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An animated character sits beside a pool with a 'Love, we own it' logo above

Illustration graduate Leanne owns it with new Love Island TV ad


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AUB Illustration graduate Leanne Rule has been revealed as the creative force behind ITV’s vibrant new animated TV advert for hit reality series Love Island.

Lending her wit and creative talent to a new commercial celebrating iconic characters, scenarios and situations drawn from across Love Island’s seven series, Leanne graduated from AUB’s BA (Hons) Illustration course in 2019 and has worked with brands including Nike, Klarna and Taco Bell.

The Brighton-based 3D illustrator, animator and director worked with creative studio Kitchen at Jelly and ITV creative to develop balloon-like characters symbolising some of the most famous aspects of the show.

Leanne said: “The project came through in February and I was to be co-directing the animation with KITCHEN, with me doing all the 3D work and them doing the 2D work, coming together to storyboard and composite.

Love Island was all about the design work, with the animation being a second, smaller part to it. Every shot was so quick, so it was about being able to read the image quickly, before moving onto the next shot. There were bits that I knew well, and then other jokes that I learned about while we were producing the ad. It was weird to be doing research by watching Love Island!”

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Speaking about how she moves between the closely related disciplines of animation and illustration, Leanne said: “Working in animation was always something I’d been interested in and after a guest lecture at AUB, I really felt like it was something I wanted to do – in my final year, I deliberately tried to angle my work towards getting signed by an agent.”

“The Illustration course at AUB really helped because the tutors were really open to us doing anything that we wanted to do. My design work is still very illustration-led, and I’d consider myself an illustrator who makes things move, rather than an animator.

Leanne’s unique and unusual style also features in YOLO, a project developed while studying at AUB which uses animation to explore a bucket list of things to do before you die.

“My practice at AUB is still a huge part of what I do now. It’s a few years down the line, but my work really stems from my studies in second and third year at AUB.

“The best advice I can give for others looking to do this kind of work is actually to share the worst thing you can do as a recent graduate – don’t put your feet up after your hard work! Keep up your creative practice and momentum. Keep going. Don’t rest and don’t stop, you have to keep creating!

“I do really miss AUB’s vibe and atmosphere, and after hearing from friends graduating from other universities, I really see how AUB never made us look like particular artists, it just encouraged us to follow our passions and be ourselves as creatives.”

Christian Edwardes, BA (Hons) Illustration Course Leader at AUB, said: “Illustrators like Leanne have the technical and conceptual skills to work in a diverse range of roles across several creative sectors.

“Leanne has always been versatile in her approach to illustrative work, but she is also consistent in bringing that sense of irreverence and cheek to projects like this. This ability to hone and craft a distinct concept or style often leads to unique and interesting opportunities.”

He added: “Seeing Leanne’s work develop and flourish both during and after her time at AUB is a source of great pride for all of us here at AUB Illustration. Well done Leanne!”

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