Svetlana Wunnenberg: The M(a)notonist

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Artist Statement

Goosebumps are how art knocks on doors that should be windows. Stimulating experiences, touching stories, unknown environments and thought provoking realizations all poke at walls we may not recall building. My work utilizes both fantastic and mundane elements to explore this in our lives. Telling a fictional story omits any knowledge or presumption and allows an audience to observe the narrative, thus also digesting the intertwined concept. Maintaining a mundane man, despite this fictional story, diverts and redirects any straying attention back to the narrative. In this animation I wanted to exemplify the idea of breaking free from an unrealized monotony. It walks the line of fear and beauty just as all big life changes touch within both. The setting is a hybrid of underwater and outer space, both terrifying in their lack of light, warmth and knowledge, yet beautiful in their lack of weight, sound and again, knowledge. I push further this multi-platform of setting and concept through multiple creative processes. This began as a story I had written that prompted illustrations, which then were photographed, directed into an animation, and finally edited to consume. Storytelling from multiple styles is not only inclusive to different audiences but empowers the message that all the styles were rooted in: If one’s feet are seemingly glued to a monotonous day-to-day, remembering what gives them goosebumps will allow for that first step free.

About the Project

  • Title of Work: The M(a)notions
  • Medium: Six and a half minute stop-motion animation.
  • Student's Name: Svetlana Wunnenberg
  • Major: Art
  • Anticipated Graduation Date: May 2022
  • Hometown: Wentzville, MO, United States
  • Student's Mentor: Anna Wehrwein
  • Mentor's Department: Painting


Linda Blockus

I really enjoyed your illustration/animation technique.  I LOVED the cat popping up here and there!  The cat was a great touch!  - Dr. Blockus


Andrea Heiss

This is a remarkable film.  I am drawn to the hybrid of fairy tale, adventure and the dangerous journey--dangerous either way he goes, whether he stays the same or finds the courage to "get unstuck."  Your statement about your work is also helpful to the viewer.  Animation is engaging and creative.


Micah Turrell

Great work, Sveta!

I liked how you used visual details to complement the narrative of your mundane man. It was cool how you kept it greyscale until your character entered the other world. Also, the theme of your story brings to mind something I've noticed in the memoirs of travelers. I think this is a story lot of people could connect with... I know I did. Once again, great work!


Ying Hu

This film is so magical, interesting, and engaging. I was so amazed by the scene of the man standing on the roof with the beautiful stars in the background and the last few frames when he makes unknown steps. Good choice of music to match the animation too! Well done!