Megan Smith

Megan Smith

James W. Strong Digital Arts Studio Achievement Award


Description of Work

Aria 2021 - Autodesk Maya, Adobe After Effects, Procreate - Not for Sale

Artist's Statement

Aria is a 3D hybrid animation that tells the story of friendship and the power of music. The story follows a young, whimsical creature as it frolics in the sky surrounded by its family. When the creature is suddenly separated from its family, it is scared and alone. Through the power of music and the kindness of a human being, the creature is able to reunite with its loved ones. This uplifting story reflects the changes my life has gone through as I transition to adulthood. Over the past few years, I have spent more and more time apart from my own friends and family, but by connecting with new friends, and sharing the same kindness others have shown me, I never feel alone.

The story begins with a young creature unaware of the dangers of venturing off alone. Thrown off course by a storm, the creature ends up separated from its family. The creature then finds itself in the home of a young woman who is missing her own family. For the woman, the sound of her music box is her only connection to her mother. The creature is mesmerized by the music and is able to temporarily forget its troubles. Through the music, these two characters are able to form a bond. The woman then takes on a nurturing role and uses the music box to help reunite the creature with its family. By doing so, the young woman feels closer to her own family.

This animated short uses a combination of 3D computer animation and 2D-painted backgrounds to create a feeling of togetherness. The animation is set to an uplifting musical score that I wrote and performed in an attempt to connect my personal love of music to my passion for animation.

Even when we are apart from the ones we love, little things such as music and kindness can make us feel connected.

Artist's Website:

If you wish to purchase any of these pieces, please contact the gallery director, Jacqueline Nathan (


Updated: 03/19/2021 06:30PM