What inspired you to start painting?
I first started painting when I took an introductory painting class my sophomore year. I was hesitant at first because I never considered myself a painter in the least; I’ve always drawn, so it was definitely a jump I’m glad I took. After that class, I understood the concepts and became obsessed with getting better, understanding more about paint handling and just improving my painting skills.
What do you like to paint now?
I like painting portraits and the figure. Sometimes I like to just paint pictures that I find lying around or already have on hand.
What sort of paints do you use?
I use water-soluble oil paint. Yes, they are a thing. I didn’t like regular oil paint because of the solvents and the smell. I was painting in my apartment and I didn’t have very good ventilation, so it always smelled like paint. Plus the water-soluble paints are easy to clean up, which I like a lot.
Do you sell your art work?
Yes. I got into portraiture because people love having other people paint portraits for them and it’s just something that I continued doing. I do a lot of drawings of celebrities for people, too. I wouldn’t call it a professional business; it’s just something that I do on the side.
Have you ever had a piece displayed in a showcase?
Actually, a couple weeks ago my friend and I dropped off pieces at a local art salon. For this salon, I had to sign up and drop off two pieces of work, and then the following week they put on a giant art gallery showcasing everyone’s work.
Is there a painting you are most proud of?
Over the summer, in July, I set a goal for myself to paint every day until school started. I wanted to get better with portraits, so I painted portraits every day and did something different every time. I was pretty proud of myself for actually doing it and I look back at those paintings and feel quite accomplished.
What inspires you?
I think, at this moment, the quest for understanding is what inspires me. Many of my classes this semester focus on today’s art – contemporary art. I learned a lot about classical, traditional art and how to paint like artists did a long time ago. It makes me think more about what art can or cannot be. It’s quite exhilarating and at the same time exhausting. I am definitely learning more about myself as a person and as a painter.
Do you have a favorite painter?
I don’t think I have a favorite at this point. I pick pieces of what other artists do and try to incorporate them into my own work. Being introduced to a new world of art opens up so many options, it’s kind of hard to pick a favorite.