VMPA Senior Thesis

Elizabeth Sampson



Elizabeth has experienced art for as long as she can remember whether it was coloring with her grandmother, watching animated movies and shows, or drawing her friends and family with simple shapes for bodies. Over the years, Elizabeth has constantly been influenced by her classmates and their drawings, as she continues to improve upon her style and technique. She learned a lot about writing in fourth grade where her classmates would detail moments of their lives. In fifth grade, she wrote her first fictional story. She didn’t realize how much she enjoyed drawing and writing about people until she started watching anime in seventh grade. After watching some Studio Ghibli films, she recalled an early childhood memory of her first anime, The Cat Returns, which her grandmother brought home from the library. 

Elizabeth didn’t know what she wanted to major in until her sophomore year in high school. After watching fun, fan-made animations of the Game Grumps, she decided she wanted to study Animation in college. In her junior year, she began taking art classes at Camden Catholic High School. At the same time a friend recommended for her to read Webtoon. This inspired Elizabeth even more to create her own story. In her senior year she enrolled in a pre-college animation course at Rutgers-Camden and was a member of the Art Honor Society.

A course that stood out for her at Rutgers-Camden was Brandon Borelli’s Storyboard and Character Design class because it focused on 2D art. Brandon was very encouraging and Elizabeth began to write her own story, as well as a storyboard and character sheets.

One of her main inspirations is her brother Demetrio. Demetrio is also an Art major, but with a concentration in Drawing and Painting. Although he is two years younger, his motivation and drawings astound her, and she appreciates his feedback on her work. Demetrio wants to be a manga artist and writer and Elizabeth realized she wanted to do the same. Elizabeth hopes to be one of the first American women to release a manga of her own and wishes for it to be noticed enough to become an anime. Elizabeth wants to take people away from reality for a bit, to relax and have fun with her characters, and maybe even inspire other artists just as anime and manga have done for her.