Nicholas Cornell and His Art

It is Tuesday morning. Nicholas is sitting at his computer. He is creating digital art, as he usually does this time of day. Currently, he is working on animated trailers for the books Santa’s Red Bathtub – Bajillion Bubbles and The Boy and the Tree that are being published by SisterSpun. He likes to illustrate characters that he has created using his own imagination. But what he loves most of all, is to make those characters come alive through animation.

It takes a lot of patience and focus to animate. Right now he is working on a 20 second long animation. His animation is 30 frames per second, which means that there are a total of 600 frames. He is animating on 2’s. Generalizing a little, it means that he only makes changes to every other frame. So, in total, he creates about 300 different drawings for this animation. Most of the drawings only have slight changes. They need to be made so that the movement between the drawings looks natural. This can take a while, but it is so much fun to see when the characters and objects eventually come alive on the screen!

Nicholas works with other art media, too. Oil painting, sculpting, and photography are some of his favorites.

It all started when Nicholas was very young. One of his favorite pastimes as a child was to read and create comics. Mostly, he “read” by reading the pictures of comics like Donald Duck (a weekly comic in Sweden!), Calvin and Hobbes, and Garfield. Then he would draw page after page of comics to create his own stories. After he became an adult, he explained that those comics helped him process and understand social interactions in the world around him. Because of Nicholas’ autism,  verbal language and social interactions were many times difficult for him to understand. Visual images made much more sense to him.

When he was younger, Nicholas almost only used a pencil for his art. He wanted to be able to erase and to make changes to things he was not happy with in his drawings. As he got older, he began using the computer to create digital art. He was then able to use colors, as they were much easier to edit on the computer. Eventually, he began creating colorful art without the computer, like in his oil paintings.

Swedish Christmas Card

Nicholas favorite after-school activity was art club. When it came time to choose what to do after high school, he decided to attend The Art Institute of Pittsburgh. There he leaned a great many things from talented teachers and graduated with a Certificate in 2D Animation. Since then, he continues to work on all kinds of art projects in his own studio.

The Art Institute of Pittsburgh – Portfolio Show