Artist Biography:

I am a student of animation at the College for Creative Studies in Detroit Michigan. I started my studies in Muskegon Michigan at the young age of five years old. While most children used their televisions as background noise or mind-numbing entertainment, I used my family television more like a text book or creative outlet. I would study the images and copy them on paper, often pausing movies to take a closer look. Once I had learned to write, I would create my own stories in a journal instead of keeping a personal diary. I was, and still am, highly inspired by the cartoonists and animators of the 90’s and later by the beauty in Japanese culture. And when I’m not drawing or working on my computer, I feed myself with constant physical and mental inspiration. I love playing video games full of story-content and going to see movies. I also have a great passion for volunteering, mostly at my church with the kids of the congregation as a Youth Group leader.

At Reeths Puffer high school I studied as much art as possible. I became the secretary for our National Art Honors Society. I even won first place in a graphic design competition called Skills USA for the state competition. Later at Muskegon Community College, I honed my skills in the departments of Fine Art and Literature while still volunteering as much as I could. I entered multiple competitions for my analytical writing, placing in a few, and competed in the Student Show every year. At CCS, I realized my true passion in animation which combined all of the things I loved; drawing, storytelling, technology, and making people smile. I currently call Detroit my home where I live with my younger sister, but I still have a strong attachment to Muskegon which I use as constant inspiration. I can be easily contacted through my personal e-mail: Anime_Gurl_10@yahoo.com, or through my current educational e-mail: sdolislager@collegeforcreativestudies.edu.

I still have the drawings and stories I scribbled down as a child in a box at home. Every once in a while when I take them out I can’t help but think I was simply meant to be where I am now. That animation and cartooning are the best and only options I could ever need.

Artist Statement:

I have always been motivated to draw and write because of the nostalgic feeling it brings to me of when I was a kid and watched cartoons with my dad. I’ve always thought of cartoons and comic books as something that brought us together. And as a small, extremely shy girl, the characters in these stories gave me some sort of strength and vision of self-confidence. The idea of spreading those feelings to other families through animation made my work a true passion. I was, and still am, highly inspired by Japanese animation. I’ve always loved how their “cartoons” were more than just Saturday morning entertainment. They are fantastic, emotional stories that are thought about far beyond just one episode. They also showed me a lot about character development and how to make an audience truly feel grief, happiness, or anger through a fictional person. Closer to home, I am inspired by both classic and modern American superheroes and animated films. They have a way with teaching younger generations simple and complex life lessons. My goal has always been to do the same with my own artwork and writing.

I started out loving to create with simply pencil and paper. I considered myself very traditional in the way I drew. Eventually, I found that I loved using color to express different moods and personality traits. Now I almost always sketch in color and nothing feels complete without it. Whenever I am sketching for a project or just for fun, I am usually “traditional” in the sense that I would prefer not to use technology. Growing up in the Digital Age, I ultimately learned how to use computers as an artistic tool and how to have fun with them. Now, I can use computers to recreate my images just as easily as if I drew them by hand.

Currently, I still love to draw traditional, fine artwork as well as write. Being my first year of true schooling in animation, I am spending a lot of time learning the trade. I do spend a little time on freelance work when I have the time. Usually I’m contacted to draw portraits for someone’s family or friend in graphite, charcoal, or colored pencil. Most recently I have done a charcoal portrait for an anniversary requested by the wife, and a graphite portrait for the funeral of a child requested by the mother’s good friend. As of this year and the few to follow, I see myself focusing on learning as much as I can about animation and character design so my work can evolve from a child’s passion to a professional passion.


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