Anna Walsh is a science educator and self-taught illustrator based in Kilkenny, Ireland. She only discovered scribing eight months ago, but has already has beaten entries from Cadburys, Nurofen and AIB bank to win first prize in the Irish Social Media Awards.
Hi Anna, could you tell us a bit about yourself?
I live in the lovely city of Kilkenny but I'm actually British. I moved here with my (Irish) husband and three children nine years ago.
I guess that as a qualified physics teacher I don’t have a typical background for a creator of social media videos, but it just goes to show that with some artistic ability, creative thinking and great software, anything is possible!
I pride myself on being able to offer the full package – from the writing of scripts to the production of videos based on my artwork. 6 Months ago I set up my own company, Doodlecom.
When did you first come across VideoScribe?
A friend of my husband saw a cartoon I had drawn and asked if I knew how to create one of the 'scribe animations' he had seen on YouTube. He thought they were mesmerising. When I researched them I could see the attraction – good scribe animations have you glued to the screen.
The library of images was a great start, but when I discovered how to import my own artwork, VideoScribe became a really exciting tool.
I quickly found the VideoScribe website. Armed with determination, Adobe Illustrator and a lot of support from the ‘University of YouTube’, I taught myself how to incorporate my own artwork into VideoScribe.
My first attempt was a little rough at the edges but it still caught the attention of Ford Ireland, who commissioned me to explain one of their financial products using this approach. Then Kevin Egan, a Sligo-based entrepreneur – who has succeeded in growing a car business in the midst of Ireland's financial meltdown – got in touch.
I put VideoScribe to work, helping him to communicate his story to existing and potential customers.
Anna and her beloved iMac in Kilkenny
How did you find using the software?
If ever there was proof that you don't need to be an artistic or technical genius to make effective use of this powerful communication tool, then I am it!
I found the VideoScribe website really helpful and the tutorials were invaluable. The library of images was a great start, but when I discovered how to import my own artwork, VideoScribe became a really exciting tool.
I still feel I have a lot more to discover about how to make the best use of this software.
Why did the judges at the Irish Social Media Awards choose your scribe?
The judges said that they chose the video because it conveyed 'a personal story and not just a sales or advertising video'.
[My] scribe had beaten off competition from large companies like Cadburys, Nurofen Ireland, AIB Bank and Done Deal. Not bad for my third attempt at creating a social media video!
My scribe won the category of 'Best Video' at the Awards, which were held in Dublin. Kevin was both stunned and delighted at being awarded the ‘Sockie’ – particularly as the scribe had beaten off competition from large companies like Cadburys, Nurofen Ireland, AIB Bank and Done Deal. Not bad for my third attempt at creating a social media video!
I think it shows how effective VideoScribe can be as a technique for communicating even the simplest of stories.
Kevin and Stacey Egan receiving the Sockie award in Dublin
What are your scribing plans for the future?
When I get through all the requests for commercial scribe animations I hope to apply some of my newfound skills to the realm of education.
I’ve just completed projects for a primary school, a third level college and now I’m looking forward to starting work on a scribe for a company in New Zealand and a national charity. In the future I hope to dedicate some of my time to creating scribe animations to support teachers in the classroom.
VideoScribe is a presentation tool that lends itself to a huge range of possibilities. I’m always delighted to discuss new ideas and can be contacted through my website.