We had the good fortune of connecting with Kellin Sproul and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kellin, career-wise, where do you want to be in the end?
By the end of my career, I want to have been satisfied with the stories I’ve told to the world. As an story artist and teller, my aim is to connect communities that are often overlooked to a broader audience, from LGBTQ identities to struggle with mental health. Too often in social media are these groups either marginalized, misrepresented, or flat-out ignored. So much of the beauty of struggle is lost when we choose to highlight only what we deem will get the most attention. What I aspire to do is to tell these unique and compelling struggles with the world, to spotlight them and to move audiences from joyous laughter to tears of sadness.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
It’s been a long journey, learning how to communicate pure emotion and story within my art. Originally, I had wanted to be a manga artist, but after learning about the world of animation and how much more potent emotion was through this medium, I quickly switched my aspirations towards wanting to become the director of my own animated series. This happened around the 7th grade – ever since then I’ve been trying to hone my craft, striving to make my artwork as expressive, creative, and unique. I’m now currently attending Art Center as a freshman and am assisting on several independent animation projects, thanks to the wonderful connections made at school. It definitely wasn’t easy getting into Art Center, not to mention my first two terms there, but I like to think that my passion, dedication, and hard work shined through in my artwork and proved that I did have a story and several more to tell. So, for those of you reading this and looking for unique stories to promote and share, I’ve got a couple up my sleeve worth talking about!
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Oh, if only we could spend an eternity here in San Francisco! There’s so much rich history and sites to see, so to narrow it down to just a few stops would be quite the challenge. However, if I had to choose only certain spots, we’d start with a walk through Sutro Parks, located right near Ocean Beach. Then from there, we’d make our way to Golden Gate Park and take in all the pleasant greenery and say hello to the wildlife. Once we’re done seeing what the park has to offer, we’d go and some of my favorite childhood spots: China Town, Japan Town, Fishermen’s Wharf and Pier 39 and the Castro. We’d stop by my favorite bakery in China Town and indulge in steamed pork buns, mooncakes, and fluffy lemon sponge cakes, and head over to the various Bazaars selling assortments of tourist-y gadgets and goodies. Then, we’d grab some matcha ice cream and chocolate taiyaki in Japan Town while visiting the Kinokuniya bookstore, perhaps purchasing a manga or two. Once we’ve had our fill, we’d make our way via cable car down towards Fishermen’s Wharf and Pier 39 to see the marine life and take in more of the salty ocean air before concluding our excursion with a night out in the gay heart of America that is the Castro. The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I could name countless people in my life for whom have inspired me, from the plethora of artists on social media to my numerous collections of artbooks and movies that adorn my shelves. But, as cliché as it sounds, my friends and family are what largely inspire and motivate me to pursue a career path in the arts and tell my stories to the rest of the world. My parents especially have been instrumental in my growth as an artist. Not only have they supported my endeavors financially, but they’ve always encouraged me to do what I love and never failed to show their enthusiasm for every creation I made, from my scrawny 5-year old cat doodles to my college portfolio.