Well, we are Marc Smith, Ailsa Smith, Helen Lamond & Katie Lamond. We are script writers, illustrators, animators and developers. Marc and Ailsa are the owners and also husband and wife. Helen & Katie are sisters from a neighbouring village.
Our office is in our home which is located up the north west of the Scotland on the Island of Skye, UK. Hence the name, Cuillin. I’m sure you’ve all seen ‘The Ridge‘ mountain bike film starring Danny MacAskill. Well, that is the Cuillins. Our home views onto that spectacular ridge.
What about us?
Marc Smith: “I started creating videos when I was about 14. Mostly homemade zombie flicks. When I was 21 my brother, Jamie and I decided to shoot a feature length zombie film. By the age of 25 it was completed and we sold a few hundred copies throughout some German zombie fanclubs. During 2015 & 2016 I aim to have two short films shot in and around Skye.
I formed the Cuillin Collective with Ailsa in 2009 and it’s grown every single year. From shooting and editing 1 video per week we now manage between 6 & 8 videos at any one time. Although I still animate every so often my primary job is project managing and taking care of the daily business tasks.
Ailsa and I have twin 3 year old sons, a retired greyhound, a lurcher, a cat (called Mouse), a lamb called Uan (Gaelic for lamb), 4 chickens and a Cockerel called Heisenberg.
I absolutely adore what I do and it allows both Ailsa and I to live in one of the most beautiful locations on the planet. The perfect mix of friendships, location, local talent and a home filled with happiness.”
Ailsa Smith: “I have always loved drawing. I sometimes wonder if it’s because I am so rubbish at getting my point across in words, I’d much rather do it in pictures or video. It’s way more exciting to create and watch.
I studied art at Edinburgh’s Telford College but sometimes found the pressure to stick to one style frustrating. I like to work with different styles. it keeps work challenging and it keeps life exciting. Why do the same thing day in/day out? My dad told me to choose a career that makes me happy because I will be doing it for the majority of my life, so I did! ( cheers for that Dad! )
People often ask how myself and Marc manage to work together and stay married. Well, I don’t know why it works, it just does.
My average day is a perfect balance of teaching and playing with our 2 wonderful twin boys, tending to our animals and working on fantastic projects for our customers from over the globe! “
Juliet Ross: I have always been deeply into literature and aesthetics and nothing has allowed me to combine these two interests more than my work. My personal favourite way of expressing myself is through bright and vivid hair colours yet illustrating and drawing comes a close second.
My job allows me loads of creative freedom and I get to do it all in the company of my resident office cat, Tango, who keeps me company throughout the day. Whether he does it willingly or not is still a mystery.
I am attending a Graphic Design college course this year and plan to advance to a university degree in it next year, which will really help the quality and creativity of my work. Working for The Cuillin Collective is a fun and productive way to spend my weekends.