Superintendent’s Artist of the Week: Patrick Gardiner


Superintendent’s Artist of the Week: Patrick Gardiner

April 26, 2022

Warwick Valley High School senior Patrick Gardiner has always known he wanted to do animation. He started out making flipbooks of a bouncing ball with a pad of Post-it Notes. Recently, he was recognized for his digital animation skills with an award from the New York State Media Arts Teachers Association for his short film: “Fowl: Origin Story”.

“I have an obsession with cartoons, and I grew up watching Hanna-Barbera and other classic stuff,” Patrick said. “I wanted to get into animation to be able to tell my own stories.”

Patrick and his friend Harrison Rogers came up with the idea for an animated show when they were in sixth grade. The original plan was to animate clay figures, the way Rankin and Bass did with television shows like “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.”

Patrick discovered, however, that stop motion animation was not practical for what he hoped would be an animated series. So after working over the summer as a lifeguard at Mountain Creek Water Park (where he made 22 saves and was named the Lifeguard of the Week in August), he earned enough money to buy an iPad and started teaching himself the animation program Procreate.

“The baby steps were the hardest part,” Patrick said about learning Procreate. “Then as soon as I started understanding the basics, I bought myself “The Animator’s Survival Kit” by the guy who did ‘Who Framed Roger Rabbit?’ and I was able to learn from it.”

Patrick works on “Fowl” with Harrison and Connor O’Regan. Connor does the editing and writes the music; Harrison does some backgrounds and comes up with broad ideas for the project. Patrick handles the animation, and all three do the voices.

“The show is about a bunch of mutants who are kind of superhero-esque, but they don’t want to be,” Patrick said. “They try to live everyday lives, but all of these supervillains come out of nowhere and keep trying to annoy them. I think of it like if Seinfeld met Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. It’s like an everyday world but with extraordinary characters.”

The judges at the New York State Media Arts Teachers Association were impressed with Patrick’s animation, and he earned a Presidential Award, which is given to students whose entire body of work shows noteworthy content, a creative approach, attention to composition, a command of craft and is visually and technically outstanding.

Patrick recently completed the illustrations for his third “Once Upon A Child” project, which is a collaboration with Communications, Creative Writing and Art departments. In addition to art, Patrick writes and edits articles for The Survey, the school newspaper.

Athletically, Patrick is a strong middle distance runner for the WVHS cross country and track and field teams. He also volunteers and helps organize the Warwick Track Club program, which is open to K-6 students in the Warwick, Greenwood Lake and Florida school districts.

“Patrick always goes the distance in all of his endeavors whether it be is love for art, track, film and writing,” said Ms. Spano, an art teacher at WVHS. “He is an extremely hard worker that puts 100 percent in everything that he does.”

Patrick, whose brother Thomas runs for the University of Tennessee, plans to continue his education and athletic career at the University of Rhode Island. He’s going to major in Film and Media and also study Writing and Rhetoric. Patrick has talked to the cross country coach at URI and is going to try to walk on in September.

Superintendent's Artist of the Week: Patrick Gardiner

View a clip from “Fowl” below:


View some of Patrick’s illustrations in the slideshow below:



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