25/05/23 • News & Happenings

The Lightbulb Moment

With Luiza Abend

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Luiza Abend, Animator

Every month, we zone in on one crew member and beg them to tell us what it was that ignited their love of animation. This month, the subject of our pleading is Luiza Abend, who is currently animating a top-secret production here at Lighthouse (watch this space!)

Luiza has been working in animation since 2016, after a feature film from a well-known Kilkenny animation studio kick-started her obsession.

Let’s hear her story in her own words.

I first came to Ireland from Brazil on a student exchange programme in 2014. That was the year that Cartoon Saloon’s Song of the Sea came out.

Song of the Sea is a movie about a boy and his little sister, who happens to be a selkie (a mythical creature part seal/part human). The boy and his sister go on an adventure together in order to find their way back home and save the spiritual world. The movie is beautifully made, and I recommend it for both children and adults.

I became obsessed with Cartoon Saloon’s beautiful designs and stories. Around that time, I was doing some freelance work as an illustrator. The work of Cartoon Saloon inspired me to work in visual development for animation, and I later changed my mind, becoming an animator instead.

My style has been hugely influenced by the studio ever since I found out about its work. I love how the character designs are simple, and yet they are very effective. I also love how the colourful backgrounds have so much texture, and I try to incorporate that into my personal work as much as possible.

Song of the Sea was the second in Cartoon Saloon’s Irish Folklore Trilogy. The first, The Secret of Kells, came out in 2009, with the final instalment, Wolfwalkers (set in Kilkenny, the home of Cartoon Saloon and Lighthouse Studios) coming out in 2020. As well as watching the work of Cartoon Saloon, I highly recommend having a look at the studio’s art books as they have a lot of useful information on their creative process. I’d also recommend looking up the portfolio of the artists who work or have worked there in the past. It’s such an inspiration!

Luiza is a Brazilian 2D artist and currently lives in Kilkenny, Ireland. She started working as an animator in 2016 and joined the Lighthouse Studios crew in late 2020 as a freelancer. She recently started working in house at the studio and has been spending her free time exploring the city and making travel plans to see more parts of Ireland.

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