This month’s student artist spotlight is Bryan Hollis, a staff member on our poetry selection committee as well as a comedy and comic extraordinaire!
“I grew up reading the comics every day before school, from classics like “Dennis the Menace” to “Pearls Before Swine,” and everything in between. Like any other little kid that becomes obsessed with something, I tried making them myself. Stapling loose leaf papers together to make “comic books” was my constant occupation in elementary school, and that love for the medium has continued all my life. It wasn’t until I became involved in student media that I realized I might be able to draw Vanderbilt-related comics. They gave me the platform through MyVanderbiltLife to showcase my work, and thus Vanderboxes was born.
I think my love for comedy began the first time I saw Bart Simpson come onto my television. I loved the show, and realized the ability of animation to remove all limitations from the stories and jokes they were able to tell. It wasn’t long before I made it a point to see every episode (#644 this Sunday!) featuring my favorite yellow family, as well as other similar shows like South Park, Futurama, and live action shows from Seinfeld to the Big Bang theory. I knew that comedy was at the root of all of these programs, that I had a natural ability in it, and that I would be willing to do anything possible to make a career out of this passion. Every time I do stand up, write a video, or draw a comic, I put myself one step closer to that life long dream, and get to live it out a little bit along the way.
I find all of my inspiration from simply living on campus. College is so unique in that it forces so many people together with such different backgrounds but many of the same routines, which creates a lot of potentially funny situations. With everything I create I think to myself “Just how far can I push this?” And try to find the medium that will allow me to get as close to that limit as I can. Sometimes I try to offer commentary through this work, but more often than not I just look for things that everyone is able to relate to and, hopefully, laugh at. 5. Right now what I’m most excited about is the comedy sketches that I’m publishing on YouTube. Inspired by South Park and Saturday Night Live, I’m exploring all kinds of comedy including Stop Motion, parody music videos, and live action skits. I’m currently learning to use nicer equipment to improve the quality of these videos, though I think there is always something cool about being armed with nothing more than an iPhone and a creative vision. Check out my page here:
I found out about the Vanderbilt review last year from a staff member (now editor) who I really admire. She told me about her involvement, and eventually gave me a copy. I was blown away by the level of artistic talent that our students have, and couldn’t put the book down. I knew I wanted to be a part of the team responsible for producing it, and since I am so fascinated with language decided that I would best fit as a member of the poetry staff. I’m looking forward to selecting and giving feedback on poems students submit this year, and reading all of their work!”
-Justine Kaemmerlen, Editor-In-Chief