Shelley Low is an animation graduate from New York’s School of Visual Arts, she is currently working as a freelance animator and illustrator.
‘I was born and raised in my home country Singapore for much of my life, then moved to New York City to go to college and spent some years working there as well. Disney movies and 90s television cartoons had inspired me throughout my life to draw and create my own characters and stories, and as such, I decided I wanted to study Animation. New York’s School of Visual Arts was one of the few schools that offered a full BFA in hand-drawn traditional animation, so that was my choice. Experiencing a different country, meeting fellow artists and animation enthusiasts to exchange ideas and collaborate with, and the vibrant and colourful culture of NYC all had a great impact on me and helped me grow both creatively and personally.’
‘College and my life in urban America have made me bolder and more versatile as an artist, but I also retain a deep connection to my Singaporean-Chinese roots, and the culture and values with which I was raised – the importance of family, community, and to not forget what has moulded you into the person you are. Animals and the natural world in general have also been a lifelong inspiration for me. My final-year thesis animation film ‘Durian Season’ was inspired by local wildlife such as the pangolin, as well as the Singaporean passion for the noxious durian fruit – which is something that never fails to remind me of home.
Animation, particularly hand-drawn animation, remains my first love, both for its uniqueness as an art form and its storytelling capabilities. There is no magic quite like watching a drawing coming to life. I am currently working as a freelance animator and illustrator, but plan to start work on a new personal film later this year. Now that I am living in my native Singapore again, I have also been reconnecting with people and the way of life here – hopefully I will find some inspiration for new stories to tell.’