Student Spotlight: Sawyer Rippon

Meet Sawyer!

Name: Sawyer Rippon

Year you’ll be graduating: Class of 2023

Major: Illustration

I am majoring in Art because I want to go into animation. I’ve been animating for years now, but I want to learn more about the fundamentals of drawing. Of course I also like writing, film directing, and photography– but animation, whether it be watching or creating it, has always been what I want to pursue. 

The kinds of things that inspire me are typically animated. That isn’t to say I don’t enjoy anything else; I try to take a bit of inspiration from everything. For instance, in an assignment I’m working on right now my goal is to express the past few months through a piece which I based on an album cover, a single from a different album, a Looney Tunes wallpaper that used to be in the bathroom at my house, and the color pink. So I try to take everything that I like and then figure out how I can do it in my own way or do something that expresses the same feeling. That being said, I think animation gets that idea more effectively than most other mediums– expressing a feeling or moment in an otherwise indescribable way. 

My favorite class so far was Basic Drawing! Basic Drawing was the first time I really worked in a studio to create art. I remember coming for the first day of class and thinking I walked in the wrong room because everything was so professional looking. It took me a while to adjust because I was finally in an environment in which I was working with serious supplies and was around like minded people who were just as passionate as I was for making art. There have been so many times where I’ve started a project and then seen what everyone else is doing and immediately rethought everything about my approach to the piece. It’s always really interesting to see how everyone interprets the same assignment yet puts their own spin and sources of inspiration into the work.

When I’m not in class I’m either partaking in a new piece of art (whether it be a new film, show, or album), or I’m working on my own art and animation. I’ve been working on my second short film recently, so that’s been taking a lot of my time. 

The coolest thing I’ve done so far at Marywood was use a real light table for animation! There’s one in the Insalaco building and I was way too excited when I saw it for the first time. I use it to animate any time I can, and every time it’s just a really nice and fulfilling feeling. 

When I graduate I hope to become a showrunner for an animated show. 

I’d recommend the Art program at Marywood because, thinking back to that first time entering Basic Drawing and that feeling of “this can’t be for me,” what I started to realize more and more throughout my first semester was that, “really, it can be if you want it to be.” Being a part of this art program was the first time I really felt like I was working on art through experimenting and challenging what I previously was doing. 

The best spot to be on campus is the Insalaco building. Whether I’m in one of the studios or at the previously mentioned light table, it always just feels right whenever I’m there. 

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