Merike van de Vijver Lecturer, Animation

Merike van de Vijver

I deliver lectures across the whole programme of the animation department at SODA with a focus on designing and making for stopmotion production.

I am an animator and creative generalist who works as a freelance practitioner and lecturer in Manchester. With an extensive background in animation production and art, I specialise in finding original solutions to animated communication by producing (often) ultra-short stopmotion animations created in a wide selection of materials and techniques.

After earning a BA (Hons) in animation in The Netherlands and finishing a course at Aardman Academy, I entered the children’s stop motion tv production world to explore a passion for various departments within the industry and the teamwork between them: set building, puppet design, prop making and animation. The early part of my career I spent animating on studio-based stop motion productions (Bob the Builder, Miffy, Clangers) before transitioning to running a business as a self-employed creative generalist.

Obtaining an MA in Graphic Design and Art Direction at Manchester Metropolitan University has given me the opportunity to expand my knowledge and expertise in art and design and develop my solid skill base even further by researching new techniques, both analogue and digital.

I have great interest in sustainability and how design choices can positively influence climate (change) solutions of individuals. In the past years I have collaborated with a Dutch climate specialist in developing a book for small children to encourage them to be aware of their close ecological surroundings. After creating an educational programme around this book, it has been picked up by 30 nature education centres around Holland and is taught to hundreds of primary school children.

You can find examples of my work here: