Merik de Meeuw by Ellen Meske
Merik de Meeuw (Trouw, 22 October 1986)

Ellen Meske is an Amsterdam-based US director of animated movies, storyboard artist and illustrator. She has worked on both commercial and personal projects, and with several animation techniques, most notably stop motion. She has furthermore made the comic strips 'De Wilde Vaart van de Vlotter' (1983-1984), 'Merik de Meeuw' (1984-1986) and 'Merik's Wereldreis' (1987) for Dutch newspaper Trouw.

Meske was born in 1952 in Los Angeles, California, and studied at the Los Angeles College of Design. She received her Bachelor's Degree in Fine Arts from the University of California at Santa Cruz in 1974. Meske worked mainly as a graphic artist and an illustrator before moving to the Netherlands in 1977. She started working in animation after entering the Vrije Academie Psychopolis in The Hague, where several renowned independent animation artists were working. Her first short film, 'The Inflatable Alphabet' (1979), was produced with the pencil-on-paper technique and produced by Nico Crama. She has since then worked as an animation assistant for such Dutch filmmakers as Hans Nassenstein and Monique Renault. She has worked with cell animation ('In Nomini Domini', 'Leve de Seksuele Revolutie', 1980), cut out animation ('De Fluit en de Bombardon', 1980) and clay animation ('Capriccio', 1995) in educational shorts, children's films and commercials for television.


De Wilde Vaart van de Vlotter (Trouw, 24 August 1983)

Meske has worked for the UK studio Cosgrove Hall Films on stop-motion puppet TV series like 'Oakie Doke' (1996) and 'Animal Shelf' (1997-1999) and for Palm Plus Multimedia in Hilversum on a TV series based on Dick Bruna's 'Miffy and Friends' (2003-2004). For several years, she has storyboarded diverse series including the popular and award winning 'Bob The Builder' and 'Postman Pat'. She has also designed, directed and animated commercial and promotional animated films. She has also given workshops in the Netherlands, France, Portugal and Japan.


Merik de Meeuw (3 April 1985)

In addition to her animation work, Ellen Meske made illustrations for Kinderkrant, Serpentine magazine, daily newspaper Trouw and the emancipation project Vrek in Amsterdam. She has also illustrated Rita Törnqvist's book 'De Fluit en de Bombardon' (Ploegsma, 1988) and several women's information booklets for Uitgeverij Sara (1981-1983). In the period 1983-1987 she was present on the youth page Zanzibar of newspaper Trouw with several irregularly appearing comic strips. Her first creation for the section was 'De Wilde Vaart van de Vlotter' (30 March 1983 - 27 June 1984), about a gang of kids exploring the world on a home-made raft. It was followed by 'Merik de Meeuw' (5 December 1984 - 22 October 1986), about a sarcastic seagull originating in the aforementioned strip. Meske's strips were alternated with comic strips like 'Bonus' (1984, 1986-1987) by Rob Hogenbirk. A serial called 'Merik's Wereldreis' by Meske appeared in 1987.


Merik's Wereldreis (6 May 1987)

www.ellenmeske.com

Ellen Meske in Lambiek's Nederlandse Stripgeschiedenis

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