SVA Close Up’s orientation week spotlights concludes with animation and cartoon buff Sean Irwin, who comes to SVA from Simsbury, Connecticut, attracted by the teeming metropolis that is New York City.
Why did you decide to study animation?
I’ve had a lifelong interest in animation, as cartoons were one of the few sources of entertainment in my household growing up. I knew that the form was something I wanted to pursue when I got older, but lately I’ve become more intrigued, as I feel there is more that can be done with the medium. My goal for studying animation is to become more familiar with it so that I can apply it in new ways.
Who inspired you to create art?
Good God, there’s a lot. I am a bit of an introvert, so my only friends tend to be large quantities of media that I don’t have to converse with. But my primary influences stem from comics, particularly French and Asian comic artists. The charm of Western indie comics mixed with the aesthetics of Eastern art seems like something I could really get into.
Name something that excites you about SVA.
I’m most excited about the opportunity to produce art in a highly competitive environment with other extremely talented artists, in one of the most artistically diverse environments in the world. That sounds like a textbook answer, but hey, SVA is an art school in New York and that’s a huge reason why people come here.
What are you most looking forward to about living in New York City?
It’s big, there is an endless selection of cultures to draw influence from and the population’s personality is unique only to its area. I’m from a small suburban town, so I appreciate the city’s massive scale.
What are some of your favorite animated series and movies?
Some of my favorite animated movies are Sylvain Chomet’s The Illusionist and Triplets of Belleville, Satoshi Kon’s Paprika, Hayao Miyazaki’s Spirited Away and Kiki’s Delivery Service, and Monster’s Inc. and The Incredibles. As for animated series, I like Invader Zim, Angry Beavers, Rocko’s Modern Life, Steven Universe, Clarence, and Shinchiro Watanabe’s Cowboy Bebop, Samurai Champloo and Space Dandy.