Natalie’s award-winning film shows beauty is not skin deep

20 June 2018

Christian faith inspires project

A University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) student has used her final year project to explore the way society’s standards of beauty affect how people see themselves.

21-year-old Natalie Jeffers created a film, Skin Deep, as part of her studies for a degree in Animation.

The film tells the story of an artist sketching a friend, whose drawing comes to life and makes changes to its appearance after making comparisons with images in the media and hearing negative comments.

The artist returns to find the sketch looking completely different, reflecting how beauty is in the eye of God the creator.

Natalie, from Preston, produced the film using rotoscoping, a technique which is used to trace frames of motion footage to create animation, in addition to green screen technology.

The former Runshaw College student used her personal experience with anxiety and insecurities, and her Christian faith, to complete the project.  

Her work has already won a Lancashire Arts Festival Award in the Media (Tech) category, which is sponsored by Creative Lancashire; Lancashire County Council’s team dedicated to raising the profile of creative industries in the area.

"I wanted my work to reflect the fact that we are all different and it’s our differences that make us beautiful."

Natalie said: “We all have an insecurity of some sort, and they can be heightened by the media, our peers and gender expectations. Society often portrays beauty as being one particular shape or size, which results in us putting lots of pressure on ourselves to conform or look a certain way.

“I wanted my work to reflect the fact that we are all different and it’s our differences that make us beautiful.

“I chose UCLan because it was the best in the region for Animation. My brother and sister also studied art subjects here, so I knew what was in store for me. I met the tutors first and everyone was so friendly and welcoming.

“My UCLan experience has been amazing and really exceeded expectations. From the tutors to the facilities, everything has been brilliant and I’m glad I came here.”

In the future Natalie would like to set up her own illustration and animation business, and also complete an MA in children’s book illustration.

Natalie’s work has been on display at UCLan’s Preston Campus as part of the Lancashire Arts Festival Degree Show.