Sidsel (“Sizzle”) Wittendorff Sørensen

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Sidsel (“Sizzle”) Wittendorff Sørensen is an illustrator with a passion for animation. With a BA in illustration from Cambridge School of Art, a recent MA in Illustration and Communication Design from Kolding School of Design, two internships and several years experience with freelance projects, Sidsel has enjoyed creating illustrations across a range of platforms, with various mediums, and for very different audiences. She is currently living in London and working free lance.

How would you describe what you do?
In short: Storytelling. Of course I have a way of thinking, a way of drawing which reflects my personality but I try to let the stories that I am telling guide the work – whether it be an explainer animation or a portrait.

What do you feel is the most important thing about your work?
Stories, as mentioned before. Secondly I would probably say it’s a combination of my use of personal mark-making, patterns and colour.

What keeps you motivated to create, and keep creating work?
As a freelancer you have to motivate yourself, somehow. Often, a new brief is enough to get me really excited about new ideas, even if it’s a challenging one with a topic which is not very visual. The hard part is to motivate yourself between projects, but here I find that my collection of inspirational material helps; I have a list of images and stories waiting to be told, so when my calendar frees up, I usually turn to them. I also love printmaking and I am looking forward to trying out cyanotypes this summer.

Where do you see your work heading in the next twelve months?
It is hard to say, but for the past 12 months my work has been shaped by seizing new opportunities and increasingly moving out of my comfort zone. My recent installation with Capital of Children was an example of this: I worked on a much larger scale than usual (14 square meters, hand drawn), with new materials and with moiré patterns – it was really a learning experience. I hope this move continues, as I would like to grow – especially as an animator – and learn new skills.

Who, what, where or how do you get your first inspirations?
Inspiration, for me, hits at any given moment. It is totally uncontrollable. Because of this, I have become a collector. I have a huge (and growing) folder on my computer where I have the weirdest assortment of images; Wes Anderson stills, the White Pepper ads, photos of native tattoos or Ukranian traditional costume. Some remind me of stories, some have a specific mood I love, some an interesting colour palette or a pattern – anything.

What has been your biggest success, or source of pride?
That is hard to say, but probably the music video I made last year for Saint Motel. It was my first real entry into hand-drawn animation (a self taught discipline) and is still my biggest, most ambitious project to date. I love how I can see my own development as an animator and director as the piece develops, and I am proud of the look I achieved, which somehow happened incredibly organically during the experimental phase of  working with and for the band. And I still love the story and the song. Another would be to be my highly commended entry for the House of Illustration book illustration competition  — especially because I got to meet a personal hero, Quentin Blake, at the awards event.

What do you think are the important issues facing yourself, and your industry at the moment?
I think it is an interesting time where a lot of things are changing. On the one hand, it has never been easier to steal the work of talented people (via the internet). It is hard to protect yourself agains copyright theft and people taking your work and your time for granted. On the other hand, illustration appears to be increasingly appreciated and used by businesses and the public alike, and people are finding uses for animation across many different platforms. I think this is incredibly exciting, and I hope I get the opportunity to work on projects that combine illustration with new, emerging media, such as Vincent Morisset’s “BLA BLA”.

Have any relationships, friendships, business or otherwise, been significant in shaping your work as it is now?
As an illustrator I prefer working on my own and having creative control. But I did love the studio environment I was part of during my master at Kolding School of Design. It was great being surrounded by creative people for inspiration and advice, and it made it all the easier that we were all studying different disciplines, (fashion, interaction design, graphic design, textile, illustration) so there was little competition and an abundance of support. Now it is a network of other creatives, where there is always someone to call and ask for an opinion or advice.

What would you do with the perfect Sunday afternoon?
Something which involves cake, for sure. And I also love going to the cinema.

And finally, who should Corinne& be profiling next?
Rosa Tolnov Clausen – a good friend of mine. She is a modern day weaver and designer and recently exhibited alongside me in Milan, with her hugely popular project “Can a Room be a Loom”? st motel portrait Capital of Children_sketch Capital of Children Capital of Children2 DaydreamWetdreamNightmare_sketches DaydreamWetdreamNightmare_work in progress DaydreamWetdreamNightmre_screen shot DaydreamWetdreamNightmre_screen shot2 deconstruct - experimenting with different ways of sketching House of illustration entry It guidebook - let the professionals help London stories - Platform 9and3Quarters Postcards for the radio station P4 Waremakers animation_still Bachelor project - illustrating regina spectors song mary ann