Interviewed By Leonie Elizabeth Motler
I thought I would introduce an artist with a twist. Sarah Simi, the creative mind and knitter behind nudinits. This interview is full of humour and certainly for me she has achieved that deep and meaningful message she wanted to convey. Find out about about Sarah inspiration as well as plans for the very bright future.
Please tell us more about yourself.
I’m Sarah Simi and I am the creator of nudinits. Together with animator Ed Hartwell, I own Woolly Vision, a stop-motion animation company specialising in making animation with wool, fabric and felt. Nudinits are characters from one of our multi-award winning films.
Where do you take inspiration from for your creations?
We have been called a knitted Carry On many times and as the humour is very much innuendo and double entendre based that’s no surprise! I loved watching The Clangers, Camberwick Green and Trumpton as a child and they are my inspiration even if what I do is quite a lot ruder and much more adult!
How did you choose knitting as the medium you use and what makes you so passionate about it?
I had the idea of an all knitted, quintessential English village and then thought it would make a great animation. In some ways it’s the worst medium to use as everything is soft and squishy and makes animating very difficult but in the end we decided that some unintentional movement was part of the charm of it being animated by hand.
My mum taught me to knit when I was eight and I loved being able to make things– I went on to make myself many jumpers and even an outfit for my guinea pig that it sensibly refused to wear.
I knitted all of the nudinit puppets, building and sets that you see. I also had a tremendous amount of help from knitter Caroline Bletsis who made tons of the props, animals and details that feature in both the animations and calendars. We had no patterns and made everything from scratch which was a huge task in itself.
How do you like to wind down at the end of the day? Is knitting your down time or do you need time to relax away from it?
With a large glass of red! I fear making so much for nudinits may have slightly jaded me for recreational knitting but I did knit an elephant mobile recently for my new great niece in Kuala Lumpur.
Where do you create your creations?
In my work room at home or our animation studio in London.
Do you have a message to convey through your creations?
Nothing deep and meaningful –I just want to give everyone a good laugh.
Is there anything you really want to knit or anything you really wish to achieve with your craft?
We are planning to have nudinits commissioned as a TV series or full length film and we have several other animation projects including a children’s animation that we are also developing for commission.
What is your favourite month of the year?
April. All the spring flowers are out and it’s my birthday so I have the bonus of getting presents!
Would you rather live under a sky with no stars at night or live under a sky with no clouds during the day?
I’m a pale redhead — I need clouds!
If you share the joy that Sarah's work creates, find more of her products here, on her website, or twitter.