Tyus Allen (American, b. 1999) is an artist who blends elements of drawing and graphic art using animation, production design, painting, and drawing to create posters and other designed products. Even though he is enrolled in UT Chattanooga's BFA graphic design program, he also works with drawings and oftentimes uses his graphic design knowledge to influence his drawing to turn them digital and vice versa. Allen will receive his BFA degree from UTC in 2022 and has work featured in their 2022 BFA Senior Thesis exhibition. After college he plans to continue with animations and graphic design and enter into the animation industry through video game animation and media.
Lacking is an animation I created as social commentary. The story is inspired by some of the stories I heard when talking to the homeless population in Memphis and downtown Chattanooga, specifically on E ML King Blvd. Growing up in Memphis, I remember interacting with the homeless population through volunteer and day to day situations. Also as a skateboarder on the streets of Chattanooga, I’m constantly in contact with the homeless population. It’s become a common practice to interact with them while I’m skating and naturally starting a conversation. Each story is different and everyone's situation varies, but the similarity between a lot of their stories is the way they are treated by other people. Sometimes experiencing kindness and other times being threatened with violence treated as an outcast. Believing an adage that “the best fictional stories are inspired by real life", this is where my artistic practice takes root and where I began constructing the story for my short film. I started by drafting a fictional story based off of real life events. I reflected on some of the stories shared to me by people in the homeless community of Chattanooga and Memphis. Afterwards, I combined their stories with some personal stories of my own. When I finished, I created a storyboard. After that I moved on to creating backgrounds and animations placed in the foreground, middle ground and background.
I want to give people a chance to be entertained by my short film, but even further I want to encourage viewers to take time to reflect on the events surrounding the main character and leave with some kind of feeling of empathy for others. My hope is that afterwards my viewers are compelled to help others, especially those going through homelessness.