Animator Sim Marriott on making it work off grid

Faced with the lifestyle changes wrought by the global pandemic, people far and wide have reckoned with their work/life balance and sought a change of scenery as our homes have transformed into our offices. For many, this has meant moving to more remote spots, yet animator Sim Marriott has taken this thinking to a new level. 

In the early 2000s, Marriott began freelancing as an illustrator with agencies like Wieden + Kennedy, Saatchi & Saatchi and Leo Burnett. He went on to forge a fruitful career as a character and 2D FX animator, and for over ten years has worked on everything from the Britain’s Got Talent title sequence to a U2 music video to ads for Volkswagen and Halifax. He is part of the core freelance pool at Nexus Studios, where he spent 18 months as animation lead on Headspace and contributed to the new BBC promo for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

During those early freelance days, Marriott was living along the Cornish coast, yet at the time the area felt too far from the action. After stints in Northampton, London, Cambridge, Malta and Switzerland, last year he set sail again – quite literally, because for the past five years, he and his family have lived on a boat. After spending the first lockdown anchored in London and the second in Brighton, just before the third lockdown they upped sticks and returned to Cornwall, eventually settling down near Falmouth. 

“What we really wanted was to be free and be out living our life,” he tells CR. “I suppose I don’t really subscribe to the traditional view of what a work/life balance is, because I don’t think it separates out quite like that, especially in the creative industries. Often you’re thinking about work stuff while you’re doing leisure stuff.”

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