sva student


my spring film is here! i sacrificed 6 months of my life for this baby so give it a watch!!!

Notes for a young character designer

Dear E. 

Thanks for your email.

I don’t work at Cartoon Network any more. But I’m going to give you a very quick portfolio review in hopes that you find it helpful! Here are some things I noticed when looking at your stuff - lessons I learned from brilliant people while working on AT for two years: 

 1) AVOID SYMMETRY. Humans are organic, randomly shaped animals. Perfect symmetry rarely exists in nature and if it does, it’s conspicuous - it’s the exception rather than the rule. Find interesting ways to throw your characters off-balance. 

Don’t repeat objects in twos - (buttons or rips or whatever) - it feels prescribed - cluster things in threes or fives if necessary. 

 2) AVOID CONCAVITY - I don’t know what else to call this. But it’s those lines that go “in” rather than “out”. You are using inward sloping lines to describe many of your characters. As an exercise, try using outward, rounded, voluminous lines to draw EVERYTHING. Humans are fleshy lumps connected together by other fleshy lumps. Each mass is either in front of or behind other masses and as a designer, it’s your job to tell the animator where it is. As a designer, you are providing a technical blueprint for the location of masses. 

Only occasionally allow a concavity to connect two convexities. Look at the work of Robert Ryan Cory (spongebob), Tom Herpich (Adventure Time) or Phil Rynda (AT / Gravity Falls) - master character designers - for examples of this. If you need to, trace a couple of their drawings and you will see what I mean. 

 3) AVOID GRAPHIC DETAILS - Some shows use a graphic style; it’s very appealing and looks clever when done right. But in animation, everything needs to move in space - so if you use a graphic element - it needs to correspond with an actual 3D thing that can move. Therefore it is better to start with a voluminous style and then revert to graphic elements where appropriate. Art directors will look for this. Do not jump straight to graphic representation if you do not yet know what you are representing.

Look at the work of Tiffany Ford and Jasmin Lai for amazing examples of volume expressed graphically.

 4) STUDY JAMES MCMULLEN - To truly understand volume, and fully respect your subject, you should read very carefully High Focus Figure Drawing by James McMullen. Slow down and think about drawing “around” your subjects. It’s a truly meditative experience when you get there. Think about the weight and mass that your characters, props and effects are experiencing. Many students from SVA - Tomer Hanuka, Becky Cloonan, Rebecca Sugar, James Jean - studied under McMullen’s philosophy and you can see this common richness in their work. 

Jeffrey Smith, a top student of McMullen’s now teaches life drawing at Art Center. These are two of the best illustration schools in North America - anyone who is interested in drawing living things, should probably read his book. Also look at the work of Andy Ristaino or Danny Hynes - two other character designers’ whose work is seething with volume. 

I hope this is useful and I hope you have a wonderful career. 




My thesis film at School of Visual arts!
Huge thanks and lots of love to anyone who helped me work on this, and supported me along the journey of making it!  Hope You guys enjoy!

Voices were done by this lovely lad
Music by this lovely lady


my second semester film, Familiar, finally complete 🌿✨

Future!Rachel Elizabeth Dare, art student at SVA and head of the school’s PAN club, a student organisation dedicated to raising money for environmental causes and planting trees in and around Manhattan

I might turn this Future!Character thing into a series and do all the characters


Wow, Amazing, Check it out! 

Ink Magazine interviewed one of our amazing, Cartooning Alumna: Kendra Kirkpatrick! ( ) In this interview we talk with Kendra about what life is like after art school, what her creative process is like, and what advice she has for current art students! 

 This interview is featured in the Spring 2017 issue of Ink, along with a ton of fantastic comics by current students. Be sure to pick up the full magazine at any SVA building. 

Thank you so much to everyone who continues to support this anthology :)

-Jessica Vissari


My second year film! There’s a lot more I wish I could have done with this but we only had a month to work on it. Still, I’m excited to share it with you guys and I hope you enjoy it! 

Special thanks to the lovely Kriyonce who helped with the voices! and just a little warning but there is a scream at 1:02  


My thesis film “Red Light” is finally online! That’s it that’s the link right here

Please Help!!!

Hi everybody! As some of you know, I’m a student at SVA. Unfortunately, I’m currently withdrawn from class because I’m unable to pay the tuition that is currently at $7,201. I’ve been trying to apply for student loans but few have worked out. That’s why I’m asking you guys to donate at least $1 to my paypal. I have 1,033 followers on this blog. If all of you donated it would help alleviate the payment for me and my family.

My paypal email is


sooo, after months of toil and a whole night of restless comping, here is my collab 1st year film with @gatorparade !!!!(their art blog is @kittakira)

(psst if u want, sit through the credits there are bloopers at the end)

(the sound is a little loud, so watch the volume :’^}, sorry about that!)
Piece of Mind
My 4th year thesis film for SVA Animation 2015! Music: How To Say Goodbye - Paul Tiernan A personal obligatory film about loneliness, self reflection, and how…

My student thesis film, Piece of Mind is public on vimeo now!

Super big thanks to my SVA animation family for all the support and love throughout the process ; v ; I literally would have shriveled up and died without you guys.


my sva animation thesis film!!!! finally

boutta young crow trying to Not Die

i wanna thank my composer xiaoxi wan who created the beautiful music as well as everyone else who helped me u saved my LIFE!!!!!

radioactivesmog  asked:

Hi! I'm a junior in high school right now and your art is so inspiration (i've finally been able to track down your blog after seeing it all over tumblr). I'm interested in animation as well! I had wanted to go to SVA for awhile but lately I've been hearing some mixed reviews. I also am getting little to no help from my family with paying for colleges so I have no clue what to do basically. Any advice you can give would be godsent. Thank you so much!!

Hello! Hoof that’s a tough situation. I hope this can help.

The thing I learned after spending 4 years at SVA and over 100k in loans is that… You don’t need to go to college to become a successful artist. Well fuck! Wish someone told me sooner. What you DO need is the discipline to spend your time productively (to build just as good of a portfolio as any other graduating student) and a proactive attitude. There are plenty of courses online that will teach you the basics of storyboarding, character design, gesture drawing, digital painting, etc at a FRACTION of the price from any school. (check out or if you’re in SoCal,!) Look to see if your town offers any figure drawing classes (because that will always be your most important class), again MUCH cheaper than paying for school, or just ask your friends to pose for you.

One thing you could do is hit up some people who go to schools you like and ask about their courses. Most people will be kind enough to respond haha. I used to incessantly bother people from Gobelins or CalArts ;;; But hey it resulted in some pretty rad friendships! We’re all just trying to learn, here. Start giving yourself weekly assignments based off of what you hear. Challenge yourself! Find online communities that do weekly challenges, or daily challenges like Sketch Dailies. It’ll be super important to make yourself an online presence because even though you won’t be around industry folk in person you could still be in their MINDS. Doing a film once a year, like what is required of both CalArts and SVA students, and debuting it online will help a TON. Think about it! That’s four films to show potential employers that you know your shit and you’ve done your research. And the tools to make films are so easily.. downloadable. TV Paint and Flash for 2D animation, After Effects and Final Cut for compositing (those two take some getting used to but there are enough youtube tutorials to teach you everything you need to know), Photoshop for your pretty paintings (unless you’re all traditional in which case more power to ya). I don’t condone pirating but… OkayyesIdo. At least until you can pay for it yourself ; )

Clearly I’m not an expert on what to do if college isn’t an option for you but from what I’ve gleaned from coworkers and friends who went down that path it’s entirely possible to do it. 

Good luck!