Iceni Darby

Illustration and Animation - BA (Hons)

Hi there! My name is Iceni, and I'm an animation and illustration student with a passion for fantasy characters and fairytale environments.

During my time at university, I have led a number of projects, including animations for the RNLI, The Chelsea Flower Show, and Essex County Council.

My work is centred around the themes of fantasy, nature, folklore, and mythology, often with a hint of macabre. As a child, I was constantly surrounded by woodland and spent countless hours sketching and drawing these environments in my sketchbook. My final film is set in a woodland that is not entirely natural, which is conveyed through the colour palette and unusual proportions of the creatures that inhabit it.

My creative influences are wide-ranging, including the renowned studio Cartoon Saloon, as well as traditional stories and authors such as Aesop's fables and folklore containing mysterious creatures. I am also inspired by the magical and beautiful worlds created by Hayao Miyazaki in films like 'Spirited Away' and 'Princess Mononoke.'

Looking ahead, I am thrilled to continue exploring animation as a medium and to collaborate with other artists and animators in crafting more immersive and intricate worlds. My aspiration is to work in the film industry, where I can bring my passion for storytelling and love for fantastical environments to life. Above all, I hope to inspire and bring happiness to audiences through my art, just as my creative influences have inspired and brought happiness to me.

“Metamorphosis” is a 2D digitally animated short film that centres around Pom, a character who lives alone in a tower on an island inhabited only by insects. Pom longs to fly, just like the insects he has observed flying freely around the island. He has spent a long time studying insects and collecting them in jars.

As the story begins, Pom sets out on a journey into the forest to collect the final pieces he needs to create a creature that he can transfer his consciousness into, in order to achieve his goal of flight. He finds the last piece, a butterfly, trapped in a spider's web. After freeing the insect, Pom returns home to complete his creation.

However, Pom soon realizes that he needs the blood of a living insect to complete the transfer process, and in his obsession to achieve his goal, he kills one, by devouring it, without hesitation. The transfer is successful, and Pom experiences the freedom of flight, but it is short-lived as flies into a tree and lands in the spider's web he had broken earlier.

In the end, Pom becomes the spider's meal, highlighting the consequences of his actions. The story explores themes of obsession, sacrifice, and consequences, while also touching on the desire for freedom and the limitations that come with it.