Today we’d like to introduce you to Mengxi Yang.
Hi Mengxi, thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, maybe you can tell our readers some of your backstory.
Animation has always had a great influence on me since childhood. Being someone who is interested in the process of things, I want to find out how animation is made and if I can even make something like that myself. After getting into art school for college, I discovered a much wider range of animation genres, and I was particularly drawn to the world of stop motion. Right now, I’m trying to experiment with stop motion techniques to tell non-fictional stories.
Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
It’s been a lot of challenges with a lot of fun as well. Stop motion is a long process from preproduction, to fabricating all the puppets and props, to building the physical set – although miniature – with all kinds of lighting and camera setups. There are times where it’s hard to keep the motivation always at the same level. But it is such a tactile medium that most of the knowledge are kept within a master’s brain instead of the internet. Each artist has a unique way to solve creative problems, so it is a lifelong learning process from everyone you get to work with. That’s something that always keeps me going.
Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
My practice involves both the 2D and 3D worlds. I like to use mixed media or collage to express an unstable and surreal sense of being, and that’s something I think a lot of non-fictional or traditional documentary films are not including. Because I’m interested in real-life stories and experiences, I want to create visuals that stand out and stand alone for them. I’ve been making short films that are personal and factual, and I want to keep exploring the possibilities of non-fictional animation and animated documentaries.
So maybe we end on discussing what matters most to you and why?
People in the stop motion and animation community is really what’s important to me. I’m constantly inspired by their work and passion, and they are what keep the art alive. I wish we have a better system to care for the artists, but I know the artists will always care for each other.
- Illustration commission – 400+ per piece
- Animation commission – 500/day
- Fabrication commission – 40/hr