10 Minutes With Animator Nelly Michenaud

  • 3 min read

Animation director and illustrator Nelly Michenaud is bloody brilliant. We should know, we worked with her on our Christmas campaign and it looks pretty damn excellent if we do say so ourselves. But who is the woman behind the stunning animation?

We were lucky enough to score a few minutes with Nelly after all of her hard work to grill her on all things Christmas, the weirdest thing she's ever drawn, and more.

What's your earliest Christmas memory?

Finding out Santa Claus was in fact my grandparents, I was 6 or 7.

What does Christmas look like in the Michenaud household?

A big plant for a Christmas tree, foie gras, smoked salmon, oysters, lots of cheese. It’s wonderful.

Favourite part of Christmas dinner?

Definitely my dad’s homemade foie gras.

Favourite Christmas film?

Love Actually.

When do you open your Christmas presents on Christmas Day?

We open them on the 24th in the evening.

Do you like surprises or would you rather know what’s coming?


What’s the best gift you’ve ever been given?

Beautiful delicate earrings that look like my favourite flower

What’s the weirdest or worst present you’ve ever been given?

A plastic mouth shaped tool to get the last bit of toothpaste out of the tube. It doesn’t even work.

Give us a tip on how to react to an absolutely dreadful gift?

Classic, smile and change subject quickly.

What's the inspiration behind your short film: Almost There?

It was to do a portrait of the absurdities within ourselves and in everyday life

What's the best thing about being a freelancer?

Being free (after money comes in)

What's the weirdest thing you've ever drawn?

I don’t know if it is weird, but a girl cuddling a giant prawn?

What's your favourite thing you've ever drawn?

Not sure I can be the best judge of that!

What's the most annoying thing a client has ever done/asked you to do? (Not including our video, you maverick)

I don’t really have a spicy anecdote to be honest, animating is always fun so it helps even if the job is boring.

How would you describe your style?

Surreal, I guess.

Favourite genre of music?

Hip hop, although I’m listening to classical music a lot these days.

If you've got time, can you sketch us a quick horse? Doesn't have to be a good one.

If you weren't an illustrator, what would you be doing?

I have no idea, I should have a plan B though! Maybe opening a creperie in London.

Where's your favourite place to draw? E.g. on a train, at your desk, in a coffee shop…

On my sofa

Give us a piece of life advice:

Direct translation from French: “We’re always someone else’s jerk”. Basically you can take someone for an idiot but it is not going to make you more clever because remember that you will be the idiot for someone else. Do this make sense?

What is your most treasured possession?

The ring I got for my 20th birthday.

What is your biggest fear?

A zombie apocalypse, not sure I would be one of the survivors.

Guilty pleasure?

Drunk karaoke.

Ideal superpower?


What should we keep an eye out for from you in the future?

If I can manage to gather the funds, a new short animated film.

Okay, quickfire round:

Cheese or chocolate?


Digital or traditional art?


Quality Street, Heroes, Celebrations, or Roses?

Quality Street

Booze or soft drinks?


Matte or glossy?


Love or money?


Coke or Pepsi?


Tigers or monkeys?


Eastenders or Coronation Street?

Coronation Street

Dogs or cats?

Cats cats cats

And why...

They’re insanely elegant while telling you to fuck off and they don’t bark

Piercings or tattoos?


Going out or staying in?

Ideally both

Winter or summer?


Coffee or tea?

Tea darling

McDonald's or Greggs?


Up north or down south?

Up north

Portrait or landscape?


Answering questions or not having to answer questions?

Love asking questions


Hungry for more? Check out what else Nelly has been up to on her Instagram, she posts gorgeous illustration and animations on the reg.

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