Feb 1, 2012

Revisiting my Degree Project from RISD

It's been almost two years since I finished my Degree Project at RISD, and I thought I'd drag it out and talk about its few accumulated glories.

In the Beginning from Katie Wendt on Vimeo.

I was very lucky to have it featured on Cartoon Brew, one of the leading blogs in the animation industry today. It was also screened by Arts Guild New Jersey in multiple locations as part of an animated shorts showcase, along with making it into the Animation Block Party 2011 screening in NYC.

I also received very kind invitations from festival directors to submit to the Insight Film Festival, Melbourne International Film Festival, and Florida Film Festival, among others. A lack of time and confidence kept me from submitting, but I'm very grateful for the invitations, which were incredibly graciously given.

I was also approached about having 'In the Beginning' included in an American Animation Showcase, which screens at American embassies around the world, and would have involved my traveling with the showcase and discussing my project with both diplomats at other artists. Unfortunately, the Department of State had the final say in the pieces chosen for the showcase, and my piece was declined due to its religious content, which could potentially cause problems in countries whose policy isn't to take religion lightly. This was another offer which, while I was disappointed that I could not be involved, was extremely flattering, and I'm glad that a showcase exists even if my piece couldn't be included in it.

I plan to create another animated short sometime in the near future; one of my graphic novel projects, Cupcake Captive, will probably turn into an animated short. My work will continue to explore and deconstruct preconceived notions of what makes us "different" from one another, and reconstruct it into similarities between us. Through my work I will always seek to encourage people to understand those who they feel most alienated from, and to approach the uncomfortable and the unknown with an open mind and willingness to learn about their world and their selves--to seek both the facts of life, and the truth of life.

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