My name is Katelyn Bernardo and I’m a 2017-2019 Animation student at Freestyle Academy. While the bulk of my projects will be animation, I occasionally do photography and indulge in creative writing.
Freestyle Academy gives me a lot in life. While I did enjoy delving into my creative side in the art classes my main high school provided me with, I feel as if Freestyle multiples that experience tenfold. Here, I’m learning a lot more about using technology as an artistic medium and storytelling. The creative freedom, the challenging projects, and the community lends me the much-needed inspiration. I know it sounds super dramatic, but I honestly feel like I’m finally doing something meaningful with my life.
I have two main goals with my art. The first goal is to be able to create an immersive experience for the audience – whether that be with my writing or animations. I want people to feel like they’re a part of the world I’m creating. I want to make it so that my art can be used as a means to escape from the stressful realities that people often have, even if it’s for a little bit. At the very least, I want others to genuinely enjoy my art and feel in awe. Creating a place that visitors can seek refuge in for a while is a special feeling.
My other (and probably most important) goal is to inspire others. When I say that, I mean a myriad of things, from getting others to think critically of the world around them to inspiring them to make a positive change in their lives. Personally, if I’m not trying to effect some sort of positive change in the world, then what good is it? It doesn’t even have to be something significant; if my art allows an individual to see things from a slightly different perspective, that is good enough for me. Maybe my opinion isn’t the right one or maybe my execution of an idea isn’t the best, but the idea of opening up a conversation and inspiring others to do what I do better is still comforting to me, for I know that I’m somehow positively influencing future generations to come.
Now the question is: have I been fulfilling my goals here while at Freestyle Academy? The short answer is yes, and the long answer is yes, but I still have ways to go. I think I began to create an immersive environment with my 360 backgrounds and was able to inspire others with my Junior documentary project about mental health, but I still have ways to go. Hopefully, I’ll continue to strive towards these goals during my Senior year.