Alex Karavolos ('20) is an avid animator who recently received a Gold Key in Scholastic Art and Writing Awards earlier this year for her animation "The Bears and the Wolf." Alex found some time to answer our questions about her process and balancing schoolwork with art.
Q: What do you think is special about working in animation?
A: I think it's a lot better than other mediums because you have so many different ways that you can express yourself compared to painting or drawing. You're really just limited to one medium and one kind of image, whereas if you do animation you can tell like an entire story the way you want and you can incorporate a bunch of different colors, symbols, and camera work and how you set things up to just say something that wouldn't be able to be said in another medium of art.
Q: Do you work in any other mediums?
A: Right now I'm actually in Honors Painting. I do a little bit of everything. I really like painting, I'm not very good at it, but I love it. Drawing is probably my second best medium, and I do a lot of digital art as well.
Q: Other art classes you have taken?
A: Honors Painting, On-level Painting, Honors Drawing, On-level Drawing.
Q: What's your process for an animation from conception to product?
A: It's a process, let me tell you that! Just for "The Bears and The Wolf" animation alone, I probably put three months of time into that project. I usually begin with an idea in my head writing it down like a full fledged story – not an actual paragraph form, but bullet points of what's going to happen. And then I sketch it out and storyboard it. If I’m good enough with what I see, I create character designs and color keys and how the elements are going to match up. Lastly, I'll test it out to see if it works and then finalize everything and animate it myself.
Q: So what artist’s style influences your animation the most?
A: Definitely Western-style animation. I'm not really into anime stuff; it's brilliant, but that's just not my kind of thing. I grew up on like Cartoon Network and Disney, Nickelodeon, so that style of animation and the cartoon style is what I’m very heavily influenced by in my own work. You can see in some of my other animations I've done my other character designs -- it's really heavily cartoony, Disney-esque, Pixar-esque, etc.
Q: What started your interest?
A: Flipnote on the DSI...it was so cringy, I'd make these stupid animations, and I'd show them to my mom. Eventually Flipnote shut down, so then I moved to the computer and started teaching myself how to do all these things, so it really stemmed form Flipnote on my DSI. If I never had that I definitely wouldn’t have gotten into animation.
Q: What motivates you to keep on working?
A: It's a huge destressor for me. I spend Saturday and Sunday doing what I want and throughout the week I’ll get really stressed. But doing these animations and art projects is a huge stress relief for me. Around sophomore year last year I had a bunch of classes that would suck up all my time and I went about five months without doing anything artistically, and I ended up getting incredibly sick because my body was using the stress and I couldn't figure a way to use that as an outlet, so I pretty much use all this stuff to destress or calm myself down.
Q: Any projects you’re currently working on?
A: I have a couple ideas I'm working on right now. I actually made another short film for the Ohio Governor's Show, but I wasn't as proud of it as I was for "The Bears and The Wolf." I currently have one sketched out right now, and it's an animation commenting on deforestation for animals, kind of like a small political animation. I wanted to challenge myself, and see if I could convey a message throughout the art.