Intro to the Collection

Hello there! It’s great to meet you, my name is Isabel Santos. I am an animation artist who makes animated films utilizing traditional techniques, 2D hand drawn animation on paper with traditional media, pencils, markers, paint, etc. I take inspiration from classic cartoons in both character design and movement, and combine them with experimental film making techniques. I make nonlinear, absurd comedies through which I cope with and synthesize personal experiences, talk about more difficult topics, make observations of day to day life and enjoy the freedom of the medium. Animation is an invaluable communication tool through which I am my most vulnerable and brutally honest. I find mundane life to be incredibly interesting and weird, which is often the context of my films. I recently earned my BFA in Animation from the Rhode Island School of Design and will earn my MFA in Experimental Animation from California Institute of the Arts. Along side my practice I hope one day to use art and animation to create a supportive and empathetic learning environment where creativity is nurtured and uninhibited. 

My journey with the The Art Barge started when I was a child in the early 2000s through the Children’s Art Carnival and, later, painting, print making, drawing, and collage classes. I owe a great deal to the Barge for allowing me to explore art at a young age in ways my elementary and high school programs never had. I believe this experience is central to my pursuit of art in adulthood. After a few years away from the Barge, I returned in summer 2018 to become a studio assistant for many adult painting, collage, and drawing classes. As of fall 2020, I aided in the institute website redesign and am now Technical Curator for anything digital and social media related. 

We hope this website will provide new and old friends additional context to the engagement they have and will have with the House and Barge. Below is a selection of work from the D’Amico Studio and Archive collection which are significant to me. These objects and art works represent a larger sense of humor, self awareness, and innate sensitivity to life that the D’Amicos share with us from their time through today. 

Isabel in blue shirt, 2005