Senior animation major Caitlyn Chase has been drawing and writing for her entire life. From her original pastime of drawing with chalk, she has progressed to tablets in the computer lab.

The arts are important to her because she said “art gives us a way to speak that isn’t just words.”

“It’s a way to see things and to feel things together, [and] to tell stories we all know, bringing us back to that core of who we are,” Chase said.

She said there’s something about animation that is more than just drawing pictures or making models.

“It’s telling stories that are completely from the mind [and] using pieces to create worlds and characters that couldn’t possibly exist,” she said.

She feels passionately about animation because it is such a unique art form. You get the chance to create life from things as simple as line, color and sound.

Her style is charming and lends itself towards children’s media. She prefers to create things that are light, moving and cause people to smile.

She is very much inspired by Pixar because of their power of storytelling and characters, but also the sense of humor and wonder they bring to the screen.

Her favorite medium is 2D work. In the animation program, students are able to explore many different mediums (like Claymation or 3D animation). However, her heart is with the “process of having the control to draw every frame,” even if the traditional mediums don’t have an undo button.

Her professional goal is to become someone in the industry who works for someone bigger than herself. Chase also notes that getting the opportunity to work in children’s book illustration or with a creative agency would be an experience she would jump at.

She is currently working on her senior project, and it has been, in Chase’s words, her baby for the last two years.

“Getting the chance to really flesh my little story out and create something that is my own, and being the director behind it, has been really big for me,” she said. “I’m quite proud of it.”

Animation requires so much imagination, and it also takes an enormous amount of work.

“Hours upon hours, you are taking this style that is your own and making something out of it,” Chase said. “I absolutely love it.”

The best advice she has ever received is to never stop the process of creating.

“Whether or not you find a job directly related to what you want to do right away,” she said, “you keep working, stay inspired and stay passionate.”