Watch ‘UnReal’ – a fantasy animation created by our young participants

Date published: 16 Feb 2021

Posted by: Joe Pick

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After receiving a strange phone call, Athena, Joe and their dog Spot, arrive in technicolor alternate universe. The trio try to find out what happened to their friend…

This film was created by participants of City Arts’ ART CLUB. They worked with animator Trevor Woolery of Create Animate.

About the project

Before the pandemic, ART CLUB met monthly at City Arts’ building in Hockley. The fun, free and friendly workshops for 13-17 years olds were a place to learn new creative skills. The project had a particular focus on reducing youth loneliness. It did this by bringing young people together and using creativity to boost their wellbeing.

During the first UK lockdown, we took the sessions online. Club members wrote a brief for an artist to work with them on a digital arts project. From this, we recruited Trevor Woolery of Create Animate.

It was a great experience meeting the participants and collaborating with them to turn their ideas and artwork into something they can share with their friends and family.

Trevor Woolery
A storyboard for the Motion Comic

Using Google Classroom, Trevor and the group met monthly to collaborate on a motion comic. The group learned about storytelling, illustration, colour theory and storyboarding. We sent packs of art materials to the participants, used to create the fantastic characters and landscapes in the film.

During the period this film was made, City Arts’ youth programmes were supported by The National Lottery Community Fund.

How ART CLUB has helped young people feel less isolated

ART CLUB was part funded by research grant from The Mighty Creatives. We were looking to answer the question “Can digital arts help reduce youth loneliness?”.

Online workshop like this are very helpful. Any way to stay connected, via social media or via workshops, is incredibly helpful

Participant feedback

Throughout the project we’ve been using simple survey to measure its effects. Following their work on the film, 100% of participants said that attending the workshop made them feel less lonely. 100% felt included in the sessions. They all reported enjoying the project.

The project gave our participants the chance to expand their skills and knowledge about art. They were able to play with, and explore, ‘digital arts’. Overall, our participants clearly found the experience enriching. It’s been a relief from the pressures of the pandemic.

The Mighty Creatives
National Lottery Community Fund