Today we’d like to introduce you to Jackie Bauwens.
Every artist has a unique story. Can you briefly walk us through yours?
Originally from Marlboro, NJ, I remembered growing up watching cartoons with my parents. I always dug the fact that an adult and a kid could both laugh at the same thing. I was six when I remember asking my mother how Spongebob was made. She explained the movement of still drawings to create the illusion of movement. I was glued ever since. My mom says she would find her Post-It notes all around the house with my little amateur flip-books drawn through them.
I continued to follow my dream with a part-time visual arts trade school in high school, then onto college in Philadelphia called the University of the Arts where I studied film with a concentration in animation. I graduated with a BFA in film and a Minor in Art History. A month after graduation in 2015, I hitched my way across the country in a Uhaul to cartoon town USA; Los Angeles.
Bartending/serving on the side, I continue to try to get deeper in the animation realm to hopefully be full-time in an animation studio, creating cartoons for people of all ages to genuinely laugh at across the world.
Please tell us about your art.
I create 2D cartoons, illustrations and animated videos for a variety of clients that range from Instagram followers to national television production houses. I use programs ranging from the Adobe Creative Cloud to ToonBoom.
Sometimes I’m in studio, most of the time, freelancing from my home set-up. Growing up loving kid classics like “Hey, Arnold”, “Spongebob”, and “Dexter’s Lab”, my personal style reflects this sort of 90’s style. However, I personally love working with more raunchy and crude content. Inappropriate body parts and fart jokes are a few of my signature graffiti doodles.
I was always stuck on the shows that were a little weird and gritty. Shows like “FlapJack”, “Invader Zim”, “Samurai Jack” and “Ren & Stimpy” showed a bit more of the darker side of animation. Mainly the shows you weren’t allowed to watch. The humor was more dark, a bit more adult, and wittier. It felt more real to me like I wasn’t being spoken to like a child. Not to mention the art and animation were so intricate and alternative.
I think I’m really lucky I’m jumping into a time of animation when it seems to be more accepted socially by “adults”; that people are absorbing the writing and content more seriously and finding themselves, as an adult, connecting with a cartoon character again. “Rick and Morty” and “Bojack Horseman” are amazing pioneers in this social animation boom. I find it important to connect to out of worldly content.
Do you have any advice for other artists? Any lessons you wished you learned earlier?
I think the most useful advice is that each path is entirely unique for artists. Each has their own individual route that almost never matches another. Don’t waste time being concerned on a timeline, don’t make deadlines on life goals, and stay true to your work. It’s truly about patience, commitment, and the need to make your art. An artist knows they’ll never do anything but their passion, therefore, just keep doing it. Be social and communicative, speak your mind, discipline yourself, and make sure you’re always happy. The relationship you have with yourself is the most important one.
How or where can people see your work? How can people support your work?
I have a website, titled “jackimation.com” where it has my full portfolio, contact info, demo reel, and various illustrations. I also have an Instagram @jbauwz where I post a lot of my more recent personal work!
- Website: jackimation.com
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: jbauwz
Gibby Kain @gibbykain