Art has been and continues to be one of the best ways to express who I am and tell a history you can’t find in books. I want to show people they can follow their dreams and passions no matter where they come from.
I come from a traditionalist background, as well as a small town that I that I still reside in. I had to figure out a style where I could convey who I am while also incorporating the more traditional art tastes from my region. Art that can convey a story and still be related to by means of landscape or conventional art.
I love to create. I love creating worlds and seeing them come to life in the pages of my sketchbook or in my paintings. Art takes me to a place where I can get away from the troubles of life for a few minutes. However, what keeps inspiring me are those sweet messages found in movies – live action or animation – and video games and the worlds they opened for me. I want to be a part of something that inspires people as much as films and games. I want people to feel the strange swelling feeling inside when they look at what I created and then harness that feeling to go out and inspire others. I would like to think that I have done that.
When I was growing up, I absolutely enjoyed fairy tales, Disney’s and Bluth’s films as well as classic Nickelodeon cartoons and the good old-fashioned NES and Nintendo 64. I have very fond memories of playing Super Mario Brothers and Diddy Kong, racing with my twin sister. Legend of Zelda is a huge influence of my fantasy craze as a wee little lass.
When I think more about my love for art I end up remembering my love for music in movies. When I was a toddler I would try to watch The Lion King and sing along to the Circle of Life, or dance around and strut like a rooster as I watched Mary Martin’s, Peter Pan.
Middle school was when I really got more into drawing because of the influences from those movies and games. Band also became a part of my life as a percussionist. It gave me the excuse to play on the xylophone and hear various tunes from my favorite songs. it felt like a life achievement when I heard all of the sage’s tunes from Ocarina of Time! Music and drawing for me are intertwined. I love how it affects the overall atmosphere of the film or game. I have to thank Miyazaki’s Spirited Away. It was one of the few movies where I truly became engulfed in the world due to its breathtaking visuals and beautiful music. I remember watching it over and over when it first came out on VHS to rent. Yuki Kajira and her beautiful work for .Hack//sign is also to blame!! I never heard anything like her music until that point in my life.
Around the same time, Lord of the Ring and Passion of the Christ were out in theaters. The music from both films drew me in and since then I discovered how music affects the overall experience. That was what really triggered drawing alongside with music followed by my obsession for and collection of OSTs to movies to sate my musical hunger when I draw. That music helped fuel my imagination and allowed my mind to go to a world much different than before. While I was playing around with fantasy drawings of horses, merfolk, and pegasi, I also enjoyed designing little costumes for fellow classmates, Pokemon and early fanart for Legend of Zelda.
Future in Art? Yes, it is Real.
Throughout high school, I was drawing and improving my craft for fun, and experimenting with my online presence on Deviantart and performing in marching band. As graduation day approached, the question of what I would do in college loomed overhead. I was being steered into the direction of a forensic scientist due to my attention to detail and my love of NCIS and Criminal Minds (Abby and Garcia I love you gals so much!). In the little town I was from, I didn’t really think that my art had any place here. And besides, people didn’t really encourage art, definitely not as much as those who love sports. Though, isn’t that always the case?
Then it all changed when a rep from the Art Institutes of Pittsburgh came to my school. My high school did have an amazing art department, but that day I felt like a whole new world opened up to me. Seeing that demo reel of the 2D and 3D animation, fashion design, culinary arts…
This whole world of art that opened up to me explained so much. I looked and saw that everything around me was conceptualized on paper at some point, that the world around me had its Creator. When I open a box of Prismacolor pencils, it feels like Christmas. That day it felt like something had burst inside me, everything slowed down and that’s when I knew: I wanted to be an artist. I wanted to be a part of those troops of storytellers that inspired and molded me.
This is what I wanted to be.
Even though AI inspired me I didn’t get to go to their school. Instead, I went to the local college at Shawnee State University and took on the drawing program. I am strongly traditional in my preference of art. Just to name a few, I love Monet and Van Gogh because of their amazing use of color to portray everyday life in their own technique. Rubens and Rembrandt were huge inspirations because of their use of symbolism in their pieces. If it’s not Baroque don’t fix it!! That means YOU, Twombly.
Talking to the Head of the Art Department, I explained to him what direction I wanted to go into in my art career, a Concept Artist, and I had been given the recommended classes to take. The majority of my classes were drawing courses, I took on some graphic design and digital imagery courses as well as a couple of 3D classes so I could understand how the ‘production line’ of the studio worked. During that time in college, I already had the opportunity to travel abroad with my art history group over spring break, allowing me to see those traditional artists I adored outside of the pages of history books and online resources. I even won Best of Show during the undergraduate art show!! The watercolor painting that you see here was the piece that allowed me this honor. Here is a link to see it in higher quality! http://fav.me/d3hh95n
I like to think that everything up until this point, with the support of my mother in my endeavors, helped me get to where I am and where I want to go in my journey. It was a struggle to find the path, but it was well worth it. My day job as a graphic designer gives me more insight into the digital art in the long run. I wanted to pursue more, but I didn’t know how to go about it until I found myself with a position as a character designer for Luminosity. I found myself as part of what I wanted to do: be a part of something bigger that will inspire other people to follow their dreams.
Why did I become an artist?
Art is what makes me the happiest. Art is my life.
I love working with a team to see that all of our artistic aspirations lead us to one beautiful resolve! The people I work with in Luminosity Mobile and my day job are happy doing what they love to do no matter what hits them. I love looking through my various sketchbooks and seeing the growth that is constantly taking place.. Since I was small, art in different forms inspired me to become a fellow creator!!
It is a challenging route of life, but I guarantee that it is a humbling and most satisfying one.