Thinking outside the artistic box: March’s featured artist is studying animation

By Logan A. White
Times-Newscorrepsondent

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March's Meet The Artist is Nichole Crawford. [Photo submitted

Editor’s note: Teens & 20s writer Logan A. White interviews area teens and twenty-somethings about their careers and/or passion for art monthly.
Nichole Crawford, a sophomore at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, is March’s featured artist. Crawford is majoring in Film with a concentration in Animation. She comes from a visual arts background and enjoys painting and illustrating in her free time. She also is a former Teens & 20s illustrator.
 Teens & 20s: What inspires you most as an artist?
Crawford: I get inspired by the power artists have to creatively convey messages and inspire others. I look at art as a tool to show people my perspective on things that I find hard to put in words. No matter what art you create, you cannot control the message that is taken away from it, but whether negative or positive, if a conversation or even a thought is provoked after experiencing an art piece, then it is successful.
Teens & 20s: When do you feel you made the transition from hobby to passion?
Crawford: Sometime in high school was when I decided that I would pursue an art career. Art has always played an essential role in my life. I knew that I always wanted to work doing something that I love so that it wouldn’t feel like an obligation.
Teens & 20s: What other form of art have you always wanted to try?
Crawford: I think taking contemporary dance classes could be really fun. I would just need a teacher with a lot of patience.
Teens & 20s: What message do you want to spread through art?
Crawford: I want to go outside of the norms of animation. There is little to no representation of different cultures within animation. I want my stories to be inclusive and relatable to multiple audiences.
Teens & 20s: What do you think is the most common misconception about animation?
Crawford: A lot of people are under the impression that animation is only for children, or that it can’t be taken seriously. This is not true, but I do agree with the masses in a sense that the majority of animation has been marketed toward younger audiences. Animation can evoke the same range of emotions as a live action movie without being childlike.
 Teens & 20s: If you weren’t an artist, what career would you pursue?
Crawford: I think I would pursue a job in the medical field. I thought I wanted to be an anthropologist for a long time.
Teens & 20s: How do you think the arts are perceived differently in today’s society?
 Crawford: I think that the arts have been more accepted as being “real jobs.” People pay for entertainment and that is what we as artists provide.
Teens & 20s: Any additional comments?
Crawford: In the future, a large goal of mine is to create a program that brings animation to children who do not have access to all of the software or materials. I want to show children that they can literally make their dreams come true in the limitless field of animation.

Logan A. White is a Teens & 20s writer and a home-schooled high school graduate. She currently trains in Cary Ballet Conservatory’s professional program.

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