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Graduates bring colour to the corporate world with new animation business  

Published: 25 April 2024

  •   Business
  •    Students
A group of people sitting on sofas around a low table

Three years after meeting on the Animation BA (Hons) course, a group of York St John University graduates has launched a colourful new business venture with the help of the University’s Enterprise Centre. Hijinks Studios will offer bespoke animated content, as the team bring their fun and engaging style to clients in York and beyond.  

Launched two years ago, the Enterprise Centre is situated on the University’s main Lord Mayor’s Walk campus and offers free office space for fledgling businesses plus ongoing support. Occupants can access academic expertise including coaching and mentoring workshops from York Business School and support with digital marketing, growth planning, finance skills and bid writing. The Centre is also uniquely connected to the business support landscape as it’s run in partnership with the York & North Yorkshire Growth Hub. 

Hijinks Studios is the latest Centre occupant. The business is the brainchild of Harry Stockdale who, after a spell working as an animator in Hull, decided to apply to York St John to hone his skills and expand his professional networks. Fast-forward to 2024 and Harry, and four of his Class of 2023 coursemates, are taking on their first commissions as professional animators.  

Harry said: “I didn’t really think university was for me until I’d worked in a small animation company for a while and realised I wanted to learn the skills to give it a go on my own. The course has been amazing, with the networks and the people I’ve met and all the support from our tutors.  

“I like to see myself as Nick Fury who’s assembled The Avengers - everyone in the team brings their own skills and styles which is what makes Hijinks great.”  

Joining Harry in the team are Louise Grimshaw, Jess Mattana, Nina Rees and Ellie Rogers. Louise said: 

“We’ve collaborated on a lot of projects over the last few years, so our working relationships are tried and tested. Some of them have been a bit of a trial by fire but it’s been great fun, and we now know we can do it.  

“York has such a great creative community but there’s definitely space for a fun, family-friendly, animation studio like ours so we’re excited to see what we can bring.” 

Richard Jacobs, Lecturer in Animation said:  

“The Hijinks team were all brilliant students, making really exciting and successful work as part of their studies. They’re used to working in industry and have impressed clients at businesses like the Yorkshire Museum, Freeklime and Rumpus Animation already. 

“They’ve chosen to set up at a great time for the city with its new push for supporting creative arts. It’s 10 years since York was given UNESCO City of Media Arts status and there is renewed vigour in driving and celebrating the creative industries and what they bring to York.” 

Emma Rollason-Taylor, Enterprise Centre Manager, said: “We’re really pleased to welcome the Hijinks Studios team and their creative energy. They’re joining us at an ideal time as we build the creative community here at the Centre and we’re also the home of NODE who support micro creative businesses. So, as well as the free business support and space that our Centre offers, they will have great networking opportunities on the ground too.” 

Contact Hijinks Studios and see more of their work:




Find out more about studying Animation at York St John University  Animation BA (Hons) 

Find out more about our Enterprise Centre and how it can help to support your business ideas Enterprise Centre


Image shows (l-r) Richard Jacobs, Emma Rollason-Taylor, Harry Stockdale, Nina Rees, Louise Grimshaw, Jess Mattana


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