Interview with Jim Parkyn of Aardman Animations

Jim Parkyn, our dear friend from Aardman Animations, had specially flown down from the UK to conduct special clay model-making workshops back in December 2014! Held in 112 Katong, he had lots of fun teaching young children how to create their very own Timmy Time clay models. 112 Katong is where British Council has recently opened its fifth centre in Singapore - the Learning Time with Shaun & Timmy centre. 

Parents, you can bring your little ones for free trial lessons too! Find out more.

Tell us a bit about yourself.

I have been a model maker for the last 16 years and have worked with various studios.

I began working with Aardman Animations since 2000 with Chicken Run being my first Feature Film experience.

Since then I have worked on lots of projects including Wallace and Gromit, Creature Comforts and of course Shaun the Sheep and Timmy.

What inspired you to become a clay model maker?

I have always loved playing with clay but it was watching animations like Morph and Trap Door on the BBC as a child that captured my imagination.

What is the life of a stop motion animator?

Working in animation means being very self-motivated. Each animator has to produce 5 - 6 seconds of animation a day so there is a lot of time spent on your own with a deadline to hit every day. Animating is essentially acting but through the medium of a puppet and so it can be challenging to give personality to a small person or sheep and breathe life in to them.

You don't see a lot of sun light as well.

How was your first trip to Singapore? 

I was very excited to be coming to Singapore and it certainly didn't disappoint!

Firstly it was quite a leap in temperature! When I left the UK it was around 5 degrees so it was lovely to leave the plane for a much warmer place.

I have had the chance to do a little exploring, visiting the Botanical Gardens, Sea Aquarium at Sentosa and of course the lovely buildings in Katong.

Your thoughts on the Timmy Roadshow run by British Council Singapore....

The Timmy Roadshow really appeals to me. Through the medium of animation, we can introduce children to a great range of skills including language and manual dexterity in a way that doesn't feel like learning. Timmy animations convey a story in a very concise and entertaining way and teach the concepts of sharing, taking responsibility and how to bust some moves to a great tune!

Did you enjoy the clay making workshops? Share your experience 

I have really enjoyed working with the British Council and the clay workshops. Timmy is one of my favourite characters to make with children.

There were some really big fans and they all knew and sang along with the theme tune and couldn’t wait to meet him on stage. There were also some very impressive little sheep made and I can already see future animators in the making. I am very pleased to have had my picture taken with Timmy to remember the great time I had in Singapore.


 Thank you Jim! We hope to see you again really soon.