VMPA Senior Thesis

Alexis Phillips




Alexis Phillips, from Vineland, NJ, is currently in her final year as a senior Fine Arts student at Rutgers University–Camden, concentrating in Animation and set to graduate in the spring of 2024. Alexis has wanted to work in the animation industry since she was very young, having grown up with a love for cartoons, storytelling, and art. Her dream job is to be a character designer for children’s TV animation, where she can be involved in the production of shows similar to the ones that sparked her passion. She would also love to pursue illustrating a children’s book in the future. Her ultimate goal, however, is to work in a creative environment. During her college career here at Rutgers–Camden, Alexis has become heavily involved in the Department of the Visual, Media, and Performing Arts, an accomplishment she says she is proud of and has allowed her confidence and skill set to grow. In the summer of 2023, Alexis was awarded an undergraduate summer research grant for a project that used digital 3D modeling and printing to bring her artistic vision of 10 “American Urban Legends” into the physical world. She presented her art and research at last fall’s Celebration of Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity (CURCA) and in an exhibition at the Student Works Gallery.


As an aspiring character designer, I strive to create fun and unique characters that personally bring me enjoyment and reflect my interests and passions, in the hopes that they will also connect with others. While my college career has allowed me to work with a variety of mediums, I primarily focus on digital illustration. However, after being enrolled in a 3D Modeling course here at Rutgers–Camden, I have recently begun exploring digital sculpting. Translating my characters from 2D to 3D has been an exciting new challenge and allows me to view my art in an entirely new perspective. In my creative process, I draw inspiration from childhood experiences and the various animated series I grew up watching on channels like Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network, PBS, and the Disney Channel. I am also motivated by capturing the diversity and unique styles of people I observe in public spaces. I love to draw people! While designing, I am thinking about shape language and how to highlight a character’s personality through the way that I draw them. I also like art styles that are cute, charming, and have hand-drawn elements to them, such as sketchy outlines and visible brush strokes, which lend a traditional aesthetic to my digital drawings. My goal is to create beloved characters and art that audiences can relate to.