Photo by Grace Goldman
How did you get started with art?
It’s always been there, like a central theme in my life because both of my parents went to the Kansas City Art Institute. Art has always been a common theme throughout their lives, so being surrounded by it has definitely influenced me. But I also had my own start with it, unrelated to them. Some of my first creations were writing and illustrating little paper storybooks. I would collect colored pencils and markers and watercolors and just create random things in my room with pretty much all of my freetime.
What is your style of art?
Lately, I’ve been beginning to develop my style more. But generally, it has always been colorful, vivid, and bright. But I don’t really have a set style. It really depends on the purpose of the piece. I just don’t want to be limited in that way. So I guess my style is whatever I feel like.
What inspires your art?
My feelings and surroundings in my everyday life. Really just whatever comes into my imagination. I brainstorm and try to get into a creative mindset, which can sometimes be difficult, but usually once it gets going it’s a good flow.
What resources do you use for inspiration?
Honestly, I try not to rely on websites or apps for inspiration too much. That’s just not a good practice, in my opinion, because you could end up accidentally copying it. It would be heartbreaking to create something that you’re proud of– only to realize that someone else already did it and you accidentally recreated it.
What’s your favorite piece of art that you have created recently?
Well recently, I’m really loving this plant room painting I made. The piece itself is nice to look at, very aesthetically pleasing and everything. But I also like the idea behind it, that it was made completely from spare paint. The paint was actually from another piece I had recently finished at work. The painting was such a come out of nowhere, fly by the seat of my pants, spontaneous kind of thing for a school night. I really just love how it turned out.
I heard that you work at Arts Tech, can you explain what that is?
Sure, Arts Tech is a nonprofit organization in the Crossroads which creates art for local Kansas City events and organizations. I’m in the Splash Mob program, a program for young artists at Arts Tech. Sometimes an art fair committee or local organization will come to us and commission a piece or pieces and that’s what we work on.
When do you create most of your art?
With Arts Tech, basically every week. But before that, mostly at night because I’m a night owl. A lot of times, I would stay up until like 3:00 a.m. in the summer just painting in my sketchbook.
Who are some of your favorite artists? And what are your favorite pieces by them?
Well, there’s this Arizona artist that I’ve been following for a couple of years now. Her name is Paige Poppe and I really like her artwork. Her style is similar to mine. She does a lot of very bright colored pencil and watercolor pieces. My favorite piece by her is a print, the Beauty of Nature. I wanted it for Christmas. I also like Andy Warhol and his Campbell soup cans and Piet Mondrian and his abstract square paintings. Oh, there’s this French artist I follow on Instagram, Thierry Duval. He’s incredible. His watercolor paintings of buildings are insanely precise. They look like photographs. Typically I don’t enjoy realistic artwork, but his technique – you just can’t not love it. He’s so amazing.
What is your preferred art form?
For a while, I really loved watercolors, but I’ve started experimenting with gouache and now at Arts Tech I work with acrylics. So I’m still very partial to watercolors, but gouaches are better than watercolors because they’re more versatile. You can make them opaque by watering them down, but they can also be so much more vivid and bright than watercolors. I also really like pencil and colored pencil for line artwork. Oh and ceramics and photography for sure, I really love those too.
What’s one art form you haven’t tried but want to?
I’ve dabbled in printmaking but I want to get better at that. I really want to learn embroidery and oil painting. I’ve never tried oil painting but, I’ve heard that it’s hard because you have to be patient – which I am not when it comes to painting with watercolors.
What art classes have you taken at East?
At East, I have taken intro to studio arts and ceramics. I will take painting next semester if it fits into my schedule.
What is your opinion of the art classes you have taken at East?
I think they provide great opportunities that students wouldn’t have access to outside of school. The teachers are all very knowledgeable and passionate about art. These classes give me the opportunity to grow and be more creative with my artwork.
What art classes have you taken outside of East?
Let’s see, I have taken wheel throwing classes at the KC Clay Guild and Hallmark’s Union Hill photography explorers classes at the Union Hill Hallmark Studio.
What sort of role do you see art playing in your future?
I definitely want to continue art forever, but it’s not going to be my future career. I would rather go into a career that I enjoy and have that supply me with the funds to do art as a hobby on the side.