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Puppet Prodigy Louis Robson Expands His Creative Horizons

Event Date 
Thursday, 27 June, 2024

Louis Robson with Puppets
Louis Robson in a Hartlepool College of Further Education laboratory with a few of his puppets. Picture: HCFE

As Hartlepool College of Further Education, we are incredibly proud to witness the remarkable journey of a talented creator who is making waves on the global stage with his puppet designs.Teenager Louis Robson, a 19-year-old alumnus of our Level 4 creative enterprise course, has left a lasting impression with his exceptional work. His brilliant puppet-making skills have not only led to the establishment of his own business, the Puppet Laboratory, but have also opened doors to new opportunities, including commissioned illustration projects.

Louis, who is set to begin a degree in animation at the Northern School of Art in September, reflects fondly on his time with us: “I’ve absolutely loved it at Hartlepool College and developing as an illustrator in animation. The end goal now is to make a pilot for an animated series, maybe make something akin to The Simpsons or Creature Comforts. I’d love to make a short animated or puppet film. The last three years have made me the person I am today. I’m more confident in myself and I am doing things I never thought I would be comfortable doing.”

The standard of Louis’s work continues to impress those around him. Lauren Morrell, a programme leader for creative enterprise here at Hartlepool College, has high praise: “I have always said to Louis, ‘don’t forget me when you are famous’. He is phenomenal as a creative person, but then he is also hugely caring and supportive of others. He’s a one-off and we are excited about his future.”

Louis's passion for creation started with an affection for The Muppets as a child. During the COVID-19 pandemic, he began making his own puppets at home, starting with a pink cookie monster-style puppet named Gumbo. He then created a grey one that he still treasures today, and his interest has only grown from there. Louis shared: “I showed some of my friends, put them on social media, and people liked them. I kept making more, some were sold. Within a few weeks of making a custom-designed one, I was sending them across the UK, places like East Sussex, Norfolk … then people from New York, the USA, were asking for them.”

In addition to puppet-making, Louis is also illustrating. An illustration project for Orangebox during a work experience rekindled his love for animations: “An illustration for Orangebox during work experience rekindled my love for animations because I always liked them—I used to do them all the time on a Nintendo DS.”

Louis's illustrations
An example of Louise's creative illustrations

Louis has also created a charming animation featuring two Plasticine frogs, voiced by his grandparents, who both have dementia. This personal project, which can be viewed on YouTube, holds special meaning: “My mam and sister are their main carers and I help out when I can because my grandparents have done so much for us over the years. They both inspired me to design these frogs, a Creature Comforts-style clip. I interview them about ‘regeneration’ and I highlight their reactions as frogs! My grandparents make me laugh so much and this is a lovely lasting memory for me to have.”

For further information or if you are interested in commissioning Louis, check out his Instagram https://www.instagram.com/thepuppetlaboratory/

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