Alexis, Digital Art and Animation
I’ve been doing creative things all my life. Like most kids, I drew pictures. I remember doing a bunch of different kinds of crafts. I did a bit of baking and listened to lots of music. I played trombone and liked to sing. I think I was always meant to go into a creative field. It just took me a while to figure out which one.
One benefit of being autistic is that you remember stuff that you're interested in, and it repeats in your head. When I was younger, I’d be able to repeat the things I saw on the cartoons that I watched. Animation and humor had such a big influence on me. I know a lot of good lines from shows, and I can still make myself laugh anytime I want!
When I was a freshman in high school, I realized I wanted to do art for a living. The most stable way to do this seemed to be going into the animation industry. As I learned more about it, my interest grew and grew. Art and technology come together for me. With the field of animation that I'm going into, I see how the power of art with technology can influence people. Most kids were raised with cartoons teaching them things. I want to be a part of that. This field offers a means of expression, a way to teach others and offer ideas.
"Neurodiversity is just that the brain is structured and functions differently for different people. I know a lot of disorders can fall into that. My experience is that I just think differently. It kind of feels like an outside perspective. You think of things that most people don’t really think of. You connect things people don’t really connect.”
I’m a sophomore at the DigiPen Institute of Technology. The change from living at home and going to a small-town high school, to going to college in a bigger city and living with roommates and doing things myself—it was a big adjustment. I struggle with change sometimes, so it caused me a lot of anxiety.
I have trouble asking for help sometimes. And I'm such a perfectionist that going from being a salutatorian in high school to having to retake a class in college—I didn't think that was possible. Now I have a better understanding of what to do and I can fix the problems I encounter. I try my best to put 100 percent into everything I do, and I have a mindset that I want to get better. I like looking at the long term and doing what I can to get there.
My goals drive me. My main goal in the future is to pitch my own cartoon—a whole show. I don't know where, but I want to do it. At the moment, the goal is to get a job in the animation industry and work my way toward my end goal. It will probably take years to get there. I just know I want to draw, and I want to be in animation. Art and technology can influence our lives in all sorts of ways!