by Nick Christophers, Journalist / Author

Nick Christophers Ink Corp.
EMAIL: nickchristophers@rocketmail.com
WEBSITE: http://nickchristophers.org
PHONE: 1-516-662-3688

It may have been the Marvel films or the emergence of the Japanese anime but one thing is clear is that animated projects are popping everywhere. Even though animated TV programs and films have been around for ages they have never been taken that serious across the board. Artist / animator Ziyi Wang grew up with the likes of Zootopia, Mona, Frozen, Tangled, Gravity Fall, etc. These shows were her inspiration that touched her heart and motivated her to study the art of animation.

"The things that inspire me to have chosen animation are the fantastic films and cartoons I grew up with. I had seen many cartoon movies and TV shows in my childhood. Those cartoons gave me unforgettable memories and made my childhood more colorful."

She would be accepted into the School of Visual Arts Animation program and is in her third year there. Since being in the program she has discovered the magic that animation can create. Ziyi enjoys the pre-production part the most. Yet she also dives into the character design and concept art in the animation making process and of course the final composite part.

Ziyi has developed many skills on her journey in art like character design, visual development, Concept art, Compositing, Directing and other mediums. Since her time at SVA she has produced a few projects of her own. One of her most prized projects has been the animated film "Heartspace" which was selected nine different film festivals and has won Best Animated Short Film at the Global Film Festival.

"My Film Heartspace is a 3 min 2D animated film. It's mainly about love and courage. Heartspace is a space in people's hearts. There are a lot of different kinds of houses floating in Heartspace. Each house represents different personalities. One day, the character Iris gets a mental shock in real life, which leads to a catastrophe that happens in Heartspace. A huge stone crushed the whole Heartspace also destroyed Iris' inner world. Rankin used his love and power to save Iris and the whole Heartspace. I created this story to express that even though some people are introverted. It doesn't mean that they don't have power. One day they will break through their inner barriers and save the whole world.

Only recently "Heartspace" was in the running at the Winter Film Festival where it was well received. Zii has also completed another short-animated film "Magic Pear" 3 years ago, which she has yet to enter into a festival but is looking to do that soon. "Magic Pear" was the first animated short she ever completed. Even before she worked on these shorts, she created an animated WeChat sticker that garnered 40000 downloads.

For her very first project "Magic Pear" took on a different approach which was more experimental in nature. It is in black & amp; white rather than in color like "Heartspace" the whole project was worked on via her IPhone. Ziyi drew the whole animation using only her finger which that alone is unique. The storyline is more fairy-tale driven between good and evil. There is the pear, an evil witch, a monster and the kind fairy that saves the pear from the monster. The pear is really cute and vivid. Again, Ziyi used a bit of herself in the story by being the voice behind the characters of the little pear, the witch and the narrator.

Currently, Ziyi is working on a short film called "Jiuse Deer" it is based on an ancient Chinese story based on a Dunhuang mural "The Deer King's Birth". The story is based on humanity and protection of wildlife. The other project she is working on is entitled "Tag" which has an interesting theme. It is based on the different tags that are labeled on us and make us different from each other. Her main goal is to direct a feature film and eventually lock in a position with animation giants Disney or Pixar. The way she is going so far it is not out of the realm of possibilities.


The story of "Heartspace" is used in a blend of dreamy and imaginative style. She created an imaginary world based on a colorful landscape. By utilizing color and light it gave even the object like the houses a soul of their own. Iris the main character for example her home is a water drop like shape while Rankin's is like a tree but has its own special shape. The work that went into the project is evident when it comes to her creativity. The other special item to note about the project is the music is perfectly fit with the animation. And the animation is very fluid. Ziyi completed the project on her own which says a lot.