The act of creation is an act of worship mirroring God’s Acts of Creation. Humans have been granted the ability to think and act creatively, and we use it in our daily lives. The cook creates a new recipe, the auto mechanic finds a new way to jury rig a fix on an automobile, the teacher tries new ways to reach his or her students: all are wonderful expressions of creativity. An artist holds a special place in that the manifestations of his or her creativity result in new things. We pour our efforts, ideas, aspirations and feelings into our creative endeavors and create works that did not exist when we started. Sometimes we succeed in pleasing ourselves; sometimes we fail, but we learn something new from the attempt. We incorporate that lesson into our next work. This is a great blessing.
I believe in the primacy of the artist’s idea. Medium, style, form, support, etc. serve to support the appropriate communication of her thoughts and emotions to a larger audience. I have progressed from painting, through digital imagery to animation as my primary means of artistic expression, but I reject no art form in pursuit of my personal vision. If I find that an idea is best expressed in paint, then I will paint; if I need stone to create my art, then I will sculpt. I refuse to be bound by the limitations of any medium; indeed, it is the speed of the digital medium that inspired me to migrate from paint to digits. And I realize that one cannot work in any medium without accepting the limitations of that medium, and there are certainly limits to what a computer can accomplish.
I have found animation to be an exciting medium allowing me to reach a wide audience and explore the idea of evoking a response from them. Awareness of audience is a key component to creating digital work; and I harp on this point constantly with my students. I cannot create animations just to please myself. To be effective, they must move others. The computer animation process allows and, in some cases, requires the artist to write scripts, sketch/design characters, model the characters digitally, create digital sets, light these sets and animate the characters. In the commercial world, a group tackles these tasks; but in my chosen medium, short-form animation, an individual or small group/atelier performs them. An animator must be conscious of how each step will impact the final work. He must be aware of how the viewer will react to the work. An example of this may be found in my animation The Night of the Sifter. The idea is to get the viewer, in the short 1 1/2 minute piece, to feel for the flour sack, feel a little sorry for the flour sack when it becomes so scared it jumps off the table and be relieved when the whole situation is finally revealed as a dream. One may judge the effectiveness of the animation by how one reacts when one sees the animation. I am currently fascinated by this process and absolutely enjoy the fact that I can create a work that will stick in peoples’ minds. They will stand in front of it; and if I am successful, they will respond to it emotionally.
For me, teaching and art-making are intertwined inextricably. My aim is to grow and bring my students with me. As I learn new things, I introduce them to my students so that they might see an example of an artist who faces change. The fundamental attribute of any computer artist is that she be adaptable; he must embrace growth, change and learning. Failure to do so will axiomatically lead to stagnation as an electronic artist.