James Butler talk – Creator of Peppa Pig

On Tuesday 12 July 2022, James Butler, Head of Layout at Karrot, visited Croxley Danes to speak to Year 10 students as part of their Enrichment Week about his 20-year career in animation. 

James began by talking about his passion for animation as a teenager but growing up in a rural county with no obvious career links into film and television. He moved on from his A levels in Art, Physics and Geography by studying Electronic Imaging and Media Communications at the University of Bradford.

From there, James worked in film, advertising and music videos, before getting the opportunity to work on Peppa Pig, which went from being a relatively new series in 2006 to many hundreds of episodes, generating global sales of over £1bn. 

Using video clips and screenshots from animation software to illustrate his points, James explained it takes three years to make a new series of Peppa Pig, with a team of 42 performing job roles from Director to Writer to Layout Artist and everything in between. The broad range of roles in the sector was reinforced through the example of accountancy – every TV production needs an accountant!

The Year 10 students then got stuck into some really good questioning, ranging from who James’ favourite Peppa character was, to how much animators earn. James advised the students on seeing failure as a key pathway to success and covered the huge number of roles in the UK creative sector that are available locally.

Our thanks extend to ‘Speakers for Schools’, a charity giving state schools access to talks from today’s leading professionals and academics.