Leonor Cruz

Illustration and Animation - BA (Hons)

Hi there! I’m Leonor Cruz, a Portuguese artist currently based in the UK who is passionate about storytelling and fantasy.  
Ever since I can remember I have been fascinated by animation and how powerful it is as a storytelling tool. There are no boundaries to what you can convey through it, and it is an amazing way to reach out to people and create meaningful stories that also look beautiful.

I specialise in 2D animation although I have experience in 3D modelling. I thoroughly enjoy doing character design and writing characters who are full of personality and creating fun dynamics between the cast. My goals are to illustrate books and at some point, publish my own graphic novel. I also have a big goal of working for a 2D TV children’s show. I enjoy experimenting and leaving my comfort zone, which I did for example in my graduation film, “Infância” where, unlike all my other work, it is in grayscale besides a couple details. It was challenging having to work with tones and see what difference they make in storytelling.

My final film is about how the experiences pre-pubescent children go through have a strong, long-lasting emotional impact on them, and how the people around them during this time have an important role in helping them and guiding them through it. It is especially important that we have a good support system at that age as it is when we create our coping mechanisms and learn how to react to different events and problem solve.

This animation is a visual metaphor for the impact these events have in our psyche, using the main characters body, its “shell”, which expresses and manifests this. In that way, the main character shapeshifts throughout the animation when coming across different situations that impact their emotional state, both positive and negative. We are introduced to Ovi and her two friends, Mia and Fora, who together take us on a ride through memory lane as we are shown little bits of their shared childhood, stories told with their own voices. They tell us about friendship, love and healthy relationship dynamics.