The official student media of Blue Valley Northwest High School

Emotion in Motion

Junior Gavin Wylie sketches and animates cartoons in his free time.

Avery Mojica, Puzzle Editor

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A blank piece of paper sits in front of junior Gavin Wylie. He picks up his colored pencils and pens and begins to sketch out the shape of a face. This drawing is the beginning of what will become a cartoon-like character, and possibly an animation.

Wylie began to notice his artistic talents at about age 13. He said after discovering his niche he wanted to take it to its limits and get as much out of it as he could. He enjoys drawing and animating in his free time, especially designing characters, which are similar to those one would find in video games. However, he has also moved onto other types of designs and styles.

“I recently became interested in graffiti-styled art,” Wylie said. “It’s more of a flowing and graphic-styled art. The lettering is a lot smoother and harder to read than most art styles.”

By incorporating ideas from his daydreams, he said he always has ideas for what to draw next. Wylie also said inspirations come to him both naturally and from other places like, an animation website. He enjoys collaborating with other users from the site on various projects.

“Practically, [] is just a big group of animators that enjoy doing what I do,” Wylie said. “I look up to the other users on there, especially the founder of the website.”

Wylie said his main contributions to the website are line-sketches, which are placeholders and outlines for future drawings. According to him, animations are harder to do, mainly because he does not own his own animation program. He has developed his skills for animation by using Blue Valley school computers with Adobe Flash during his free time.

“Usually, I just incorporate fun animations into my PowerPoint presentations,” Wylie said. “They make the information more interesting.”

In the near future, Wylie plans on getting a tablet purely for animating purposes. Currently, Wylie’s animations involve something called EZ Toon, a form of simplistic animation.

“[EZ Toon] is basically where you use stick figures and gaming lingo in an animation,” Wylie said. “I’ve grown better at it over the years.”

According to Wylie, though his skills are limited now, he thinks he is capable of producing much more than he already has. He plans to continue working with animation until making a living out of it is possible.

“I don’t have a lot of work out there yet, but it’s still a work in progress,” Wylie said. “Of the little things that I do have published, they aren’t my best work. I don’t really have one thing I’m most proud of; everything is equal to me.”


Though his audience varies, Wylie said he never draws with a target audience in mind. In the end, however, he said he draws and animates for himself, his friends and his fellow collaborators on

“I don’t like to draw under pressure,” Wylie said. “Without an audience, it gives me more freedom to draw what I want and express myself better. Whoever sees my work sees it.”

Art teacher Stephanie Dalley said Wylie brings a unique perspective to his art, and she can always tell when he has made something because it has a special flair.

“[Wylie] will take an assignment and put a twist on it that other kids don’t,” Dalley said. “He just has a distinctive style.”

With all the various projects that students enrolled in Graphic Design, Dalley said that Wylie’s work always stood out from the others. No matter the project, she said he always was able to make a humorous version of the project that his fellow classmates tended to enjoy.

“Even when the project was to design typography, I could see [Wylie’s] hand in it,” Dalley said. “His mark, whether digital or by pencil and paper, is distinctive enough to recognize from other’s people’s.”

His mark, whether digital or by pencil and paper, is distinctive enough to recognize from other people’s.”

— art teacher Stephanie Dalley

Ultimately, Wylie said his hope is to become a professional animator and become a popular name in animation.

“Right now, [animation and drawing] is just a hobby, but I want to be recognized for my work in animation and design,” Wylie said. “I would classify my skills as limited compared to the rest of the world, since I can only do two-dimensional animation; I still have lots of practice to do if I want to do [three-dimensional animation].”

Dalley said she supports Wylie’s endeavors in becoming a professional animator, and she sees great things for him in the future.

“I can see him being a graphic designer, a game designer or as an illustrator,” Dalley said. “I think it’s pretty unlimited as to what he could do with more modern art forms that involve technology.”

According to Wylie, he does have expectations for himself, but ultimately, his goal is to express himself as much as he can, and drawing, to him, is the perfect medium to do so.

“[Drawing and animation is] often inspiring to me,” Wylie said. “Drawing allows me to effectively communicate what I see in my thoughts and imagination in just one frame. In animation, I want to see if I can put my thoughts into motion.”

Wylie inspires himself on a regular basis by creating his own cartoon world, a visual representation of his thoughts and feelings. He is proud of his work and hopes to continue on in life by making it a possible profession.

“[Drawing and animation] is, for me, putting things into words without using words,” Wylie said. “You can tell any story with a picture if you can make it move.”

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2 Responses to “Emotion in Motion”

  1. Kansas Scholastic Press Association. : October Monthly Contest Winners on November 17th, 2014 3:18 pm

    […] 1st Place         Blue Valley Northwest          Avery Mojica and Jenny Lu          […]

  2. ‘You can tell any story with a picture if you can make it move': Student sketches and animates in free time | Best of SNO on November 19th, 2014 9:16 am

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The official student media of Blue Valley Northwest High School
Emotion in Motion