Bold, fun, engaging: Julen Goni’s energetic 2D animations pull the viewer into the playfully thought-provoking world he has created.

Julen, who has just completed a year-long international exchange studying Animation here at ECA, has won a coveted Royal Society of Arts Student Design award. Now that his exchange is over, Julen is returning to his home institution (Griffith University, Brisbane) to complete his studies. 

He is grateful to ECA and Griffith’s GoGlobal program for “the best year” of his life, with the cherry on top being the RSA award. Julen plans to put the £500 prize towards upgrading his tools so he is able to complete projects faster.

The Future is in Your Hands Now
Julen Goni

""Original ideas do not come recycled from animation films of the past but through living in the real world by finding new experiences, going places and meeting people.”"

Julen Goni

His award-winning one-minute film is based on Sam Conniff Allende’s book ‘Be More Pirate: Or How to Take on the World and Win’. The book grapples with the concept of young people feeling dissatisfied living with the decisions of the previous generation, and how they should break society’s rules by taking inspiration from pirates. It’s certainly something Julen, like many others, can relate to. 

He says: “I gelled with the book’s main message of fighting for the future, and that if we want to make real change we need to create our own systems.”

“For this animation, I wanted to make a film that expresses that need for change and how things will not change with passiveness; that we need to push for that change, and that there are people wanting to create that change.”

The film’s palette is a sparse mix of neon pink and solid, bright primary colours. Julen opted for this limited selection of colours in order to focus attention on his characters’ personalities, in which viewers could see a reflection of themselves.  

The winners sit on the stairs at the RSA event after winning their well earned awards for student art projects
Julen Goni
Julen sits with fellow RSA winners
The RSA trophy for best moving picture which was awarded to ECA exchange student Julen Goni for his animated short film
Julen Goni
Julen's award given to him by the distinguished RSA

Creating readable and relatable characters - whose personality you can feel just by looking at them - is the foundation of Julen’s style. His love of animation is borne out of the medium’s ability to combine beautiful imagery with portrayals of characters that can make the audience think, learn, laugh, escape or share an experience.

Julen says: “Brad Bird, known for his work in The Incredibles, The Iron Giant andRatatouille, is quoted saying ‘Animation is about creating the illusion of life. And you can’t create it if you don’t have one.’ This is a big belief of mine; original ideas do not come recycled from animation films of the past but through living in the real world by life drawing, studies, people watching and most importantly by going out, finding new experiences, going places and meeting people.”

And now, Julen is about to experience the next chapter of his life after graduation this summer. 


See Julen's award-winning short film and other animated works on his website here:

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