It's hard to believe that the poignant, pastel-tinted works of visual artist and animator Leslie Supnet comes from someone with a degree in applied mathematics from the University of Winnipeg. Her endearing and witty animations and drawings have been grabbing the attention of curators and film festivals around North America since her emergence into the art world in 2007. Now a key player in the local film and art community, Supnet's work consistently enchants viewers with their blend of socio-emotional commentary beneath the cuteness of her pale cartoons.
How would you describe your work?
I structure my drawings and animations around common experience and collective memory, and place these elements within a surreal framework. I often use black humour and melancholy in my works as well.
What inspires or influences you?
Everyday experience influences me the most. I love observing people in various situations, and look for subtleties in their emotional responses to their environment. So much can be interpreted from people's faces.
Explain a bit of the process of making your work.
I rarely use dialogue in my animation, so I build my narratives around movement, gestures and other emotional cues. From there I like to layer the story as much as I can, to reflect the multiplicity of emotions we feel at any given moment. Once I have the story, I draw out my characters and puppets, and figure out timing to the music.
What is it like being an artist in Winnipeg today?
The arts and film community in Winnipeg is vibrant and strong, and teeming with talent. It is easy to be inspired here. There is an abundance of mutual support among artists that isn't so common anymore in other major cities.
What are you trying to say with your art?
As the saying goes, there is no comedy without tragedy. I like to find humour that lurks beneath our saddest moments, and expand upon them, to give an alternative outlet to our common trials and struggles.
Check out more of Leslie Supnet at her website: www.sundaestories.com