An illustrated journey through Walthamstow Wetlands

Local illustrator and animator Leon Nikoo documents lockdown walks through Walthamstow Wetlands with a gorgeous new video…

My two-minute animated short, Lockdown duck ducks, started as an idea I had for a Christmas present for my partner and her child.

We had spent a lot of time going to the Walthamstow Wetlands, and I had even bought some binoculars and got into bird watching. We all found entertainment there, and it made our lives a little more comfortable during the pandemic. 

Watch the video here…

Over the months, I started to make the animation in secret, as it was supposed to be a surprise. We visited the wetlands, and I recorded little sounds, took photos.

When developing the style, I wanted it to truly reflect the mood and nature of the wetlands. Often, the skies were grey, and at times it would rain. The birds would sit still, and we were just fascinated by them.

The colours were desaturated and low, which is why I chose the muted palette. I wanted everything to feel rough and have lots of texture, to feel like you were there when you watched it. 

Together, with my friend Rob Regan, we recorded the sounds, and he composed a track in his studio.

Essentially, I wanted to make this to look back at our time there and appreciate the small things in life.

Here’s a sneak preview into the animation process, too…

To see more of Leon’s work, visit his official website or email hello@leonnikoo.com.