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Alex’s fabulous character creations are beginning to take on a life of their own with a new animated TV series, The Coop Troop, airing this month in France

As part of the Association of Illustrator’s Inside Illustration feature on “Illustration for Children Season”, Alex T. Smith talks to Greg McIndoe about his stories moving from print to animation.

With his much-loved young readers book series, Claude, being the first of his projects to be brought to life on the small screen, Alex talks about his inspirations from TV and film and his gift for tapping into a childlike sense of freedom, curiosity and unadulterated oddness. He says, “I’m a big believer in not tempering your weirdness. Why play safe when you could be weird?”

His inspiration for his latest animation creation came from somewhere very close to home – his garden. “I have pet chickens and I am always looking out at them and wondering what they are up to.” This seed of an idea developed into The Coop Troop which he describes as “The A Team but with farmyard animals.” The initial idea came from Alex during a brainstorming session with Sixteen South and they have been developing it together ever since.

With both Claude and The Coop Troop, Alex has been sure to celebrate all of the little wins along the way; including the ‘surreal’ moment when he first saw footage of the characters he had dreamt up inside his head moving and speaking exactly how he’d imagined they would.

The biggest win for Alex is the delight of having children as his audience – something which he believes is a true privilege.

“They are loveable, incredibly bright and funny but so weird,” he says, “You can go anywhere and they will come along for the ride.”

You can read the full interview HERE.


Images courtesy of Sixteen South - © Sixteen South


The Coop Troop is created by Alex T. Smith and Colin Williams at Sixteen South. Produced by Mikros Animation.


Alex T. Smith is represented by Arena Illustration.

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