Rachel Conrad: Volcano

Artist Statement

Ever since I was a child, I have been drawn to the art world. I was always interested in animation, and I always preferred it to live-action films or shows. When I realized that I could create a career out of my passion for animation and art, I got to work honing my skills and decided to double major in both Digital Storytelling and Art here at the University of Missouri-Columbia. Making animations gives me the opportunity to tell the stories that I want to see and to share those stories with others.

Volcano is my very first animated piece that I created. It is a fun retelling about my irrational childhood fear of volcanos. The narrative is lighthearted and meant to make the viewer smile. I wanted my story to be fun and personal, even though bringing up old childhood fears can be embarrassing. The goal of my animations is to relate with the audience on a casual level through my storytelling, almost like we are sitting down at lunch and having a conversation.

Creating Volcano cemented my love for 2D animation and motivated me to continue to improve my narratives and animation skillset, so that I can be a valuable member to the future concept/creative design team I work for.

And, fortunately, I am no longer afraid of volcanos.


About the Project 

  • Title of Work: Volcano
  • Medium: Animation 
  • Student's Name: Rachel Conrad
  • Major: Digital Storytelling
  • Anticipated Graduation Date: May 2021
  • Hometown: Palmyra, Missouri
  • Student's Mentor: Joseph Erb
  • Mentor's Department: Digital Storytelling
  • Art Project ID: 21VADS - 004


Avery Lake

I absolutely love this! This brings back memories from my childhood when I had an irrational fear of mermaids! I can tell that you put so much work into this, and it is amazing!


Elizabeth Green

I absolutely loved this!! Oh those childhood fears!!!! Great job Rachel!!



I love this! The animation reminds me of some of the youtube videos teachers used to show in class. 

Truth be told, even living in Missouri, it isn't overly irrational to be afraid of volcanoes. Natural disasters are my biggest fear. Also, I think a volcano is more likely to happen than my irrational fear: a train falling off of a viaduct and smashing my car with me in it.

Great work!!!


Jennifer Jones

Great job, Rachel!  Your future in digital storytelling will be amazing!  And by the way, I was on the big island of Hawai'i for vacation when the volcano was spewing lava.  I drove through Hawai'i  Volcanos National Park (as far as they would let you travel before it was closed off to visitors). It was pretty awesome....


Georgia Lehenbauer

Congrats Rachel!


Sarah Humfeld

Thanks for telling a self-reflective story and making yourself a little vulnerable for your audience. I love your story, because it gives me greater empathy for my son, who at the age of 10 was really freaked out by the super-volcano under Yellowstone National Park! Since I am not the only viewer who feels that your fears were not completely irrational, I appreciate that your short film helps the viewer think through the difference between rational and irrational anxiety. Keep up the great work!


Rhonda Renot

Great Job! You will go far with your career, just don't move to Hawaii!


Jim Spain

Love how you capture and share the story from your childhood.  Really connects with all of our experiences of fear.  Well done.