JOLLY WITH A CHANCE OF ANXIETY

Zsófi Edőcs’s illustrations and animations explore a care-free, joyous realm of vivid colors and playful shapes, accompanied by her analog synthesizer. When exploring the medium of film however, the Hungarian artist’s works delve into the anxieties of adulting, yet retain her signature humorous touch.

As an animator and illustrator, you seem to focus on two main topics: creating “silly”, cartoon-inspired characters, and expressing yourself through abstract, psychedelic, and playful animations. How do these two aspects of your work complement each other, and how do they allow you to explore different aspects of your creativity?

Character-centered images, animations, and designs help in conveying emotions and storytelling, whether it’s about positive or more challenging, serious topics. Through the use of imaginary creatures, I aim to present things in a lighter, more humorous manner. In terms of visuals, I try to find a balance between the two aspects, but behind my abstract animations, there is primarily a sense of childlike curiosity and an experimental attitude that I also want to convey to the viewer. If I had to choose, perhaps it’s the latter that I particularly enjoy, but as an animator, I aspire to find my own tools for more traditional storytelling and conventional narratives as well, as that also greatly interests me.

In your short animations, you showcase the enchantment of shapes, colours, motion, and dynamics while experimenting with the connections between music and movement. Can you share more about your process of creating these animations?

I create most of these animations on my iPad, which gives me great freedom because I can start anywhere I feel like it. I don’t usually plan anything in advance; sometimes I just sit on the train or on the couch, draw a shape, and follow its path. Then I create the next one, and so on. I enjoy using vibrant colors and interesting effects that help achieve a dreamy, psychedelic look. When I work with music, I often create the sound first. While animating, I sometimes listen to a short musical motif for hours, letting it bring the movement to life without any specific planning.

You are currently working on your diploma project – an animated short movie exploring a young adult woman’s anxieties. Can you provide some insights into the themes and narrative of this project? What inspired you to explore these specific aspects of the human experience?

Part of the film takes place in a pub where the protagonist works part-time alongside her studies to support herself. The place has a cozy atmosphere, but the girl clearly doesn’t feel too comfortable. I first try to portray this relatively realistically, and later, in a trippy scene, I illustrate the protagonist’s anxieties through imaginary creatures reminiscent of objects related to her work. These anxieties are connected to themes such as growing up, financial independence, and entering the workforce. The topic is partly inspired by personal experiences, although I make a living from work related to my profession and I have never worked in a pub, the character and her environment are fictional, so to speak, with no direct connection to me. Similar questions weigh on me, just as they do on a significant portion of my generation, as I see. I observe it among my friends and through posts on social media. Therefore, I believe it can be a relevant and important topic. I want to explore it in my own way and in my own style, presenting it with humor.

Can you discuss the role of animation as a medium for storytelling and self-expression?

I think that many people still perceive animation as a genre intended solely for children. However, I believe that animation is one of the most versatile and liberating forms of artistic expression. It has the ability to convey any emotion and tell any story using the tools of animation, complemented by the expressive power of other art forms and mediums. Personally, I am particularly fond of animated short films and experimental works, as they often provide immense freedom for interpretation, similar to reading a poem or contemplating a visual artwork. However, I also appreciate humorous and socially critical series as well as feature-length animations that tackle more serious subjects. They resonate with me and hold significant importance.

As an artist based in Budapest, how does your environment and cultural background influence your work? Are there any particular elements of your surroundings that inspire or inform your creative process?

I feel that life in Hungary is quite futureless in many aspects, which currently has a lesser impact on my art, but rather motivates me to live elsewhere in the future. However, despite this, I am fortunate to be surrounded by a very inspiring, supportive, and free-spirited community at MOME, where I study. My fellow students and teachers are doing amazing things, which is highly motivating. This clearly has a very positive impact on me and my creative process.

Can you share any challenges or memorable experiences you’ve encountered during your journey as an animator and illustrator? How have these experiences shaped your artistic style or approach?

When I completed my BA studies, I started working and got involved in animation, but my job wasn’t very creative. My plan was to apply for the MA program after a year of work, but I got stuck in my job and felt quite lost in terms of creativity, so I ended up taking a three-year break. However, during my work, I developed skills that eventually helped me explore new directions compared to my previous art style. I started experimenting and became much more diverse as a result. By the way, I still work at the same place, but over time, I have managed to establish a balance in my life between my creative activities and the more monotonous work necessary for livelihood.

Looking ahead, what are your aspirations and goals as an artist? Are there any specific projects or directions you would like to explore in the future, either within animation or in other artistic mediums?

I would like to be open-minded and try many different things, even experimenting with other media. Primarily, I would be thrilled to create animated music videos or concert visuals in the future, whether it’s for my own music or for others. However, sometimes I also enjoy painting and I would like to dedicate more time to it as well.

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Bio

Zsófi Edőcs was born in 1995 and is a Budapest-based animator and illustrator. She is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Animation at MOME. In her works, she has two main focuses. First, she loves creating silly cartoon-inspired characters. Second, she expresses herself through abstract, psychedelic, and playful animations. In these short loops, she tries to explore and showcase the enchantment of shapes, colors, motion and dynamics, and experiments with the connections between music and movement. Drawing each frame in a free and intuitive manner is a special kind of relaxation for her as well. She mostly creates the music for them using her analog synthesizer. She is also currently working on her diploma project, which will be an animated short movie exploring a young adult woman’s anxieties about independence and growing up.

Credits

Artist / Zsófi Edőcs @zsofiedocs

Interview / Markéta Kosinová

 

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