drew that. And yeah, if you're a woman, please join our Facebook group. We have a private Facebook group and the slack that's really active. So yeah, it'd be great to connect with more people.

Hayley Akins (33:17): Cool. And Helen, do you want to tell everyone a bit more about where they can find out more about you?

Helen Piercy (33:23): Yeah. So my website is Helen, which is primarily where I sort of do blog posts about creative vegetation. And I'm also on Instagram that had an animates and on Twitter with the same handle. Also, if you want to check out animated women, a UK as well, and the other website is to make women UK. And on that, you'll find there's an unlimited women UK education section, which is where I put a lot of resources for people studying animation and visual effects. And we've also got a closed Facebook group, which is a WK ad as well. So people are interested to find out more about what we do, please join that.

Hayley Akins (34:03): Awesome. Well, thank you both so much for coming on the show. Thanks for having us today.

Hayley Akins (34:10): Thank you again to Hannah and Helen for coming on the show. That was a really great absolute. Now remember if you want to carry on this discussion with us live, then do join us on clubhouse on the 24th of June at 4:00 PM UK time. And I'd love to see you on the passive income workshop as well. So if you're interested in learning how to get started with passive income as a motion designer, then go to All the links from this episode will be on our website at Thanks so much for listening all the way to the end. I really appreciate you. See ya.

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