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Visual Communication (MA)

Emmie Thompson

Illustrator, animator and maker from the North East of England, currently creating in London. I graduated from Teesside University in 2021 with a BA in 2D Animation and Stop Motion, from where I’ve continued to birth creatures and cuties into soft worlds.

Playing with a range of mediums, I produce character focused visuals where round and colourful babies roam free across felt fields and curl up in digital dens.

Exploring the ideas of cuteness and softness, my work bundles the audience into a comfort zone of nostalgia, innocence and play to remedy the harshness of everyday life.

I use a combination of digital illustration, animation and handcrafted making to tell stories through simplistic imagery, inviting others to embrace their inner child through means of self care and compassion.


2022-23 Visual Communication (MA), Royal College of Art

2018-21 2D Animation and Stop Motion (BA) (First Class Honours), Teesside University


2021 NCFE Level 2 Award in Creative Craft (Ceramics)

2020 Flatten the Curve, Studio Desk Collaborative Animation, Vimeo Staff Pick

2017 Sunderland City of Culture 2021 Bid, Artwork Exhibited at Ryhope Engine Museum, Guest Speaker

2016 Journal Culture Awards, Finalist, Contribution to Arts, Culture and Filmmaking

2016 Snowdog Art Trails (Great North Snowdogs), Designed and Painted Snowdog Sculpture, Exhibited at Washington Arts Centre

2016 Sunderland Young Achievers Award for Contribution to Arts and Culture

2015 BFI Future Film Festival, Finalist, Screened Animated Short

2015 INTO Film Festival, Finalist, Screened Animated Short at Leicester Square IMAX

2015 Dublin Animation Film Festival, Nominated and Screened Animated Short with Honourable Mention

2015 Screentest Student Film Festival, Nominated and Screened Animated Short

2015 Custom Reels Short Film Awards, Sound Design Winner

2015 Leeds Film Festival INDIs, Winner

2015 Cinemagic Belfast, Shortlisted and Screened Animated Short

2015 Port of Tyne Reflect Awards, Finalist, Exhibited at Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art

2014 Berwick Film Festival, Young Filmmakers Award Winner

2014 & 2015 Sunderland Youth Art Exhibition, Winner

2014 Well Versed, Google Backed E-Safety Collaborative Campaign, Animation Featured and Screened at Google HQ London

2014 Durham Cathedral HNCP Art Exhibition, Exhibited Artwork

two packaged soft toys with labels reading: little baby and perfect cutie

soft space translates my illustrative practice into a multi sensory experience for the audience to immerse themselves within, allowing my distinct visual style to morph into tactile real world objects.

Through reworking and repurposing found materials and scavenged charity shop toys, I’ve preserved the spirit of their past lives, layering that energy into my newly born creatures. 

My mixed media approach to making plays with how these characters transform when pulled into a three dimensional space, calling attention to how perceptions or feelings towards them shift through this process.

Does everyone experience the feeling of cuteness in the same way?

How and why does innocence and cuteness come tied to a deeper/darker sense of pining and sadness?

How can cuteness, play and nostalgia be used to provide a safe space for us to escape reality?

gif of risograph zine
how can i help you feel this cuteness? In this zine I begin to question the way in which I perceive cuteness, the feelings associated with it, and how this compares to the experiences of others.
three zine activity packs
me, you & cute activity packsInteractive activity packs that encourage play, mindfulness and relaxation. Inspired by my appreciation of the ritualistic experience of opening packages, surprise boxes and lucky bags.
expanded version of activity packs
expanded activity packThe activity packs are opened to reveal classroom-inspired puzzle game play-sheets with a miniature coloured pencil, 'how can i help you feel this cuteness?' zine, and a research findings booklet accompanied by a hand sculpted polymer clay character keychain.


risograph zine (fluorescent pink and green)


gif of a spiral bound book with character illustrations
A beginners guide to the world of soft space. Be sure to know how to identify the local creatures, babies, softies and critters.


risograph cover (fluorescent pink and yellow), lenticular printed title card, spiral bound, handmade beaded strap accessory


installation setup of colourful reworked soft toys

soft space is an extension of my illustrative practice, transforming the characters seen throughout my work into three dimensional beings and objects. Designed to allow others to immerse themselves within my comforting visuals, the installation element of this project acts as a portal to a safe spot, lined with precious childhood memories that awake warm but potentially heart-aching feelings.

My world is patched together from found materials, recycled scraps, charity shop toys and rescued second hand softies from the hidden corners of eBay.


mixed media, reworked and repurposed fabric and toys, printed fleece illustration backdrop


jar containing colourful toy capsules
jar of affirmationsJar of surprise toy capsules containing risograph printed affirmations. Continuing to be inspired by the joy of opening things, I wanted to gift a small burst of positive energy and care to each recipient of these capsules.
toy surprise capsules
surprise capsulesVisitors of soft space are welcome to take a capsule as they pass through. Allow the creatures' immaculate vibes to heal you.
printed risograph affirmations with illustrations
notes of affirmation Selection of affirmations that can be found packaged in the surprise capsules. Feel at ease as the cuties in soft space encourage and love you.


risograph (fluorescent pink)
soft toy with animation playing on a screen on its body
this creature loves to play videos on her tummy for the other cuties in soft space
soft toy bear with cloc
green soft toy creature
bunny soft toy
stuffed toy
sleeping bag creature
striped soft toy creature
caterpillar soft toy
miniature painted wooden house and clay character
soft toy bear
gif of soft toy ladybird rotatin

watch that baby bug spin!


mixed media, reworked soft toys, video