This New Jersey artist is a pure talent
Alicia Robinson is a New Jersey artist who caught our eye with her unique catalog of illustrations. Her light hearted, Disney-like style often explores African American themes and culture. We tracked her down to ask her a few questions about herself and her art.
1. Where are you from? What was your upbringing like and how did you get into art?
“I was raised in Princeton, NJ by a single mother with five siblings. By the time my twin sister and I were born, we were a pretty well off, so I’d say I had a nice upbringing for the most part. After suffering a loss in my family, animated movies were one of the few things that brought me happiness. It was from those movies that I fell in love with the idea of telling stories. I would grab tons of notebooks and just write stories all the time, it was my favorite thing to do. Writing was what got me into art because I’d make illustrations to go along with these stories. Throughout grade school I wasn’t really much of an artist, I’d make doodles here and there but I always thought I’d be an author. It wasn’t until high school that I really started to take drawing seriously, and my career path changed. I wanted to combine my love for drawing and telling stories, and I found that animation was the perfect route for me.”
2. What would you characterize your style as? What separates you from other artist?
“My style tends to be light hearted giving off a feel good vibe. I’m the type of person who likes to cheer others up so I make a lot of uplifting work. I think what separates me from other artists, is that recently I’m drawing black women, especially darker skinned black women as the focus of my illustrations or main characters in my animations. It’s important for me to show WOC in a positive light because there isn’t a lot of representation for us in the art industry and I want to help fix that.”
3. What’s your proudest accomplishment of memory thus far as an artist?
“So far, my proudest accomplishment as an artist is creating an animated film for NASA’s Goddard Spaceflight Center. I recently had the opportunity to take a class at my school where students collaborate with NASA scientist to create films inspired by their research. I’m very proud of this because I never thought I’d work with NASA in my career as an artist and work with awesome people to make this awesome project. Some people have this pre conceived notion that you don’t have many options in the arts field and my experience shows that you really can do anything no matter how many people discourage you.”
4. What’s your creative process like? Where does your inspiration for your new pieces come from?
I get a lot of my inspiration from stories. There are so many stories out there that haven’t been told yet that I want to bring to life. Sometimes it’s frustrating because there always has to be a story behind every character I make, it’s never just a simple drawing. Usually when I’m having artist block I watch movies or read books to help with the creative process.
5. What are your dreams and goals going forward?
Moving forward, my goal is to inspire others with the art I make. To tell stories that have never been told before and bring characters to life that have never been seen on screen. I don’t want to be “just another animation artist” but an artist that makes a change, that puts smiles on faces, and gives people hope. I want one of my characters to be someone’s role model, or an animation I’ve worked on to be someone’s favorite film. If I can make a person feel joy from just a 2 minute short film, then I know I’ve reached my goal.