Zoom Autism Magazine Issue 7 - Page 46

SPOTLIGHT ON SUCCESS The ANIMATED Life of Nicholas Cornell H ave you found that special skill, that incredible talent, that is part of you? Sometimes you may have to search for it just a little bit, but surely it is there, inside of you. “Of course!” A day or so later, Artie at ARG! called Nicholas and asked if he wanted to be one of the animators for the show The Adventures of Turtle Taido that they were about to create. My autistic son Nicholas feels fortunate because his talent, and what he loves to do, surfaced in him at a very young age. As soon as he could pick up a pencil, he began to create art. Nicholas worked as a traditional animator on the show, and he also created some “extras.” It was such an awesome experience to work as an animator on a show that was going to air on television and to be a part of the “pipeline” – one of the many artists it takes to create an animated show. Turtle Taido is a Nigerian produced children’s animated show. It is about a turtle with magic shell powers whose travel adventures across Nigeria teach children about the culture, geography, and uniquenesses of that country. The first season of the show is now completed, and it has premiered in Nigeria. It was also one of three nominees for Best Animation at the Abuja International Film Festival! Hopefully, they will soon begin to animate a second season! In the beginning he drew cartoon characters using pencil and paper. Once in school, he explored other art forms, such as painting, mosaic, sculpting, and digital art. He took every art class available in high school and participated in the school-sponsored after school art club. When he finished high school, he knew he wanted to continue learning more about his craft. Fortunately, he found the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, where he was accepted into the 2D Animation Program. After graduation, Nicholas moved from Pittsburgh to Virginia, where he tried to make a living as a freelance artist, always wondering where he would find his next client. Until the next season, though, Nicholas is keeping busy with other projects. Recently, he designed art for the Walk for Autism Northern Virginia t-shirt. He is also working on art projects that he wants to exhibit in Fairfax Art League’s galleries, the same galleries to which he sold a F