Artist’s Statement

I have long been inspired by animation as a vehicle for connecting people to one another. I am drawn in particular to stories of imaginary worlds – universes one can escape into – which have a power that speaks to people on an emotional, universal level.  

Through childhood experiences with cartoons and comics, dance, film, theatre, and music, I became fascinated by stories that express emotion and evoke their themes through movement. Growing up studying both visual art and dance, the relationship between self-expression and movement has always been a central part of my life, and an essential element in the art I create and in the stories I tell through my chosen media. 

After an early dream to become a comics artist, I became inspired by the work of Rebecca Sugar, the storyboard artist on the cartoon Adventure Time. The world building, characters, storytelling, and music had me entranced. Watching shows like Adventure Time, Gravity Falls, Sailor Moon, and the Disney and Pixar classics, I began to notice the subtle aspects of a story that at first glance one may not see. For me, a good story favors aesthetics and themes with a supernatural and surreal context. This includes characters and environments that lay just outside of our normal grasp of reality, that play with the uncanny. The more supernatural or surreal the style, the more the aesthetic and themes appeal to me. Not only did these shows have an impact on my drawing style, they also helped me develop the kind of stories I want to tell, and to choose animation as the vehicle.

That said, many of the characters I create are human, or human-adjacent, characters my audience can relate to and identify with, even as they move through stories just outside expected human circumstances. 

My desire to work in the animation field was most recently affirmed while working with an amazing team of artists on our collaborative senior film, “Event Horizon”, at Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD).  Every step of the animation and pre-production process was a joyful team experience, and we were thrilled to win the Gold award at the SCAD animation showcase. An important part of my learning on that project was the process of parting with my expectations for the use of my own artwork for the good of the final product. Not much of my own physical artwork can be seen in the final product, but its concepts are present in some aspects of the group’s work.  Another thing we all struggled (successfully!) with was how to go from being able to collaborate and meet in person to having to transfer and work on everything in a remote format. Due to the pandemic, in the middle of production we had to reevaluate and re-assign shots as well as reorganize deadlines. I learned how to think on my feet and the importance of naming conventions as well as making and sticking to deadlines.

I look forward to working with a professional team to tell beautiful and meaningful stories through animation.