Zoe Neely is a senior and an experienced artist at Hawken and has been doing art since she was little. She is really interested in animation, and she loves “coming up with characters, their environments, what objects they might use, and weaves all these separate art pieces into one larger story.” She tends to work in mediums from traditional to digital, but her favorite mediums to work in are watercolors and markers.
Zoe explains that she “started getting more serious about art” after she attended a summer program in New York City at the School of Visual Arts. She was able to “really started practicing [her] skills more seriously after [the summer program] which is how [she] got to where [she] is today.” Last summer, she had the opportunity to go to the Ringling College of Art and Design Pre-College program, and over the four week course she began learning the basics in 2D, 3D, and 4D while also developed her skills in figure drawing. On top of this, she took a class specific to storyboarding for animation and visual development. Zoe says she saw “massive” improvements in her work after taking this enriching intensive summer course.
Zoe is able to bring her arts skills into academic classes as she has created animated videos for her humanities, psych, and biology classes. She plans to take this one step further and is working on her senior thesis project creating concept art for the story she is planning.
Outside of Hawken, Zoe attends figure drawing classes at the Cleveland Institute of Art weekly since figuring drawing helps to build an understanding of how movement of the body works. She says, “practicing drawing from life is kind of like going to the gym but for artists.” She tones her animation and figure drawing skills by practicing drawing life frequently. In her free time, Zoe does animation work for companies as well as creating a few animated shorts for herself. She has won second place for a short film she created called Cat Fight in 2018 at the Kids Film It Festival. Zoe hopes to involve art in her future career and has plans to study it in college. Good luck to Zoe!