zerosnake: “i am a 21-year-old animator and painter”

February 5, 2014

My name is Tyrone Motley better known as ZeroSnake. I am a 21 year old animator and painter. I first got interested in art when I was introduced to animations like Dragon ball Z and Pokemon. It became a daily routine for all the kids to rush home and watch the next episode or else you would be out of the loop. It made me want to create something that people would look forward to. It wasn’t until I got my hands on VHS tapes, and paused and played it repeatedly that I started turning a drawing to a series of drawings; understanding that it was an illusion of motion that a series of pictures make. That revelation lead me to flipbooks, Microsoft Paint, now to a variety of professional software. After I left college I took time to expound on my beliefs and history as a person; during that time I watched countless documentaries about people ranging from Huey P. Newton to Che Guevara, as well lived in the middle east for a quarter of a year. Upon my return I came back with a new appreciation for my people, and that feeling as stuck with me and influenced my paintings.

By Tyrone Motley, AFROPUNK Contributor *

My animation and comics are usually a reflection of me growing up on anime and kung fu movies. This is evident in my webseries “A!M”; a dark animation series where a man fights to claim his lost past, and is finally faced with a decision of his own morality. This influence is even more evident in my webcomic “Unrivaled” where I put my own spin on China’s fabled monkey king and icon Bodhidharma as the two travel the land fighting for title of unrivaled martial artist of the world.

In my paintings I tend to switch gears and make the viewer feel what I feel in a painting. My most popular work is my “Revolutionary set” where I connected three canvases with a political icon on each shoulder to shoulder with a quote from each when combined form a sentence. Malcolm X, Huey P. Newton, and Che joined together and the response I got from the viewers was exactly what I wanted. I set up shop on a busy urban street and cars stopped and looked at what has come before us. Old timers came and told me how they were members of the Panther party and how things have changed, it was then that I knew my work was a success.
Although these are common amongst my art I never limit myself to one subject, one minute I’m painting of an afro the next I’m painting something that I saw while walking down the street. It’s the same with my animations, one minute I’m doing a fight scene, the next I’m doing a comedic short. But that’s all a part of being an artist and what makes it so fun, we are always in a state of evolution.

//My goals//
One of the biggest things to me is giving back to the next generation. I am a self-taught animator; no one was there to teach me how to do lip-sync, or how to draw at different angles. I got a lot of “boy you can draw” and support along those lines but as far as what my next step should be was and sometimes still is a mystery. So I make an effort to volunteer at youth communities such as libraries and high schools, teaching how to story board, what a tween is, good starter programs and communities, etc. most events aren’t even paying gigs but I still feel strongly about providing an outlet for creativity. Hopefully one day I’ll have an animation production company, but until then I’m doing what I love… Telling my stories to whoever will listen.

* Tyrone Motley/Zerosnake’s website: