A Conversation with

Jackie Cadiente

Los Angeles-based stop motion designer and sculptor Jackie Cadiente grew up taking art classes. Years later, she found herself graduating from the Maryland Institute College of Art with a BFA in sculpture and a concentration in animation. We asked Cadiente to join our Artist Series and reinterpret the Oribe goddess as one of her delightful wooden puppets. Read on to find out more about her artistic process, her personal style and her exciting upcoming projects.

Tell us a little about your background in art. When did you know that it was your calling?
I抳e been immersed in the arts ever since I was a little kid. I first wanted to be an animator and started taking atelier classes at 10 years old. In college, I studied painting but gradually began branching out until I fully transitioned from painting to sculpting. Eventually, I found my way to becoming a stop motion artist. Funny how things play out!

How would you describe your artistic aesthetic?
My work, regardless of medium, is very much driven by narrative. Thematically, I am drawn to explorations of innocence, the process of aging and objects of wonder. On a technical level, I place a strong emphasis on craftsmanship and respect for material, incorporating the inherently unique qualities of my various media into articulate, refined forms. I like for my characters to be swept up in their experiences in the worlds they live in, and for the audience to connect with those experiences and feelings.

Describe your artistic process. Where do you typically find inspiration?
Astronomy has always made my skies brighter. I抦 enchanted by the natural world. The stars give me a sense of wonder and adventure, and it is this same feeling of wonder that I try to materialize in my work.

If there's any artist you could collaborate with, living or dead, who would it be and what would you do together?
It would be such an honor to collaborate with filmmaker William Joyce. He has a vivid imagination and he puts a tremendous amount of heart into his stories. He breathes life into every aspect of his characters, from the whimsical to the noble to the wicked. I would love to create a story with him because I believe we have similar interests and sensibilities.

What's the best advice you've ever received?
揝mile more. It抯 important to have a positive attitude in life because it抯 the little things that keep us going.

How would you describe your personal style?
I抎 describe my style as functional yet playful. My wardrobe is semi-formal with a natural palette and an emphasis on fit and practicality, but with splashes of color and texture: a patterned scarf, or feather earring. My favorite part of my style, though, is always having one of my handmade toys with me!

How do you normally wear your hair?
When I抦 working, I wear my hair in a simple ponytail or bun. If I抦 not, I let it fall naturally. Recently, I cut my hair short after many years of having long hair.

Why did you decide to design the Oribe logo the way you did?
Using wood shavings for the goddess抯 hair seemed like a great idea桰抳e always wanted to try it. The wood grain and the curling, undulating shape of the shavings create a shimmering, cascading effect. I was really excited about this project because she抯 my smallest puppet yet!

Your greatest talent outside of art?
People have told me that I抦 a wonderful gift giver. I love to make people gifts because they deserve a little something special out of their everyday routine. When I give a gift to someone, I want it to be something that I know will appeal to their personality卻omething that they抣l really love.

Are you working on any upcoming projects that you're particularly excited about?
Right now I抦 collaborating with some talented people from the American Film Institute on a short animation. I can抰 give away too many details, but we抮e making an adorable abominable snowman baby! I抳e also just been brought on as an intern at Screen Novelties, an awesome stop motion collective in Los Angeles with some great new projects coming up. I抦 so excited for all of the adventures to come!

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