Photography student explores design influences for self-directed claymation film


Courtesy of Roberta Cornew

Taken from Cornew’s Instagram, this is the closing shot of her short film, ‘In My Room.’ It was originally posted on Aug. 21.

Roberta Cornew’s fashion is influenced by the way she consumes, views and creates art. The St. Edward’s sophomore photography major draws connections between her artistic process and the way she gets dressed in the morning.

“When I shoot photos, I’ll take them in a group and find a common color that I’ll follow throughout the whole project, so when it comes to my fashion I think ‘What is one thing that stands out and how can I work around that?’” Cornew says.

Cornew’s style and art can often be identified by pops of bold color, like her bright red nails that she is currently sporting. She tries to balance wearability and fashion.

“The first thing that always drives the way that I dress is comfort, without a doubt,” she says.

Cornew’s visual work can be found on her art Instagram, @productoflash. On Aug. 21, Cornew posted her own short claymation film titled “In My Room.” When explaining the clothing design for her characters, Cornew further emphasizes the role that color plays in her work.

“I thought about color combinations that I really like,” she says. “I’m really into purple and green right now, and yellow as well.”

Cornew decorated the set of “In My Room” with posters of artists such as Frida Kahlo, Bob Marley, Solange and Noname. There are also posters of films such as “Moonrise Kingdom” and “Rocky Horror Picture Show,” along with posters supporting social movements such as Black Lives Matter and Abolish ICE. 

“I drew a lot of inspiration from ‘90s rooms…they’re so chaotic and colorful and I always wanted my room to look like that,” she says. “I was thinking about music and movies and things that are going on that are important right now. That room is a reflection of who I am; it’s a very personal room.”

For Cornew, stop-motion claymation seemed like a natural progression of her art and expression. From a young age, she has worked with sculpture and ceramics. 

“I always loved to work with my hands,” she says. “I would make little figurines of my friends for their birthdays and houses for my toys.” 

COVID-19 and quarantine has enabled Cornew to explore the labor-intensive and time heavy art form of claymation. 

“I don’t have the equipment to make a really big film, so stop motion is a really nice way to do whatever I want,” she says. “It’s a lot of work, I was not prepared for how long it would take me. It took me a month and a half.”

Cornew’s art and style is a product of her current and childhood influences. It often emphasizes eye-catching color and tactile looking textures that her viewer can practically feel on the screen.