Rodney Lambright II is an animator and producer in the Scenic and Animation department at Wisconsin Public Television. 

For the sixth year, Cap Times reporters asked several Madisonians to share their "bright ideas" for the new year. We will publish the 2019 edition of Bright Ideas throughout the week and in print on Jan. 2.

I use cartoons to distort reality, to see life in a new way. I want to use my artwork to tell stories and explore different perspectives of how people see life. Everybody has a different lens that affects how they look at a situation. I want people to try to understand other people’s stories.

In January and February, I will be an artist in residence at the Madison Public Library’s Bubbler program. I do this comic strip called The Beatniks. I’m creating an art show profiling six characters from the comic strip, but it will have an entirely different feel to it — it’s going into the psyche of these characters.

I’m trying to give people an opportunity to be in the mind of somebody else, to feel empathy with that character’s experience. Everybody is going through something, but it’s important to express those feelings and not hold them in.

For the first time I feel like an artist. I want to find the medium that feels right for the story —  paint, colored pencil, pen and ink. I’m in two worlds, doing digital stuff for television that’s for the masses. Now I want to get into this world of fine art and make work that’s not as easily accessible, gallery work that feels more exclusive.

I’ve always gravitated toward kitsch art, which they say is low quality, not avant garde. I want to blend those two worlds, spin it on its head a little bit. I want to make the art space my own, take over in a positive way. I want to make people who look like me, have different perspectives or outlooks on life, feel welcome in that fine art space. They can make it whatever they want it to be.

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Since 2008, food editor Lindsay Christians has been writing about fine arts and food for The Capital Times. She loves eating at the bar, going to the theater, sparkling wine and good stories. She lives in Madison with two cats and too many cookbooks.