Interview: YONK

Do you wanna meet Yonk? They’re the animators who recently brought Wakana Yamazaki’s little meditating mushroom man to life and they’re also behind the animations for our latest Melissa collab which are so squishy and fun you almost want to chew on them. We really can’t get enough of their exaggerated, colourful animations that in our eyes are just the right amount of creepy. So now we’re having a chinwag to find out how they do it and what they’re up to.

Hiya Yonk! Can we call you Yonk?

Hello there! Why yes! Call us YONK! but if you prefer a first name basis then you can call us Vikki and Niels.

What have you been up to lately, and where are you right now?

We've been working the 9-5, making characters for some lovely people such as yourselves and cracking out some 3D renders for the sheer fun of it! We've been doing this from our little studio based in The Hague, Netherlands.

Interview: YONK

If we created an arty version of linkedin that wasn’t populated by corporate demons and you made a profile, what would your bio/job description be?

Digital clay artist's that make anything slightly creepy but still very loveable.

How long have you been making animations for? Is it still fun even when it’s your full time job?

We've been animating for a couple of years and honestly, it's the best job we've ever had. Every day you are creating the wildest ideas in your mind and giving them life with movement! It's challenging but also ridiculously satisfying at the same time.

Our motto at YONK is that we don't do anything that isn't fun, it's why we started the studio and so far, we can honestly say it's only been fun!

Interview: YONK

We love the animation you made of our meditating mushroom man by Wakana Yamazaki. Do you agree he looks lots better with his new bespoke bum?

We agree, we spent some time making sure the bum was perfectly sculpted, no squats needed at YONK.

Do you often animate other artists’ illustrations or collaborate with other illustrators?

We have in the past worked with illustrators to transform their characters to 3D! It's such an exciting process to lift something from a page to a 3D sculpture.

Interview: YONK

Where do you usually go for inspiration? What's your process?

We tend not to seek out inspiration directly and instead just live our lives and wait for the lightbulb moment to come to us. We are mostly inspired by things that happen to us, random Instagram accounts about antiques and friends saying dumb stuff. Once we've got the idea, we wack on the VR headset and sculpt using digital clay. This process gives a tangible look that makes you wanna reach out and squish the character.

Your Oracle series reminds us of Floop’s Fooglies from Spy Kids. That movie was fucked up. Have you seen it?

We have seen it and that's so true! Maybe we were subconsciously inspired by them!

Interview: YONK

Do you give them personalities in your mind? What do you reckon the mushroom man would be like?

All our characters get personalities as they are being sculpted. I think Mushroom man would have a relaxed look on life, probably friends with everyone as he harbours no negative energy but also enjoys the silence of being alone. He's a stand-up guy really, you just need to get to know him.

If you had to pick one outfit each from our Lazy Waves collection to wear for the rest of your life, what would you pick?

It's a tough one... but it's either Fresh As A Daisy Shirt Dress because we are loving that yellow or the Lazy Mushroom Meditation Sweatshirt as we now have a strong connection with Mushroom Man.

If your animations existed IRL, what would they feel like? Maybe a cross between those flour squishy face things we played with as a kid, and a giant washing tablet?

I think you hit the nail on the head! They could also have a little bit of the childhood jelly alien you could grow in an egg mixed in. They probably smell like them too...

Interview: YONK