Sam Richards

Animation and Illustration

Illustration of someone walking past shops with guitar on back and fishmonger in foreground
Film still from "Dragonslayer Mary" animated trailer.

Hello! I’m Sam, a UK-based artist with a focus on sequential narrative illustration, and visual development for animation. I’m especially fond of stories that can balance silly and light-hearted concepts with a sincere core message.

Within the course, I have been thankful to direct a couple of client projects as part of our group collaborations. These taught me a lot about team cohesion, and helped grow my appreciation for how an idea can evolve when reinforced by diverse perspectives. Elsewhere, I’ve particularly enjoyed the creative briefs that encouraged working a little outside the box of standard practice: for instance, developing an interactive graphic novel in Eko Studio.

After graduation, I’m excited to pursue new ways of maintaining this playful side of story-making, while continuing to hone my professional skills via self-led projects and peer collaborations. I hope to keep building compelling tales that can hold both joy and significance for people.

My Final Major Project is a sequential narrative production titled Dragonslayer Mary: Fish out of Water! Self-assured protagonist Mary faces confusion as she arrives to defeat her latest draconic target, only to find that the people of the small fishing town it’s chosen to invade aren’t bothered by it at all.

The story’s dragon is based loosely on the Knucker folk tales from my home region of Sussex. I was inspired by works like Sas Milledge’s Mamo and Jean Wei’s Mending a Rift, whose creators cleverly weave fantastical elements with the mundane. Central to the narrative are the themes of failure and self-expected purpose – what happens when the grand ‘hero’s journey’ doesn’t go as planned?

The final outcome of this project will be a 40-page graphic novel in print format. I am also producing a 2D-animated book trailer. This trailer was designed to be a cinematic project in itself, serving additionally as a proof of concept for the visual style, setting, and overall tone of the main story.

Both parts of my final project are an ongoing work in progress. Do check out my website and links for future updates, my animation showreel, and other examples of sequential/visdev work. :]

Six illustrations of a man and woman from different angles
Turnaround of main characters from final project – Mary (right) and Bib (left).
Graphic novel page depicting attempts to combat different dragons
Page excerpt from "Dragonslayer Mary" graphic novel.
Graphic novel page depicting dragon shadowplay on stage and real dragon carved up with swords over person standing on quay next to large shanty
Page excerpt from "Dragonslayer Mary" graphic novel.
Animation still depicting person with guitar on back walking past shops above frame of person removing sunglasses
Film stills from "Dragonslayer Mary" animated trailer.
Animation still depicting person walking on quay with guitar on back
Film still from "Dragonslayer Mary" animated trailer.
Illustrated motion graphics trailer for George Orwell’s "1984".
Four film stills showing person in bed; dressed as knight covered in blood; drawing sword from back; and wielding sword in bedroom.
Collection of stills from second year film "The Wait".
Illustration of young man waiting at bus stop at night
Gameplay still from Creature of Habit, an urban-fantasy interactive graphic novel.
Illustration of girl floating over white cliffs of Dover
Concept piece for "Where the Wind Goes", in development to be a 2D short film.