Marble Surface

Senior Thesis and Plans

My senior thesis is about depicting a rabbit's life under the premise that the rabbit, as well as other animals, has human-like mannerisms while still being animals. This was inspired by Beatrix Potter's Peter Rabbit, and encouraged by the very happy and warm experience of having my own rabbit. So far, I have made many observational sketches and paintings to solidify the basis of my illustration. I have been studying the rabbit's expressions and postures, so that later I can "animate" him in stories on paper. 

Animal illustration can really be any animal. What is special is always the story of a human and the animal. Great stories like Quill (story of a guiding dog) and The Art of Racing in the Rain are not chosen, but really are born from, or inspired by real experience. Therefore, I happen to have a special connection with a rabbit, and because I have the prestige of being a human who can write, talk, and draw, I choose to tell the story of a rabbit, my rabbit. I want to fictionalize it because I project my emotions and thoughts to the rabbit, and I kind of believe the rabbit has as rich of an emotional world as mine- he just cannot speak of it. Therefore, with this wishful thinking, I want to create a story of my rabbit as if I know what he thinks and feels. It is a gesture of love to an animal. And I think this is meaningful because there is limited ways I can let the rabbit know exactly how much I treasure the time with him, and that sadly rabbit does not live as long as humans do, so a story about the rabbit with fictional elements is a way to immortalize the special rabbit in my life.

I have always loved stories about rabbits, such as Watership Down, Peter Rabbit, Bugs Bunny, or... Monty Python and the Holy Grail (joking). I am aware of the more traditional structure of a story that has parts that are responsible for beginning, conflict point, climax, twists, and ending. While I will integrate this idea and structure into making more engaging stories, I will not completely follow this structure all the time. I want to approach the storytelling like Peanuts Comic and get that type of "lukewarm" humor and plot point. Similarly, Peter Rabbit is also not about deep or legendary stories- instead, the illustration is a series of depiction of life going on for the rabbit. The art is good enough to simply examine the rabbits going on about their lives and numerous interesting, adorable details. 

The biggest obstacle is time. This is a semester where all my classes are online, and I could not access many study benefits that only comes with in-person classes. Additionally, graduate school application has taken a toll on me, further draining me of my spirits. I have so much more I wish to accomplish for my senior thesis, yet at this point it has been really difficult. My solution is to use the time of winter break to do a massive catchup and a significant progress on my senior project. I will draw out stories and paint some big scale paintings. I plan to do so much work that the amount would be satisfactory for an exhibition. Then, in Spring 2020, I will spend that semester polish my works and compose writings for my project.