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"Animation is Magic": SVA Alumnus VivziePop on Perseverance, Inspiration and 'Hazbin Hotel'

Prior to attending SVA, Vivienne Medrano (BFA 2014 Animation)—better known to her fans as VivziePop—had little experience animating. But the medium enchanted her from an early age, as she was growing up in Maryland, and she came to New York to study it through the SVA Pre-College program prior to enrolling as an undergraduate. "Animation is a magic art form," she says in the latest SVA Features video. "I love what animation can do."

Medrano first realized her love for animation while watching Bambi, the 1942 Disney classic. "The animals moved like real animals, but they were stylized and they were unique. Somebody drew that and I knew that was what I wanted to do." In 2012, while still at the College, Medrano launched her VivziePop YouTube channel as a way to distribute her original work; it has since amassed an astounding 1.2 million-plus followers. Today, she is a DIY artist and freelancer currently working on her own show for the online platform, Hazbin Hotel.

Hazbin Hotel centers on a young woman named Charlie, the daughter of Lucifer, as she attempts to reduce the population of Hell by opening a rehabilitation center for demons. Made entirely by freelance artists, some of them SVA alumni and students, the series as a whirlpool of ideas and creativity. "It's been a huge joy of mine to work with so many amazing artists and get their voices and their styles a part of the project," she says.

Despite her success, Medrano says she still faces roadblocks to overcome, and she encourages her fellow artists who go through the same thing to remember: "Nobody is going to really know what you can do until you do it, so make that animation, that story, [or] that comic. When you're really passionate or you really love something, don't shy away from that."

To learn more about Medrano's experience at SVA and her forthcoming show, watch the SVA feature above and the Hazbin Hotel trailer below.

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