Jess Peterson can create magic through 2D animation
The president of Western Skies Strategies, Jess Peterson, is also the co-founder and CEO of “Mighty Oak”. It is an agency that specializes in the art of handmade animation. Jess has an experience of working in the music industry as well as of doing branding communication for a children’s museum till 2015, after which, with animators Emily Collins and Michaela Olsen, Jess launched Mighty Oak. Through miniature sets, cut paper, and custom puppets, the company aims to make 2D animation commercials. The clients that the company has received are top-notch companies’ like- Airbnb, Etsy, Delta Dental, and Netflix. These companies have Jess on their speed dial.
“We primarily work with a medium called stop-motion animation, but we also do 2D animation, meaning that we are crafting all the video assets and the videos by hand, animating them in-camera, and then using post-visual effects to bring it all together and put the magic in,” says Jess about the work of Mighty Oak.
A Northeastern University graduate, Jess has been named one of the most creative people in business in 2019 by fast company after her handmade animation studio made of $1 million sales in the year 2018. It is amongst the only 1.7% woman-owned company which has been able to make such a huge sale in one year. The company has also drawn immense appreciation from the audience for the work it has done, some of which include digital shorts for Nick Jr. and promos for Adult Swim. An original film made by Mighty Oak was premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, 2019.
“We’re doing everything from animating with paper to food, clay puppets, life-sized animated dorm rooms in the Bronx, and tiny miniatures for Coca-Cola and Netflix,” says Peterson.
Her next aim is to step into the television market. “I think we’re starting to connect more with TV networks,” she says. “We’ve done some work for a couple of HBO shows including ‘Random Acts of Flyness,’ and will hopefully work on more of our original content.”