Madison Stubbs

Artist Statement

Freedom and exploration are feelings that I personally yearn for. Coming from a small town as a child, I have always been fascinated by big bustling cities and distant, almost magical, locations beyond my own home. To express my feelings about the theme of freedom, I place my own emotions into narratives and the characters that inhabit that narrative. Writing and drawing help me feel a personal freedom by transporting myself into a new imaginative environment where everything is possible. With my artwork, I aim to help the viewer experience a freedom from reality by investing them in a narrative of my crafting. The actions of my characters all revolve around the idea of freedom. Whether it be a mental or physical, freedom and exploration are my character’s main interests and goals.

As I have tried all forms of art making, I have always been drawn back to the medium of animation. Being a lover of storytelling, I am certain that animation is the best vessel for the stories I wish to express. The process of animation incorporates more than just the practice of visual arts, but also serves to integrate other media such as music, writing, and acting, all of which I have a fascination with. All of my animation narratives are taken from personal experiences, and skewed to fit the properties of the world where they are appropriate.

Story Summary 

The narrative developed in my portfolio, “Dungeon Crawlers,” taps largely back into the theme of exploration. While holding personal connections, such as the memories of playing Dungeons and Dragons with my father, “Dungeon Crawlers” is largely a parody of the fantasy genre. Poking fun at things and using comedy to tell stories is something I do almost on a daily basis. Comedy is a tool that can suck the audience in, allowing them to experience temporary freedom.  “Dungeon Crawlers” follows the story of Wanda and her companion Catfish. Their job is to explore dungeons collecting artifacts such as “The Potion of Sudden Zoom” and “The Orb of Convenient Observation.”  Along the way Wanda hires two employees, Chauvin, a fashion obsessed necromancer, and Durb, an orc with an incredibly long title. The group encounters strange monsters and guardians as they collect artifacts for clients, all to keep the business up and running.