Artist among us: Tony Senator exemplifies versatility

Jeongin Kim, Staff Writer

Many of us have grown up with the likes of Disney, Cartoon Network, and Nickelodeon. Still, animation is often disregarded as an art form. While film and television are lauded for their creative geniuses, animated stories of the same caliber are left without recognition. But animation is uninhibited by the physics of live action—it allows storytellers to break the walls that limit traditional storytelling. Tony Senatore, a senior at Dulaney, demonstrates its virtue as a vehicle of personal expression through his animations.

“It’s just so much fun to be able to bring life to a drawing, to have so possible ways to make something move,” Senatore said.

Currently, his art varies from comics to short videos or illustrations. Senatore has an impressive toolkit to assist him. He previously utilized the Intuos Wacom tablet but has upgraded to the Wacom Cintiq after receiving it as a gift from his family. Though he is equipped with professional tools, his illustrations can still take around two to five hours, while his animations can consume up to 30 or 40 hours each. A one-minute video can contain over 1000 frames that each must be hand-drawn.

Senatore began drawing when he was six-years-old, when cartoons’ exaggerated expressions and caricatures first appealed to him. Since then, he has continuously honed his abilities to pursue a career in the field.

“The overall goal for me is to have my own project, but there’s a lot of steps in between. A more immediate goal is to get hired on a project for a streaming service, maybe a Netflix original, possibly [to be] part of the animation team or storyboard artists,” Senatore said.

Despite his aspirations, Senatore remains grounded. He understands the competitive nature of the artistic field and worries that it will not be financially fulfilling. Still, he remains optimistic: “there are not a lot of art-centered jobs in the world that pay an amount to make a life out of. Thankfully, animation is a specific art field that offers more promising opportunities.”

Now, with films such as “Spider-Man: Into the Spider Verse” and “Loving Vincent” garnering critical praise and accolades, the world of animation is seemingly expanding. Senatore hopes the future of storytelling is realized as a medium for not only children, but general audiences.


Find Senatore on Instagram @tiredcartoonist.

cartoons courtesy of tony senatore