Art Student Spotlight: Meg Schettler

Category:  The Arts
Wednesday, February 14th, 2018 at 7:14 PM
Art Student Spotlight: Meg Schettler by Livia Homerski
Photo: Livia Homerski

Margaret “Meg” Schettler, a senior animation student at Edinboro University, carefully applies shades of purple to the character on her screen. She is at home in the empty computer room of Doucette Hall, with an orange silk scarf and a stash of energy drinks situated in an arc in front of her. 

Her interest in art first began when she was a toddler, never drifting in the following years. “To be really honest, I’ve been into art for my entire life. I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t doodling,” Schettler said. 

Some of the inspirations that shaped her work and passion for art come from the likes of artist and puppeteer Jim Henson, whose films she watched as a child. 

“I always found them (Henson’s films) really fascinating. Movies like ‘The Dark Crystal’ and ‘Labyrinth’ are really inspiring to me. Nowadays, some of my favorite creators are people who write web-comics, like the people who do ‘Paranatural,’ and ‘The Property of Hate.’ The entirety of Laika Studios is another one I look up to because they’re fantastic.”

Schettler began the next chapter of her life in art as an illustration major before switching to animation. 

Drawing daily and the art of storytelling drives Schettler to create and study animation. She stated: “For one thing, I don’t think I could go a day without drawing something. As far as animation and art goes, I really like using it to tell a story. A picture is worth a thousand words; that type of deal.” 

When asked where she’d like to see herself in the next five years, Schettler explained, “I would probably like to be doing freelance work, maybe with a company, maybe on my own, and I’d like to be working on a comic.” 

Schettler is currently juggling some ideas for a comic, but is taking her time to see where she wants to go with them. Like many artists, the struggle is not finding inspiration, but focusing on one idea and working with it. 

“I have too many ideas! I have a plan that I will probably start the simplest one to get some practice in. I’m a bit of a perfectionist, so I want to get the biggest ideas completely right.” 

Animation majors often work in digital media programs, such as Photoshop or Paint Tool Sai, but Schettler starts many of her ideas with a simple ballpoint pen and a piece of paper before moving to Clip Studio Paint. 

 “I enjoy digital for the number of different things you can do with it. I wouldn’t say that I have any style of working that I am particularly attached to yet” Schettler elaborated. 

Like all skills, the world of art and drawing require an immense amount of practice, along with trial and error before the artist is satisfied with their creation. Schettler’s relationship to art is one that is intense in nature, and demonstrates how complicated loving your work can be. 

“It’s one of those things that I love to hate and hate to love ‘cause it’s a lot of work, all the time. It can get a little intense.” 

When it comes down to the message Schettler hopes to portray through her art, she explained: “My main goal when it comes to both animation and design is to design a story. I want my characters to be believable, understandable and above all else, human. I try to make them have real flawsw and I want you to come away thinking that this is something that relates to you, even if the actual problems they deal with is something way impossible!” 

Schettler and fellow animation student Shellie Leibensperger will have an exhibit on display in Bates Gallery, titled “Life of a Short Film,” from Feb. 19-23. The opening reception will be held on Feb. 20 at 6 p.m. 

Livia Homerski can be reached at ae.spectator@gmail.com.

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