Rachael Cooke
The Widow's

The Widow’s Vendetta is a 2D animation that focuses on the betrayal of a warden to his wife that causes her to grow vindictive and results in a sequence of unfortunate events. Once the widow assumes power of her late husband’s prison, she is eventually killed by the inmates in an uprising due to her cruel nature. The main tragedy happens when descendants of the woman who slept with her husband enters the prison to go ghost hunting with his family, causing the widow to rise from beyond the grave to enact her revenge once more.
Artist/Thesis Statement
I use my own personal experiences and love for empathy to influence my work and in turn, I create dark and powerful pieces that show my most inner emotions and thoughts about human nature. I like to think about what humans would do in desperate situations, and in life in general.  I think it’s incredibly important to have empathy, and use it actively to try to understand one another. I believe   some people are either not capable of having empathy or choose not to look from another’s perspective because they either don’t care, or don’t want to feel the regret that comes with acting selfishly.
I think empathy is essential for our future because so many people are quick to judge or do things without considering how they would affect others. This idea of empathy can be seen in my character’s designs; I use fantasy elements to make them look like mythical creatures for some of them. But these extravagant additions to humans just hammers home the point that we should be empathetic to all kinds of people (within reason), despite our obvious differences. Most of the time, we’ll find we have a lot more in common than we initially thought.
Through my work with The Widow's Vendetta, a horror story I am working on developing visually during my senior year, I want to express the horrible consequences of life when people lack empathy in their actions and characters. This story has horror, and the supernatural, but the themes of human empathy and suffering are existing throughout the story… I am using digital art to convey this project, and I will be using some animation to make it come to life.
In my own life, I think that the main reason I wanted to keep pursuing art is because I want to express my ideas in an easier way than through written words. Although images do not express everything, they can at least show you a small piece of what is happening, especially if the composition, lighting, and colors work well together. Images also have the capability to show intense emotions in a certain scene, which is what I enjoy the most about art.

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