• shaddie24

Home sweet home

Updated: Feb 20

It all started as an ambitious dream by a young creative mind.

That grew into a fire that kept burning within him to just do it! Little by little, the young creative gathered information from all sources; friends, books, articles...name them!

For over 10 years, he aspired to establish a modern animation studio akin to the renowned Disney Pixar.


The studio would offer quality animation and digital illustration services but it would largely be known for its wholesome storytelling in animation.


And now, years later, JR Animation Studio LTD [JAS] is established and we just moved into our new offices situated in Karen, Nairobi.

We are an eclectic group of young creatives who are passionate about what we do and eager to work on our dream jobs. The COVID-19 pandemic has taught us a lot. We've embraced an agile approach to work and the hybrid approach where part of the team can work from home while staying connected virtually. Production software like Asana helps keep things on track complementing our custom production trackers.


Why Animation?

There’s an ever-increasing demand for wholesome Afrocentric animated content for African children and their caregivers, especially in Kenya.

There aren’t enough animation studios in the country to generate employment opportunities to absorb new talent and develop the industry. For example, in Kenya alone, we have over 20 million children below the age of 12 years old, who lack sufficient kids shows (animated cartoons) that they can relate to. We don't have an adequate representation of Kenyans, and African characters as a whole. The majority of the media they consume is western. This gravely impacts them in the future and becomes evident as they grow up not having a defined sense of identity.

JAS has been established to create jobs for talented creators who get empowered to develop a library of Afrocentric animated content and children's books primarily for African children.


Vision & Mission

JR Animation Studio LTD was founded in January 2018 by Shadrack Munene with the vision to become a household name synonymous with quality wholesome animated content in the African region and globally.

The mission is to train and empower creatives in our region and to create a space to develop authentic stories which we’ll share with the world.

JAS Office in Karen
JAS Humble beginings.

Working at JAS is refreshing. It feels like a creative library - quiet but with rhythmic mouse clicks. Everyone is often on headphones and jamming to their work tunes as cartoons playback in the background.


The Journey.

Has it been easy? Not at all! There have been two major challenges since inception.

First; Seed Funding. Animation is a "new" business model with delayed ROI in the country and thus a high-risk venture. Nobody is willing to invest in animation UNTIL you can provide some tangible proof of concept, a pilot episode. Guess what?! It cost a lot of money to develop the said pilot episode, at least to a quality that can be competitive on a global scale {which is what we aim for}.

The chicken or the egg?

How do you initially find the funds to produce the said pilot and get funding to make the show?

Second, Skilled Workforce. producing animated content is a team sport and every team needs strong players. The talent pool in the country is quite shallow to fish for creative talent specifically in animation.

We acknowledge that no industry lacks challenges. These are just teething problems and are part of growth. Despite the challenges, we persevere and forge ahead and in no time, we'll be chewing through the industry.


So what does JR stand for?

Is it an acronym for something? No!

JR is all about connecting with the youthful spirit in both the young and those young at heart through our stories which happen to be animated or illustrated.

You will not be wrong for concluding that JR stands for Junior.

The logo says it all, for if you tilt your head slightly, you notice that:

"it's a child sleeping on their side" | "a child is playing" | "the JR Silhouette looks like a Play button if you squint a little bit ". These are comments we've heard.


What about the Red and black colors?

Well, the red represents the intense passion for storytelling and animation and being bold. The black represents our African roots. Our inspiration is drawn from our unique experiences and we feel the world needs to hear our stories.


Who is the adorable chibi mascot?

It's time to let the cat out of the bag. The chibi mascot is an embodiment of the founding director's youthful personality at heart. He is all about positive vibes that elicit a warm fuzzy feeling, like warm 10 A.M sunshine after a swim on a nice sunny day.


What do we love working on?

JAS is a full-service creative studio focusing primarily on developing animated kids' content. However, our day-to-day business operations include providing animation services and derivatives e.g. Storyboarding, Digital illustrations, 3D Modeling, and Rendering to local advertising agencies, directly to SMEs and Educational institutions locally and abroad who often reach out to us through the JAS website, social media DMs and by phone.

We use a wide array of hardware and tools to get the job done including Blender 3D, Tooonboom, Moho Pro, Clipstudio Paint, and occasionally some Adobe products.

Work samples we've done
Work samples we've done

We're excited to be working on the dream job - developing our first animated series for kids.

The Show is currently titled BOY BOI. It is a 2d animated series about the domestic adventures of BOI, a playful and imaginative six-year-old boy, along with his family, friends, and a few uninvited guests. Set in modern-day Nairobi, Kenya, each episode takes an everyday family experience and filters it through the imagination of Boi, who turns them into fun action-packed adventures.


 

We also have a number of short films planned to be released yearly. We'll endeavour to share updates on our social media platforms as we go. Make a point to subscribe and follow our journey!

https://www.instagram.com/jr_animation_studio_ke/

https://www.linkedin.com/company/jr-animation-studio/

https://www.jranimationstudio.com/










25 views0 comments