Allison Eaton – a sophomore animation major at Edinboro University — admits that she “spends a couple hours a day working on a handful of projects on average.” This is a small price to pay for the overall progress on reaching her goals of creating her own characters and bringing them to life to make people happy.
“My favorite thing about my art are the characters that I’ve made over the years and the universe I have created; how I can create my own original story and that is my favorite thing.”
Inspired by another animator she had seen the work of when she was in middle school, Eaton explained that “the cartoons of he and his friends made me happy and that’s what I like to do, create things and make people happy.”
“My favorite thing about art is that you’re able to express yourself in any way that is most comfortable and in what you have passion for,” she said. “There are many ways to express yourself through art and I think that is super important.”
As she continued to work on a project, Eaton expressed that her favorite art form is animation.
“You can create anything about nothing and I think that is so cool,” she said. “The first animation I created was just a swinging pendulum and I was super excited.”
She took a piece of paper with a character drawn on it and placed it on to her animation board while she explained her creative process. “I sit down, get out my sketchbook and pencil,” Eaton explained.
“Then, I draw a circle and I build on to it with various sticks and lines and edges to build a character. After I make sure I have the basic shapes and gestures — which is very important in animation — then I put it all together.”
While moving the piece of paper on her board slightly, she discussed her favorite piece that she has created.
“For my final animation for Animation II, we had to do a lip-sync project where we had to find a pre-existing audio file and then animate our character voicing and acting out that piece of audio by using big gestures and creating a voice for our characters.
It was amazing to see them completely brought to life.” After moving the sheet of paper slightly again, she began to explain why she chose Edinboro. “It was in the area. There were two colleges I was choosing between and Edinboro seemed more like home to me,” she said.
“I looked into the program and it had a good reputation, and after a college visit I decided that this was the place for me.”
As for advice to future animation students here at Edinboro, Eaton said, “the professors are very skilled, friendly, helpful and knowledgeable.” She continued: “I came in not knowing a lot about art and I feel like in the last two years I have grown as an artist.”
Madi Gross is a staff writer for The Spectator.