Columbia College student Tricia-Rae Parent loves magic, and she loves bringing it to life through her work. This makes quite a bit of sense considering she’s had a life long obsession with everything Disney related. A quick viewing of the work on her website should have no problem convincing you of that. Her illustration work consists of pieces inspired by movies such as Up, Lilo & Stitch, Dumbo & many more. The photography section of her website is full of photos from her time at Disney World, where she spent time there as a participant of their college program back in 2017. Speaking on this lifelong obsession of hers, she states, “Disney has always been a big part of my life. Our christmas tree was always Disney themed for me. My mom gave me our tree topper, and it was Mickey Mouse. It’s a really big thing!” She went on to say that almost all she watches are Disney and Pixar films, stating that she really empathized with the lessons that these movies taught. She says, “the stories that Disney and Pixar tell are more relatable. Inside Out is the relatable movie for me because the emotions and everything, I’ve been through all that.”
Tricia hails from the small town of Hamilton, New Jersey, which is just outside of the capital of Trenton. She said her creative spirit was sparked from an early age after her mother would let her play around with an old video camera. Reflecting back on some of her fondest memories with that camera, she says, “We were on the outer banks of South Carolina where all of the wild horses are… I’m a big fan of horses. She let me have the camera and I filmed the horses, filmed them running around and everything. I ended up leaving the camera on the ground while it was still running, so our home video has 20 minutes of just wood!” Tricia’s creative pursuits really started to flourish in high school. Something of note is that she helped write a murder mystery production that she ended up starring in as well. That story has since gone on to become published. After high school, she moved to South Carolina where she attended Horry-Georgetown Technical College, also known as H.G.T.C. After spending 4 years there, she graduated with an Associate Degree in Graphic Design. After applying for and waiting to hear back from a few schools, Tricia made the decision to attend Columbia College in Chicago to study animation. “Columbia is on the top 20 list for animation schools in the nation,” she states, looking back on her decision to go here. “When I was looking at schools, I needed something that was affordable and that had my major.” Tricia transferred in for the ongoing fall semester, and she is on track to graduate in the spring of 2020.
It is not hard to spot the Disney influence on Tricia’s work. For one, a lot of her illustration/photography pieces contain open references to the movies she has grown to love, as well as Disney World, a place she has many fond memories of. She wears her influences on her sleeve like a badge of honor. However, there are more subtle influences as well. A lot of her photography focuses on portraying humans in the happiest of moments. The facial expressions on a lot of her subjects are infectious. They invoke feelings of happiness, magic & wonder, 3 common traits often found in Disney movies as well. Disney movies are renowned for how they use animation to bring their movies to life, and Tricia’s work has the same aesthetic. Her pieces are vibrant in color, rich in detail, and can tell stories based off of the viewer’s interpretation. Her website is a Disney movie in and of itself, and serves as a time capsule that can transport you back to a time when life was simple.
Tricia has ambitious plans for the future, but isn’t rushing in taking steps to get there. She is already working on a film that she says will be done by the end of her time here at Columbia, and she’s using all of her class projects as stepping-stones to help perfect this project. Given that it is a very personal project to her coupled with that it is still very much in the works, she doesn’t want to release any details about that project just yet. She has stated that her dream job is to work at Pixar. She says, “I really want to go into character development and modeling. Possibly rigging as well. Basically I like to do all of the pre-production…. I don’t actually like to animate. I actually like to build everything for animators and let them move it however it needs to be moved.” Given the fact that Tricia’s love for Disney movies runs deep, there should be little doubt that she will chase her goals with everything she has. However, that doesn’t mean she won’t be happy if she has to start out small. “If I’m working for smaller animation houses, that’s totally fine with me. As long as I’m doing it, I don’t really care where I’m at.” A link to her website will be posted below.
View Tricia’s Website Here: https://triciaparent.myportfolio.com
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