Olivia Ortiz

I studied abroad for six months at London College of Communication at the University of the Arts London in the winter of 2022. While I was there I studied Animation Arts and I made my piece The Commute.

The tube specifically inspired me because of the bold color blocking, the grid-like design of the train’s interior, the iconic London Underground logo, the motion of busy people, and the shared experience between strangers. In The Commute, I created an immersive look into how I was viewing the world at the time. My romanticized perspective provided me with healing and my hope is that, with my animation, my audience is able to find healing as well. Overall, The Commute follows an observant character’s dream-like gaze as she searches for meaning and connection in her environment. On the tube, she lazily watches the landscape change from rural to urban. She carefully observes people in both real life and digitally on social media. Her gaze is then finally disrupted by the connection of a phone call from her mother.

This project and my time spent in London certainly changed who I am as a person and artist. I feel like I have a stronger creative voice and understanding of what inspires me. Upon reflection, The Commute simply was a catalyst for my research of strangers and mental health. Without that, I wouldn’t be where I am today. For this project and my time spent abroad, I am extremely grateful.