Dec 18, 2020

We started 2020 starry-eyed and full of optimism. We’d welcomed Ben Walker to the ranks as a senior motion designer, and begun the hunt for a new studio to house our growing team. At this point in time, none of us could have imagined what the year ahead had in store.

By February, we’d found our new home, a plush office on the first level of a newly renovated building in the heart of Surry Hills, right above a new pizzeria called D.O.C. Having spent the last few years in communal offices and sub-leases, this was our first, and very own head-lease. We’d signed a three year agreement, spec’d out new furniture, and commissioned Australian artist, Georgia Hill, to paint a wall in our spiffy new studio.


By March, things were getting serious. The World Health Organisation declared COVID-19 a global pandemic, and as a team, we made the decision to work from home. On Wednesday March 19, within an afternoon, we copied all existing projects from the server, packed down our computers and headed home indefinitely.

We were nervous about the weeks and months that lay ahead, and each full pay run felt like a celebration. We know many studios who suffered during the pandemic, laying off staff and making pay-cuts. And we all have friends and family members in other industries who have had a very hard time this year. Many sectors have been hit much harder than the creative industry, so we are grateful that we’ve been able to operate relatively unscathed.

Work and new staff

Returning to the studio in June, we’ve had a steady stream of work, and in turn, have been able to grow the team over the last few months. Jess Fogarty moved over from Buck to join us as junior motion designer, and we also hired Sharon Lim, the producer we’ve been looking for, who has a wealth of prior experience in our field. And more recently, Nancy Li, a talented illustrator and cel animator, came on board. We’re now a team of eight full time staff at Never Sit Still, and we appreciate how fortunate we are to be in this position.

Throughout 2020, we’ve continued to strengthen partnerships with both agencies and our direct client relationships. We’ve teamed up with world class studios in Australia and abroad including Moniker, Mucho, Frost, Maud, Futurebrand, M35, Christopher Doyle & Co, Moffitt Moffitt, Interbrand and Marx. And we’ve worked directly with some of our more regular clients including Microsoft, Pinterest, Athena Home Loans, and Coassemble.

Studio of the Year and awards.

This year we were thrilled to win the peak award of Australian design awards – AGDA’s Studio of the Year.

This prestigious award is judged on overall score, along with a range of other factors, including studio growth, culture & diversity, range of clients, variety of work, impact on the Australian design landscape, and commitment to the creative community. This accolade is of the highest calibre, and we’re incredibly proud to have our name attached to a title of such pedigree. 

We came away from Australia’s AGDA Awards and New Zealand’s Best Awards with a few more wins under our belt. We had 14 finalists in the AGDA Awards, picking up a Merit for Machine and a Distinction for Hearing Australia, along with two Judges Choices. And 7 finalists in the Best Awards, taking a silver prize for our Hearing Australia project.

Our very own Zoe Crocker also judged both the Motion, and Emerging Designer categories for the 2020 AGDA Awards.

2021 and beyond.

We’ve got big plans for 2021. We’re currently rebranding our studio with Christopher Doyle & Co, to solidify our positioning as the leading animation studio for brand. We’re keeping our name, and we’re updating with a new identity system and website to lead us into 2021 and beyond. We’re super excited to launch in February, so watch this space.

As we close the door on a challenging year of full of uncertainty and unknowns, we open the door to a new year, welcoming hope, energy and optimism.

We wish you a safe and festive Christmas from the team at Never Sit Still.