Colette Peri has become a creative trailblazer in the field of stop motion content creation. Hailing from California, her colourful creations and fun moving feats are a joy to watch and serve as inspiration for those aspiring to follow in her footsteps.
Colette's childhood love of creating stop motions has turned into a successful career creating animations for some of the world's biggest brands. But she's not just satisfied with bringing the creative visions of brands to life. Colette has a deep longing to teach and the natural ability to break down her craft in an accessible way. She also balances her time with education and mentoring. Her renowned Stop Motion and signature Brand Magic courses are popular among both newcomers to brand animation and well-established animators.
More recently, Colette has embraced a new role: motherhood. With the birth of her son and new muse, Nico, he has quickly become a part of her animated life too.
Scroll on to get to know Colette more and see this creative magician work her motion magic.
Hey Colette! We'd love to find out how you got started as a stop motion artist?
I’m Colette from California, right outside of San Francisco!
In college, I invested in a hobbyist DSLR camera for studying abroad. But after graduation, I decided to list it for sale on craigslist because I rarely use it! A woman was interested and we coordinated for her to come pick it up… but she never showed. The next day my sister got engaged and asked if I’d take their engagement photos because I had a “nice camera”. I agreed, but was so nervous and wanted to do a good job so I signed up for my first photography lesson. Those photography lessons became weekly classes and eventually I became the teacher’s assistant shooting weddings.
At the same time, I was working 9-5 in marketing at a creative agency and they tasked me with running the company Instagram account. The pressure was on to be creative with it! I rediscovered my childhood love for stop motion and was shooting on my phone. It was so much fun that eventually I’d go home from work every night and make stop motions with anything I could find around the house.
4 years later I left that job and started my own stop motion studio creating short-form video content for the world’s leading brands!
What are some things people might not know about you?
One would say Colette has grown up to be a magician working her stop motion magic for global brands like Pottery Barn Kids. Source: @colette.peri
What equipment do you currently use to produce your images and video?
I most often shoot with a Sony a7r III, my Benro tripod and Dracast continuous LED lighting. But recently I also love shooting with my iPhone 14 Pro Max, a super compact tripod, and natural light! The description box of this Youtube vid has links for everything.
Colette shows us how to make a shoe bounce for global show giant Asics. Source: @colette.peri
What is your best advice to share with aspiring photographers and stop motion artists?
As soon as you can, create a ‘cheerleading folder’ on your phone. Whenever you get positive feedback from a mentor or client (or even a super nice comment on Instagram) screenshot it and save it to the album. Then, during the inevitable lows that come with being an artist/freelancer— go back to your cheerleading folder to lift your spirits and rebuild your confidence.
Your videos are really fun, any advice for creatives wanting to produce this type of content?
I once asked a professional stop motion artist a question like this when I was first starting out. She told me she didn’t have advice because, “so many people are doing stop motion now.” I then worked extremely hard to figure out and teach myself all the technicalities of stop motion, lighting, camera settings and editing + made it my mission to SHARE this knowledge with others and make this career path more accessible. Coletteperi.com/learn has resources for EVERYTHING I know when it comes to stop motion production, getting epic clients, pricing your work and more.
How do you keep learning and evolving your skills?
I invested in coaching with Marjolaine for the past 5 years to guide me through my business journey, help me realize my dreams, and figure out what I feel most passionate about. I try to always follow my passions as they evolve and never get stuck doing something I’m not feeling lit up about!
Which other creators do you admire and find inspiring?
@colormecourtney is such a fun, innovative and empowering creator! I admire her work and always feel inspired following her journey.
My friend @ChelseaMakes can make literally anything and her content/personality makes me feel like my most imaginative, childlike self again.
@BeccaClason’s work just blows my mind each time. She is next level talent and has soooo much patience, it’s incredible!
What is next for you?
Two exciting things are on the horizon… a masterclass in meshing stop-motion with live action video to create hybrid stop-motions like this one… and I’m also going to be selling prints online and IRL soon!
Colette’s adorable son Nico starring in one of her new live action stop motions. Source: @colette.peri
Thank you Colette for letting us into your wonderfully creative life, we really appreciate your time and inspiring work.
To learn more about Colette and the art of stop motions, follow her on Instagram and pop to her website to explore how to learn. Perhaps join one of her courses here (or purchase a bundle) and create motion magic too!
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