Kaelyn-Rose Miranda , News Writer

Danielle Hunt (‘25) started drawing at a young age. Her father, who worked for Cartoon Network as a cartoonist, introduced the idea of illustrating characters with bright colors and personified animals. She started tracing characters and pressing hard on the paper as a way to perfect her lines in her dining room. What she considered to be a diversion and hobby soon developed into a much more significant part of her life, something she hopes to turn into a career one day.  


Hunt’s work consists of 3D animation, 3D modeling animation, and traditional animation. Although she has taken art classes at Stetson, she revealed that her best work is completed outside of class, doing her “own thing.” Like many who had time to focus on improving hobbies during COVID-19, Hunt created a large collection of works related to animals and the 1980s. Many of her pieces have wild animals playing some sort of instrument.  


“The type of music I listen to is vaporwave and artists from the 80s,” said Hunt. “My favorite music artist who inspires me the most is Michael Jackson.” 


Vaporwave music is a moderation of 1980s and 1990s music that uses selective R&B, jazz, and elevator music. Hunt says that her work has “that 80s render look to it on purpose,” saying that “if I listen to music, I can kind of make pieces out of it. I just listen to the music and produce what I hear.” Even though it can be quite a challenge to construct artwork inspired by music, Hunt says that during the start of drawing, music helps her “create stuff,” but sometimes her specific  process of illustrating can take as long as a year to complete one piece.  


During her most recently completed collection of artworks, Hunt explained that she took a year-long break from some of the pieces. She eventually finished the collection in 2022, which is when she first heard about the Hand and Art Center Juried Exhibition, an art show that celebrates students’ artworks.  


Every year, artistic students are encouraged to apply for the art show no matter what their major is. Hunt said she was really nervous “because it was [her] first time putting pieces in for a competition,” and she didn’t know how it would go. Eventually, she got an email saying that she had been selected to be a part of the show. The next step was to show up on the day of the juried expedition.  


The creative arts faculty gave out about eight awards. According to the Hand and Art Center, the winners of the show have their artwork added to the Hand Art Center’s permanent collection, which showcases many of the student artworks throughout campus buildings” if they win the Ann West Hall Purchase Award. Other awards like Best in Show, the Hand Art Center Award, Student Choice, and Non-Major Award are also given out.  


For Hunt’s first time competing in an art show, she won the Best in Show award, which was selected by an outside juror named Leah Sandler. Hunt’s specific piece, titled “Hyperactive Cheetah,” caught the attention of many due to the vibrant neon colors and electric twist on a personified Cheetah.  


“They usually announce the winners online, but this year was a little different. We got to stand next to each other and celebrate,” Hunt said.


Although Hunt is grateful for the recognition and she never imagined herself winning an award at Stetson, she still feels that she has a lot more to accomplish. In time, she hopes to be able to sell her artwork one day; having it shown and displayed on television is also on her bucket list. 


“Eventually, I want to make a TV show with my characters and the artwork I do.”