Commons cartoonists: Tanner Morse, Amelia Bianchi display creative artwork in the dining hall

Amelia Bianchi’s cartoon drawings are hanging on the Commons suggestions board, each requesting different food items.

People may be wondering about two cartoon artists whose work takes up an entire bulletin board in Upper Commons. These drawings are all the work of Tanner Morse and Amelia Bianchi. 
Morse is a graduate student at RWU and a visual arts major who is specializing in videography. During his time at RWU, Morse took art classes involving drawing, painting, mixed mediums and ceramics, in addition to videography. While he is employed, he doesn’t currently have a job involving these means, though he is considering pursuing one involving videography as well as doing art commissions online. 
Though Morse has always loved drawing, he first got into it when he started drawing cartoons in fourth grade. There was a period during middle school and high school when he stopped drawing, but he ended up getting back into it during college. Morse mainly uses markers when he draws — fine markers for outlines and smaller details and wider markers to fill in larger areas. 
Morse’s idea for putting drawings up on the suggestions board in Commons stems from the fact that he particularly loves to draw pop culture figures. As such, the drawings all depict characters from TV shows, movies and video games giving their own suggestions, such as Bugs Bunny asking for carrots or Thanos mistaking a bag of fruit snacks for the Infinity Stones. To make the characters look exactly like the way they do in the works they come from, Morse first traces their outline (though only some are traced, about 70 percent, according to him), then fills in the details by hand. 
At first, he thought about putting up a few drawings during sophomore year, but didn’t go through with it. However, the idea picked up during senior year, when he first put up about 12 or 13 drawings and continued putting up more almost every day. Since then, the drawings have become a conversation piece for people who go to Upper Commons, with people posting pictures of them on Snapchat and even stealing some for themselves. 
The theft of his drawings is part of the reason for the glass covering the board, along with the dining staff wanting to preserve the cartoons out of admiration for them. Though he recently put up a few more drawings, Morse is currently unsure as to when he’ll put up more next, saying he’ll do it the next time ideas come to him.
Morse’s advice to aspiring artists is to “make whatever art you feel like making,” and his advice to art students like himself is to “try to get as much creative freedom as you can in art assignments.”

Those who dine in Upper Commons might be wondering about the origins of the three cartoon drawings that are hanging on the suggestions bulletin board. These pieces were created by Amelia Bianchi, a senior marine biology major.

Bianchi has loved drawing for most of her life, especially when it comes to drawing ocean animals and characters that she likes. Although there was a brief period where she actually gave up drawing, she is now considering pursuing a career in it, in addition to one in marine biology. Preferably, her future occupation would involve digital art, though she also has experience with pencils and watercolors.

Perhaps her most famous creation is Dave, a bottlenose dolphin with a lump on his head that makes him look more like a Beluga whale. She first drew Dave on a whiteboard in the Marine and Natural Sciences building, where he took up the whole board and had a slightly rougher design compared to his current look. Since then, he’s become a sort of mascot for RWU’s Marine Science club, which Bianchi is a member of. Though she is not currently taking any art classes, she did take foundations in drawing during her freshman year and hopes to take other art classes after graduation, permitting she has time. 

As for the three drawings in Upper Commons, Bianchi started working on them last summer after seeing the drawings on the other bulletin board in the dining hall. It was only recently that she got around to finishing them, after which she posted them on the board alongside other people’s suggestions. One of these features her character Dave asking for more sorbet flavors. The second cartoon pictures a character named C2, from the TV show “Code Geass,” asking for vegan pizza. Bianchi’s third drawing is a depiction of herself, asking for ramen and pho. The suggestions in her drawings are all her own.

Because she is graduating in May, Bianchi said she may or may not have the opportunity to put more drawings up on the board. For aspiring artists, she offers advice that she was once given by a European artist she met.

“You can’t get everything right on the first try. Keep practicing and don’t get discouraged if it doesn’t turn out exactly the way you want it,” she said.

More of Amelia’s work can be seen on Instagram (@supersquillid), Redbubble (@SuperSquillid) and DeviantArt (Arceusfish).